• A Year of Stunning Wildlife

    That’s another year over and to truly celebrate entering into a new year let's look over some of the highlights at the reserve over 2021. March was a very exciting month for the reserve as not only did we have a whopping count of 80 whooper swans we also had a scaup visit the reserve. These red listed birds are the rarest breeding bird in the UK making it a fantastic sighting for the reserve.


    Whooper swans…

    • 5 Jan 2022
  • Christmas joy at the RSPB Lochwinnoch

    December has finally arrived at the RSPB Lochwinnoch which means plenty of Christmas spirit and looking forward to a new year. There has been plenty of wildlife to see around the reserve this month and that has included very exciting visitors to the reserve, a redhead smew and a drake smew. The smew is a small diving bird, the drake is very distinctive with white colouring and a black mask which has led to its nickname…

    • 31 Dec 2021
  • Winter has officially arrived at the RSPB Lochwinnoch

    This month at the RSPB has been an exciting time for sightings as we enter the winter months. One of the more unusual sightings on the reserve this month was an American Wigeon which was seen on the Aird Meadow Loch on the 23rd of November. There has been fewer than 20 records of these birds in Britain as they are scarce visitors. They will usually breed in North America and then spend the wintering months in South America…

    • 28 Nov 2021
  • Celebrate your inner Robin on our adventure trail this Christmas

    Credit Aardman/Netflix

    We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on  Robin Robin , a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary!

    To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure trails right here at Lochwinnoch this Christmas season…

    • 11 Nov 2021
  • Autumn at the RSPB

    We are now nearing the end of October here at RSPB Lochwinnoch, which means autumn is finally here. There has been plenty of work being done on the reserve this month, the wellness in nature walk is now up and running. This walk was created by our Visitor Experience Officer, Carole MacFayden, and is designed as a safe green space that will allow you to immerse yourself in nature. If you have been feeling stressed or anxious…

    • 25 Oct 2021
  • RSPB Lochwinnoch - The Accessible Nature Reserve

    Did you know that just 25 minutes from the centre of Glasgow you could be watching hen harrier hunting over reedbeds, great crested grebes drifting over the surface of shallow lochs and nuthatches foraging in broadleaved woodland along with great spotted woodpeckers and treecreepers? Snipe can often be found probing the nutrient rich soil, and lapwing, goldeneye, teal,  and a whole lot more can also be found!


    Hen harrier…

    • 18 Oct 2021
  • New Habitat Creation

    If you have visited the reserve recently or are planning to in the coming week, you may notice some heavy machinery out on the reserve and be curious as to what is going on. Fear not, this is all for the good of the wildlife!!
    Much of our work here at Lochwinnoch is carried out to try and provide good habitat for water birds, whilst simultaneously trying to encourage as many different other birds and animals as…
    • 8 Oct 2021
  • Another Jam-packed month at the reserve

    It has been a very exciting and busy month at the RSPB Lochwinnoch reserve. The reserve took part in Renfrewshire's doors open day where access to the reserve was free for all. Visitors were able to come along and learn all about the reserve and exactly why it is so important to support the work that the RSPB does. Visitors were also able to complete lots of fun activities such as making apple and seed bird feeders and…

    • 29 Sep 2021
  • Another exciting month at RSPB Lochwinnoch

    It has been another exciting month here at the RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve. Recent changes in covid restrictions means that the tower has now re-opened as a viewing area to the public. The tower is a great place to get a 3600 view around the reserve with a better chance of spotting birds that may be flying over the reserve. Staff and volunteers have also begun construction on the screen at the fen pool where visitors…

    • 24 Aug 2021
  • Behind the scenes at RSPB Lochwinnoch - an update

    If, like me, coronavirus restrictions have stopped you from visiting RSPB Lochwinnoch over the last year, you may be wondering how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on the reserve and what – if anything – has been happening since your last visit.

    Eagle-eyed readers of the Winter/Spring 2021 RSPB Scotland magazine, will have noticed a mention of a new pool that’s been created alongside the Aird Meadow trail…

    • 23 Jan 2021
  • Flooding on the reserve...and weekly sightings

    Hi everyone! Here's another blog from our volunteer Elke.

    "While restrictions in this second COVID-19 wave are tightened everywhere in the UK, the reserve is a natural sanctuary as always and has been profiting from the recent quiet: several whooper swans arrived at the reserve this week, gracefully gliding over our darkish early November skies.


    Whooper swans over Aird Meadow, by Richard Bennett

    The whooper…

    • 6 Nov 2020
  • Autumn at RSPB Lochwinnoch

    It's been a while since our last update, so our volunteer Elke has kindly put together this sightings update for us.

    "We’re nearing the end of the month with one last rainy and quite windy October week. The trails are still open, and plenty of keen visitors have been going on walks despite the colder weather. 

    We’ve had quite a few interesting bird sightings in the past few days, with a visit from a …

    • 30 Oct 2020
  • Habitat management at RSPB Lochwinnoch - Pt. 2

    As outlined in Part 1 of this blog, we’ve been working hard on Aird Meadow to cut back and remove the vegetation. By stripping out the nutrients in this way, we can knock back the dominant species such as grass and produce a habitat in which a greater diversity of plants, including wildflowers can establish themselves. In turn, we’ll attract more insects which will provide a food source for larger animals and support…

    • 19 Jan 2020
  • Volunteering with RSPB Scotland Lochwinnoch – Rachel Reid

    Words by Rachel Reid
    Photos by Robert Conn

    I have been volunteering with the RSPB Scotland Lochwinnoch reserve for almost two years now. I am a master’s student specialising in conservation biology with a specific interest in Scottish wildlife particularly birds and was keen to gain some experience in the field. There began one of the best chapters in my life which I am still enjoying to this very day and hopefully for…

    • 20 Nov 2019
  • Recent sightings – September 2019

    September is a time of change. The leaves start to change colour, the evenings start to darken earlier and before the month is out, there’s a definite nip in the air.

    It’s also a time of change in the world of wildlife, as our summer visitors start their migration to warmer climes and our winter visitors start to arrive. Despite this we still had a few summer stragglers waiting for the right time to make a move…

    • 12 Oct 2019
  • Recent sightings – August 2019

    As we moved into August, the number, variety and frequency of certain birds increased around the reserve.

    We were delighted to see a Mandarin duck on four separate days in the first half of the month, and a peak of 14 great-crested grebe, 20 goldeneye, 20 lapwing, 8 gadwall, and two days in which 200 tufted duck were counted and another day featuring 120!

    Mandarin duck (male)

    Unusually, we had a visit from a common…

    • 12 Oct 2019
  • Recent sightings – second half of July 2019

    The second half of July saw a number of highlights, with high numbers of a variety of wildfowl and waders visiting the reserve. This included 145 tufted duck, 77 mallard, 28 lapwing, 24 Canada geese, 13 great-crested grebe, 7 greylag geese, 3 oystercatchers and 2 little grebe, among goldeneye, water rail, snipe and a common sandpiper.

    There were still a range of summer visitors around the reserve, with grasshopper wa…

    • 12 Oct 2019
  • Habitat management at RSPB Lochwinnoch – Pt. 1

    By Joe Crossland

    You’ll have seen a few changes around the reserve in the last few months, some of the more noticeable additions being our sand martin bank and the floating rafts, which were detailed in an earlier blog. But there are also things happening that you may not have noticed at first glance… 

    Family Volunteers managing the meadow (Joe Crossland)

    Wildflower meadow management

    Wildflowers provide an important source of nectar and pollen for pollinators…

    • 4 Sep 2019
  • Recent Sightings - May

    Recent sightings May 2019

    May was a busy month, with some great sightings across the reserve, including osprey, ringed plover, little ringed plover, whimbrel, common sandpiper, garganey, stonechat and wheatear and a host of warblers. We’ll keep you updated on sightings are the summer progresses.

    Osprey seen on 7th, 11th, 12th and 30th May

    Sparrowhawk: 1 on 25th May

    Buzzard: 1 on 12th May, 2 on 20th May

    Great crested…

    • 7 Aug 2019
  • Recent sightings - June/July

    Recent sightings – June to mid-July 2019

    Our new bug viewers have been especially popular with our visitors, providing a glimpse into the normally hidden lives of a range of insects. One new resident is the leafcutter bee, which as its name suggests, cuts away sections of leaf from a plant, and then uses them to line its nest, typically in pre-existing cavities as we have here, or in rotting wood which they can…

    • 6 Aug 2019
  • Unleash your inner wild thing in our revamped natural play area!

    We are delighted to announce that our natural play area has reopened for monkey business!

    A popular attraction for our younger visitors, our natural play area is an open invitation to get close to nature. 

    We are very grateful to tree surgeons TD Tree and Land Services Ltd and our team of volunteers who contributed their expertise and hard graft to produce a high quality play experience for our young visitors. We intend…

    • 23 May 2019
  • Recent Sightings - April

    April was a good month, with little gull, garganey, marsh harrier, osprey, black-tailed godwit, greenshank and redshank all reserve highlights.

    Gadwall – various days throughout April, with the highest count being four on 1st April

    Redshank – 2nd April

    Sand martin – First on 2nd April

    Goldeneye – 53 on 2nd April, 11 on 17th April, 5 on 21st April

    Swallow – First on 3rd April

    Pinkfooted geese…

    • 9 May 2019
  • Recent Sightings

    Marsh Harrier - 5 April

    Osprey - 2 April

    Garganey (m & f) - 9 April

    Willow Warbler - 9 April

    Blackcap - 9 April

    Chiffchaff - 9 April

    Greenshank - 7 April

    Redshank - 2 April

    Kingfisher - 9 April

    Nuthatch - 29 March

    Gadwall - 9 April

    Goldeneye - 9 April

    Sand Martin - 9 April

    Treecreeper - 9 April

    • 9 Apr 2019
  • Closure of the photo hide

    As some of you may know, we have taken the hard decision to close our photo hide at the end of April. The hide has been in operation for some time but is coming to the end of its useful life. The structure is ageing and in need of increasing repairs and maintenance, and managing the facility is taking up a large amount of staff time in a period when we need to concentrate our effort on the reserve as a whole. 

    Our priority…

    • 3 Apr 2019
  • Habitat creation at the reserve

    You may have noticed a few changes around the reserve recently. The most obvious being the large wooden sand martin bank which was built by and installed by our crack team of practical volunteers. Each hole you can see contains a tube of sand, ready to be excavated by nesting sand martins, who would normally tunnel into river banks and sand dunes to create a nest. We’re hoping our artificial bank will prove attractive…

    • 6 Mar 2019