Birdwatching is one of the main attractions in this area of Central Scotland with several RSPB reserves and other wildlife reserves to explore.
RSPB Lochwinnoch - Renfrewshire. This is one of the few remaining wetlands in west Scotland. From the hides and visitor centre you can view the marshland and loch. In winter you may see whooper swans, greylag geese and goosanders. In spring, great crested grebes and lapwings display. Open at all times. Visitor Centre open daily 10am- 5pm.
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Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve (Scottish Wildlife Trust). Located within the World Heritage Site of New Lanark and at the gateway to the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve. More than 100 bird species, including unsurpassed views of nesting peregrine falcons (March to June). Seasonal events include 'Badger Watches'.
World of Wings Birds of Prey Centre at Luggiebank, near Cumbernauld. The largest collection of birds of prey in Scotland including eagles, vultures, hawks, falcons, owls, kites and exotic species.
For over a decade now, the steep gorges leading between the Falls of Clyde have been home to a breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons. So precious are these birds that round the clock CCTV is in place to protect them, albeit their precarious cliff edge ensure maximum difficulty for those that would do them harm! The position of the nest on one side of the gorge and the RSPB hide on the other, means that you can get closer to these peregrines than any other site in the UK. Best times to visit April – June during nest building and chick rearing.
The former steel town of Motherwell is the last place you would expect to find an RSPB nature reserve, but here, in the marshland around the River Clyde, is a terrific site. Over 170 different species of bird have been recorded on this site, some regular local species, others just stopping on their way to somewhere more exotic. Open all year round