Birds of the Loch

Bawsinch and Duddingston Loch together form a haven for many forms of wildlife in the heart of Edinburgh. Home to a number of notable bird species including water rail, great crested grebe and tufted duck, mute swan and mallard breed here as well as sedge warblers. A large number of wildfowl also winter here.

There are a number of nationally scarce plants on the reserve including tufted loosestrife, slender-leaved pondweed and needle spike rush, as well as many Scottish and locally scarce plants. Otter have been spotted – not least one swimming past the hide during the last open day.


The reserve is worth visiting at any time of year but readers will be particularly interested to know that there will be an Open Day on Sunday 25th October  from 11.00 am until 4.00 pm.

Julian Warman, SWT’s Reserve Manager for the Edinburgh area says, “Throughout the day there will be guided walks giving an insight into the wildlife and the habitats in which they live including the woods, scrub land, marsh and ponds. This free day will be a great experience for those who enjoy being out in the great outdoors and exploring nature.”

Most of the reserve is a SSSI designated for its loch and associated fringing aquatic vegetation. It is the only remaining natural freshwater loch in the City of Edinburgh and supports the largest reedbed in the city. On the southeast and west edges, there is a band of marshland with reedbeds and willow and poplar woodland, which supports the breeding waterfowl and nesting herons. The woodland in the south-east of the reserve was planted by SWT and includes most native UK species.

The reserve is three kilometres from the centre of Edinburgh at the southern end of Holyrood Park and, from the comfort of the Connel Hide, visitors will be able to observe some of the birds of Duddingston Loch as well as enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Visitors are asked to enter from the bend on Duddingston Road West. Admission is free. Sturdy footwear is recommended. There is no disabled access available on-site.

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