Bird Watching

Adjacent to the golfing mecca of St Andrews in north-eastern Fife, the Eden Estuary is home to significant numbers of wildfowl and waders.

Here, where the River Eden meets tidal mudflats, one can visit an observation centre in winter and hope to see great numbers of grey plover, oystercatcher, knot, dunlin and pink-footed geese. The estuary also holds the country's largest numbers of black-tailed godwit. In summer many shelduck and eider may be seen.

At the mouth of the Forth, off the coast of Fife's famous East Neuk, sits the Isle of May National Nature Reserve. This reserve is immensely important for a number of species, and is the site of a bird observatory from which much significant study has been carried out. In summer, the cliffs of the island's west coast are alive with seabirds - above these in a honeycomb of burrows nest most of the May's 25,000+ pairs of puffins, the number one attraction here. The island is increasingly important for breeding common and Arctic terns. It is also one of Britain's foremost eider duck nesting sites. Later in the year, the coast of the island accommodates the biggest grey seal population on the east coast of the UK, one that has grown steadily since the 1980s.



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