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Blackwaterfoot to Drumadoon Walk

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Starting in the middle of Blackwaterfoot this walk takes you through a variety of habitats in the Shiskine Valley where you should see a range of wildlife in a couple of hours. The walk is not strenuous but appropriate footwear should be worn.

First of all check the shore behind the hotel. Depending on the tide, Atlantic Grey seals are often hauled out on the rocks. Otters are regularly seen. Crossing the bridge over the river pause to look for Mute Swans, Dipper and Grey Wagtail. Walking along the road towards the golf course birds like Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover and out to sea Eiders and Gannet can be seen on the shore.

At the golf course obey all signs. Walk the track that runs parallel to the shore. The scrub between the track and the shore is a good area for Stonechat and Dunnock. On the fairway are often Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Linnet. At the end of the track before turning left onto the beach, check the area of reeds, particularly in the spring and summe, for other small birds like Reed Bunting and Whitethroat.

On the sandy shore there are often at least three types of gull - Herring Gull, Common Gull and Great Black Backed Gull. Walk along to Drumadoon Point. Cormorant and the smaller Shag are often at the point and at high tide many shore birds congregate here. There are convenient bench seats here to sit and reflect before continuing round towards Drumadoon Cliff.

Rock Pipits often come round the benches and depending on the time of year all three divers - Great Northern, Red-throated and Black-throated can be seen. Do not overlook the plants in this area. On the rocks are Thrift and many species of lichen. Ragged Robin in season covers the area between the path and the shore and Burnet Rose is on the fringes of the golf course.

Drumadoon Cliff is a breeding area for Fulmar, Jackdaw and Kestrel. In the bay, as well as divers, Red-breasted Merganser and Black Guillemot can be enjoyed. Going onto the golf course keep to the left of the fairway under the banking and walk until you reach the track. The farmed land on your left is a good area in the autumn for Linnet, Twite and Skylark. By the farm track check the field edges for wild flowers. Buzzard and occasionally Hen Harrier can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The banking above the tennis course is the home of a number of song birds and Yellowhammer used to be regular. From the golf course car park retrace your route back to the centre of the village.

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