Nigg Bay is a vast, wild area of mudflat, saltmarsh and wet grassland on the Cromarty Firth, north of Inverness. With years of careful management, the reserve now attracts graceful Pintails, Pink-footed Geese, wintering Wigeons, feisty Lapwings and much more.
The reserve is spectacular from October, as huge numbers of Pink-footed Geese and wintering ducks arrive to spend the winter in the shelter of the Cromary Firth. At the mid-winter peak, more than 10,000 birds stop to feed and shelter. Luckily, there's plenty of bay to go around. To experience the sight and sound of thousands of wintering Wildfowl, it's best to visit 2-3 hours before or after the high tide when the ducks, waders and geese are closest to the hide.
During the spring and summer, Northern Marsh-orchids pop out among the grass, and Water Smartweed grows in the scrape. Grazing the grassland creates a mix of short open grass and tall tussocky areas, excellent conditions for Lapwing, Snipe and Redshank.
Our brilliant volunteers help us rotationally coppice the gorse bushes to create an open habitat for the waders.