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Starting and finishing at the car park at the community hall in Loch Ranza NR935504, this walk takes you through a variety of habitats where you should see a range of birdlife in a couple of hours. The walk initially on the road finishes up on a rough track, parts are up hill and parts can be slippy after rain or in freezing conditions. Appropriate footwear should be worn.
The raised car park gives good views over Loch Ranza and its castle. Heading east along the road towards the youth hostel, scan the loch for sea ducks like Eiders, Red-breasted Merganser and occasional Goosander. Little Grebe are also reported here in the winter.
Where the little river enters the loch is a good area for Dipper and the shore in this corner is a favourite area for shore birds like Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover and Redshank as well Grey Heron from the nearby herony.
Continue along the road until you get the sign post to Newton then take the road on your left passed the surgery. The road crosses the little river which is worth checking particularly for Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher in the winter.
On your right is the golf course enjoyed by among others Hooded Crows, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails as well as Red Deer! The hedgerows are worth checking for finches, thrushes and tits.
At the end of the road turn right up the Narachan track. This is a gradual incline the beginning of much longer walk over the ridge, down to Laggan and onto Sannox but for this walk take your time and make ample use of the areas that provide good views over Lochranza, its surrounding mountains and eventually you will be looking up Glen Chalmadale.
Adjacent to the track particularly at the beginning in the breeding season there are singing warblers including Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap. As you go higher Cuckoo, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Wheatear and a very occasional Ring Ouzel feature.
Also keep your eyes on the hills and on the skyline. There are a wide range of raptors in the area including Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Hen Harrier and Golden Eagle. This is one of the best areas on the island for seeing soaring Golden Eagles.
At the end of your walk, retrace your steps to Lochranza.