Visit Forvie Sands in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
The Ythan Estuary and Forvie Sands can be found just to the north of the village of Newburgh. There is a small car park to the right immediately after crossing the bridge.
Forvie Sands is host to the largest mainland collection of breeding eider duck in Britain. Up to 4,000 nest from April to June. It also has a significant colony of terns. Visitors must keep to the footpaths and away from the ternery at the south side of the nature reserve between April and August. The Forvie National Nature Reserve on this windy north east coast of Scotland may prove a little too remote and windswept for many people but attracts many different types of birds.
You may spot teal, tufted duck, curlew, redshank, lapwing and shelduck, pochard, saw-billed gooseander, and swans. Greylag geese are familiar winter visitors. You can obtain more information from the Stevenson Forvie Centre (near Collieston), Telephone 01358 751330.
The sandy dunes form convenient and sheltered pockets among the marram grass. Rabbits flourish in this environment and so do birds of prey which enjoy a bountiful and self-replenishing larder. There is the ruin of a small kirk among the dunes which was overwhelmed along with its village by sand driven by a strong gale in the 16th Century. Listen carefully and you may hear echoes of the past.
People take their dogs for walks (on leads) along one of the three waymarked paths which vary from about two to four miles. The superb gently sloping sandy beach and dunes are wonderful for leisure and sun bathing on occasional hot summer days. May tends to be a good month in this part of Scotland. It's not warm enough for sun bathing but the wild flowers are out in force and it's all very pretty.
The village of Newburgh used to be a successful fishing port for salmon and mussels, but today is small, mainly residential, with basic amenities like post office, general store and butchers, plus the Udny Arms Hotel which is recommended for good food. Tel: 01358 789444.
There is also a local diving and watersports school.
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