RSPB Loch Ruthven, B851, Croachy, Inverness IV2 6UA

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RSPB Scotland Loch Ruthven Nature Reserve

This remote and tranquil loch is located at the start of the NC500 and it is pretty as a picture with its surrounding birch woodlands and heather-clad hills. Designated as a Special Protected Area (SPA), RAMSAR and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Loch Ruthven is a fantastic place to take a break and experience some of Scotland’s wild wonders. The water here is fringed with sedge beds, making it one of the best places in the UK to see breeding Slavonian grebes and black-throated divers. As well as an array of wildlife, there is the remains of a crannog just off the reserve, which is sometimes visible when the loch waters are low.

What will you see:

Our star visitors at Loch Ruthven during spring are the rare Slavonian grebe. With a beautiful red and golden plumage and a striking ruby red eye, the grebe shine like jewels on the loch in the spring sunshine. Other spring highlights include: black-throated diver, red-throated diver, osprey and curlew. In the autumn and winter, tufted ducks, teal and greylag geese may be seen on the loch.

Images by: Andy Hay, Chris Gomersall (

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