Birdwatcher’s paradise

Balgray Reservoir, to the south of Auchenback in Barrhead, is the largest body of water in the country park. It is one of the best inland ornithological sites in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde. It has over 180 recorded species, of which at least 45 are known to have bred or have been suspected of breeding. Of the breeding species which use the water edges and the reservoir’s island, there are many of biodiversity interest, including lapwing, ringed plover, redshank, common sandpiper and common gull.

The grassland and bushes around the reservoir’s edges hold good populations of reed bunting and grasshopper warbler, both of which are of biodiversity interest. The reed bunting is a priority species within the Glasgow LBAP.

Along with Waulkmill Glen Reservoir, Balgray Reservoir holds the largest population of breeding great crested grebes (10-12 pairs) within Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

In the spring and autumn Balgray Reservoir, especially if managed to produce lower water levels, is a magnet for migrants, including Icelandic black-tailed godwits and whooper swans, who use it as a stop-over to rest and refuel before their long journeys north or south.

In late summer one of the largest moulting flocks of tufted ducks (up to 300+) in the Clyde recording area also builds up on the reservoir.

Balgray Reservoir offers great opportunities for all levels of ornithologist, from beginner to expert. Why not submit your wildlife sightings from Balgray Reservoir or from anywhere within the country park?

The countryside rangers run a series of events throughout the country park including some bird watching events. For more information, or a full list of events, why not visit the what’s on section or contact the countryside rangers.