Splendid Spey Bay Reserve
Most know Spey Bay Reserve as being a great place to go for walks – a reputation that is well deserved since there are several excellent short and long walks within the confines of the reserve. However, the Spey Bay Reserve is also home to the largest area of coastal shingle in Scotland as well as several different bird, insect and plant species. During spring and summer, flowers bloom and butterflies flutter, creating an utterly enchanting atmosphere. During the winter months sea ducks and divers become the paramount feature in the reserve and many a bird-watcher will spend hours marveling at these creatures.
The Spey Bay Reserve enjoys a good mixture of shingle beach, river estuary and young woodland. This habitat diversity provides plentiful accommodation for the myriads of insects and birds which call the Spey Bay Reserve home. During the summer months, you will find a number of Osprey making use of the estuary as a favorite feeding ground. You will also find widgeon, golden eye, mute swan and teal flocking to this part of the reserve at about the same time. The more marshy parts of the reserve become home to redshank as well as arctic and common terns. Not far from the reserve’s shoreline you will be able to spot beautiful sea creatures such as gray seals and bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the waves.
There are two short walks available within the park. The first is 3.6 kilometers and it will take you from the Moray Firth Wildlife Center along the river, through the woods and back again. The second is 3.3 kilometers in length and it starts at the Lein car park and picks its way down to the sea side where you can see the wonderful shingle beach for yourself before turning around and heading back to the car park. Both trails are circular and feature different aspects of the park. If you are a bit fitter you might consider the longer trail which is a combination of the two shorter trails. One would start at the Moray Firth Wildlife Center, travel along the river and then head to the bridge from where they can make their way to the road for the ‘birdwatcher’s corner’ car park. From here, a walk through the salt marshes and along the river mouth will have you arrive at the Lein.
Visitors to Spey Bay Reserve are certain to have a fantastic experience.