Base yourself at The Red Gable’s luxurious holiday lets and indulge yourself in some of the best bird watching in NI. Strangford Lough is of international importance for nature conservation and is one of only 3 Marine Nature Reserves in the UK. It affords great birdwatching opportunities at any time of year. Perhaps the most remarkable birdwatching event is the arrival each Autumn of almost the entire world population of light-bellied Brent Geese from High Arctic Canada to Strangford Lough attracted by the eelgrass on the nutrient rich mudflats at the northern end of the Lough. The province’s position on the western fringes of Europe, and the sheer size of many of the flocks that breed or visit, have made it of particular interest the increasing number of birdwatching visitors who are able to combine their special interest with a relaxing holiday in beautiful surroundings all year round.
Wintering waterfowl and waders such as curlew, redshank, greenshank, golden plover, blacktailed godwit dunlin, knot and oystercatcher are common sights on the north of the the Lough and perhaps can be best appreciated from the comfortable hides in the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust’s Reserve and Visitor Centre at Castle Espie. Other good spots are the Floodgates at Newtownards, the Strangford Lough Lookout at Mount Stewart and Horse Island near Kircubbin.