The area in and around Boat of Garten is renowned for bird watching opportunities.
The village has its own Loch – Milton Loch. Here you will find a Heronry with about a dozen breeding pairs also Little Grebe, Goldeneye, Mallard, Coots and Moorhen. Woodcock regularly fly over a particular area in the village and just outside the village there are Slavonian Grebe and Wigeon.
At the River Spey you may see Dipper, Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker and, of course, Osprey. Meanwhile, crossing the bridge over the River Spey takes you to the edge of Abernethy Forest and further on to the shores of Loch Garten.
The RSPB website contains useful information for bird watchers and details of all of the RSPB nature reserves, six of which are within easy reach from Boat of Garten and many others can be reached on a day trip.
The Cairngorms play host to Golden Eagle, Ptarmigan, Dotterel, Ring Ouzel and Snow Bunting, whilst Black and Red Grouse can be found on local moorland.
Insh marshes RSPB reserve (20 mins. by car ) has a wide range of wildfowl, waders, Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl.
Loch Ruthven RSPB reserve (30 mins. by car ) boasts Slavonian Grebe, Raven and Black Grouse.
Findhorn Valley (15 mins. by car ) known locally as raptor valley is where Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Raven may been seen. At certain times of the year, Sea Eagles have been sighted in this Valley.
Culbin Sands RSPB reserve,
Findhorn Bay, Moray Firth and Spey Bay ( 35 mins. by car ) have Eider and Long Tailed ducks, Common and Velvet Scoters, Great Northern and Black throated Divers and many other sea birds.
Fairy Glen RSPB reserve and Udale Bay RSPB reserve (60 mins by car ), Loch of Strathbeg RSPB reserve ( 120 mins by car ) & Forsinard RSPB reserve ( 150 mins by car) are all areas that can be visited, making for an excellent day’s outing, whilst at Gruinard Bay (105 mins by car ) Sea Eagles are a regular sight.
Speyside Wildlife runs day trips, tours and all-inclusive wildlife watching holidays.