Bridgend Woods (NR3362-NR3563)

These woods are privately owned, but people are welcome to walk through them, though it is preferred if they keep to the main rides. There are several points of access. Bridgend Woods Copyright: Malcolm OgilvieThe best is from the A846 (Bridgend to Ballygrant) road a short distance out of Bridgend, through a gate on the right opposite the entrance to Islay House Square. There is a car park on the opposite side of the road. The track from the gate soon joins a main ride which, if you turn left, follows the River Sorn through the woods for nearly two miles (c. 3 km). Soon after crossing a bridge over the river, fork left and then, further along, left again at a crossroads. This brings you to the Woollen Mill which is well worth a visit to see its 19th century machinery as well as its fine range of tweeds. The old bridge beside the mill is a good place to look for Dippers and Grey Wagtails, both of which breed close by. The main track which you left to visit the Mill continues to the East Lodge and the A846. Alternatively, go straight across at the crossroads and follow the track along the edge of the wood for about half a mile before turning right into the wood onto a ride that will bring you back to the main ride at the bridge over the river. It is also possible to drive to the Woollen Mill, signposted off the Bridgend to Ballygrant road, and to walk the rides and paths from there.

Typical species: Grey Heron, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Woodcock, Tawny Owl, Tree Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, occasional Garden Warbler and Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Siskin.

See also: Main Birdwatching Localities on Islay