Glasgow City

Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba ©David Mason Website
Birding Glasgow

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and the third largest in the United Kingdom. Historically part of Lanarkshire, it is now one of the 32 Council Areas of Scotland. It s located in the west of the central belt of Scotland on the banks of the River Clyde. Its second most important river is the Kelvin. There are open spaces,

parks and gardens and even several nature reserves as Glasgow has many ‘green corridors’ into the city.Even within the Glasgow City Boundary there are good birding sites including Hogganfield Loch, which is superb for watching wildfowl and gulls as well as holding Jack Snipe in winter. The other parks in Glasgow are good for commoner woodland birds as well as Kingfishers and Dippers on the River Kelvin, which runs through Kelvingrove Park and the Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

Top Sites
  • Hogganfield Park Local Nature Reserve

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    The park is situated off the A80 Cumbernauld Road (off Junction 12 of the M8) on the north-east side of Glasgow. The loch is superb in winter for wildfowl including Whooper Swan, Goosander, Goldeneye, Pochard, Ruddy Ducks and occasionally Smew (close viewing can be expected from most of the species present); it also has a gull roost, which regularly produces Iceland and Glaucous Gulls. The recently created pool at the east end of the park holds Jack Snipe as well as Common Snipe from late autumn through the winter. In spring both Slavonian and Black-necked Grebe have been recorded as well as the usual breeding Little and Great Crested Grebes, the park also has breeding Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting as well as being a good place to watch feeding Hirundines and Swifts (particularly during bad weather).
  • Millichen Flood: including East & West Millichen Farms

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    Millichen Flood is a favourite haunt of mine when looking for gulls in winter. They gather in the floods to bath and drink after feeding on the nearby Summerston Landfill site. Iceland and Glaucous Gull are regularly seen amongst the Herring, Common, Black-headed, Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, which occur in varying numbers from day to day. The fields also attract wintering Canada Geese and Greylags with occasional Barnacle, Pink-footed Greenland White-fronted and Bean Geese. The floods are also used in autumn (and in a lesser degree in spring) by migrating waders, which have included Pectoral, Wood, Green & Curlew Sandpipers as well as Knot, Turnstone and Little Stint although Dunlin, Greenshank, Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit are the most regular waders seen on passage. Raptors also use the area in autumn/winter including Peregrine, Merlin and occasional Hen Harrier. The area also has breeding Lapwing, Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer and the now very scarce (in the local area at least) Tree Sparrow.
County Recorder
Useful Reading

  • Where to Watch Birds in Scotland

    | By Mike Madders & Julia Welstead | Christopher Helm | 2002 | Paperback | 297 pages, b/w illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9780713656930 Buy this book from
  • Friends of Glasgow's Local Nature Reserves

    The Group was established following the Urban Biodiversity Conference held at Glasgow University on 30-31 October 2010. At the Conference, 16 people showed an interest in setting up a ‘Friends of Glasgow’s Local Nature Reserves’ and since then, others, having learned of the proposed Group, have come forward
  • RSPB Glasgow Local Group

    Established in 1972, the group aims is to raise awareness about birds and wildlife in the Glasgow area, whilst also raising funds for local and national RSPB projects. Our monthly talks (September to April) and field trips (September to June) allow you to find out about birds and wildlife in Britain and around the world.
  • SOC Central Scotland Branch

    Meetings take place in Bridge of Allan, on the doorstep of the University of Stirling and students are always very welcome to attend. The Allan Centre, Fountain Road, Bridge of Allan, FK9 4AT - Neil Bielby - 01786 823 830
  • Scottish Wildlife Trust Glasgow

    We meet regularly at Hyndland Secondary School. Programme of talks starting at 7.30pm from October-April. Walks programme throughout the year.

Abbreviations Key

  • LNR Bishop Loch

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    The Reserve is located in north east Glasgow on the edge of Easterhouse. It was Glasgow’s first LNR, being designated in 1995. Despite its name, the LNR boundary does not actually include Bishop Loch. The Reserve is made up of woodland, grassland and the marsh that adjoins the loch on its south western boundary.
  • LNR Cardowan Moss

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    Cardowan Moss lies immediately east of Hogganfield Park and can be accessed on foot with entrances at Avenue End Road, Mossvale Road and Darnaway Avenue in Garthamlock. Its network of footpaths take you through woodland via ponds and on to a raised bog.
  • LNR Cathkin Braes

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    Being 148.6 hectares in size, it is now the largest of the LNRs in the City and consists of a large woodland called Big Wood, along the northern half of the LNR, and a species rich grassland with some pockets of heath and marsh, to the south.
  • LNR Commonhead Moss

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    It is the largest area of degraded raised bog remaining in Glasgow. The drier edges of the bog are fringed by birch woodland and wet heath habitat.
  • LNR Dams to Darnley Country Park

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    The country park covers over 1350 acres of greenspace around the East Renfrewshire and Glasgow City boundary, encompassing the green belt separating Barrhead, Darnley and Newton Mearns. The country park is especially important for its wildlife. The reservoirs, all of which are Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), are home to a range of different wild birds all year round, whilst the country park also attracts many winter visitors. A wide range of birds such as Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Redwing and Fieldfare can be spotted if you visit on a regular basis.
  • LNR Dawsholm Park

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    The Park is located approximately 3 kilometres north west of the City Centre and is bounded by the River Kelvin, an active railway line, Bearsden Road and Dalsholm Road. The Park consists mostly of woodland and is principally important for the birdlife the woodland habitat supports. The River Kelvin runs along the northern boundary and the southern boundary consists of three ‘fields’ managed for their grassland and hawthorn scrub.
  • LNR Garscadden Wood

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    This broadleaved woodland, with many ancient Oaks, is located in Drumchapel and may be accessed from Peel Glen Road, Drummore Road, Ladyloan Avenue and Monymusk Place. It is home to the Purple Hairstreak butterfly and a host of common woodland birds as well as Roe Deer and the Red Fox.
  • LNR Hamiltonhill Claypits

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    The Claypits, which is the smallest LNR in the City being around 6.7 hectares, was declared a Local Nature Reserve in May 2016 .
  • LNR Hogganfield Park

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    Hogganfield Park is located in the northeast of Glasgow, some five kilometres from Glasgow city centre. The park is bounded, to the northwest, by Cumbernauld Road (A80), to the east, by Avenue End Road (B7053) and to the south, by Lethamhill Golf Course. The main attraction of the park is Hogganfield Loch, a large shallow loch with a wooded island. Hogganfield Park is excellent for birdwatching or simply walking.
  • LNR Linn Park

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    Linn Park was declared Glasgow’s 8th Local Nature Reserve on 4th July 2012. It is characterised by its mature semi-natural woods, mixed plantations and parkland trees, with associated wildflower meadows and amenity grasslands in an historical estate setting.
  • LNR Malls Mire

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    It is a small site (approx 7ha), just over half of which consists of woodland habitat, the rest being mainly neutral grassland and marsh with a small pond. The majority of the woodland habitat is a plantation of predominantly broadleaf trees, the planting having been undertaken in 1993.
  • LNR Robroyston Park

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    Much of the Park was designated as a LNR in 2006. Since then Glasgow City Council has extended the LNR on two occasions, most recently in May 2016, and the whole Park, some 43.3 hectares, is now a LNR with grasslands, wetlands and woodland. Breeding birds include Moorhen, Grasshopper Warbler and Willow Warbler. Buzzards are regularly seen and bird records for September 2017 include Kingfisher and Meadow Pipit.
  • SWT Cathkin Marsh

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    Cathkin Marsh is a beautiful area of fen and marshy grassland. It is home to many birds, including snipe, water rail and reed bunting which can be viewed from the hide and boardwalk. Butterflies and dragonflies can be seen and there are attractive displays of wildflowers during the summer.
  • SWT Possil Marsh Wildlife Reserve

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    Possil Marsh has a shallow freshwater loch surrounded by marsh, swamp and fen, with areas of willow scrub and grassland. The fen and swamp areas support locally rare plants and the reserve is also an important staging post during the spring and autumn migration for warblers and waterfowl.
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • Birds in Clyde

    Clyde Branch of the SOC
    Whether you are new to birdwatching, an experienced birder, or somewhere in between, the purpose of this website is to get you involved and further your enjoyment of Scotland's wonderful birdlife.
  • Jim Coyle - Glasgow's Wilds Better

    The birds and other wildlife to be found in and around Glasgow (and sometimes further afield). All photographs on this blog are copyright Jim Coyle.

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