Loch Stiapabhat

Ness, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, HS2 0XB

Type:Nature Centres & Reserves

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Loch Stiapabhat was declared a Local Nature Reserve in July 2005, a first for the Western Isles. There is a bird hide open to the public at any time.

Loch Stiapabhat is the largest eutrophic loch in Lewis and is situated on the main flyway from and to the Arctic. It therefore, attracts a great variety of migrant, and vagrant, bird species from both the Old and New Worlds. It is the first fresh water found by birds migrating from Iceland and Greenland in autumn, for washing, drinking & feeding, and the last for those returning in spring. None of the Outer Hebridean lochs has had a wider range of rarities recorded or possesses such a diversity of common water birds that can be so easily observed. These include Whooper Swan, Teal, Wigeon and Pink-Footed Geese. It also supports many feeding and nesting birds, including those of international importance such as Dunlin, Redshank, Golden Plover and Lapwing.

Historically it is said that the area North of the loch was once an island, formed after the ice age when sea levels rose. When the ice retreated, and the land rose. As it did, the sea receded and the loch was created. Its name is said to mean ‘the loch of immersing or soaking’ and is thought to relate to the practice of soaking flax prior to its spinning.

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What's Nearby

  1. The ancient church of St Moluag sits in a crofter's field.

    0.66 miles away
  2. Small, working studio gallery above the beach and harbour at Port of Ness on the Isle of…

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  3. Dùn Èistean is traditionally known as the stronghold of the Clan Morrison. Archaeological…

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  1. Port Nis (Port of Ness) is in the parish of Ness, the most northerly parish in Lewis.

    0.79 miles away
  2. Based in Ness on the Isle of Lewis, Taigh Dhonnchaidh offers musical and cultural…

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  3. Small sheltered cove near the Butt lighthouse with steep cliffs on either side and golden…

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  4. A small group of well-used and maintained shielings with a track along a ravine to a…

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  5. Rubha Robhais (Butt of Lewis) is the most northerly tip of the Isle of Lewis.

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  6. Comunn Eachdraidh Nis is a visitor centre situated in North Dell on the main A857. Comunn…

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  7. Dunasbroc

    This is a small, steep-sided, conical stack situated close to shore near Aird Dell. It is…

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  8. Dùn Othail

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  9. The Bridge was built - and there was meant to be a road that would ling Tolsta to…

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  10. Caisteal a' Mhorair (the Castle of the Nobleman) is one of the few probably medieval…

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  11. Gress Lodge Corn Mill

    Corn mill, Gress, 19th and early 20th century. The roofless ruin of a complex and…

    13.94 miles away
  12. Barvas Beach and Machair

    A good surfing beach with good access and pleasant walks.

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  13. Memorial erected to signify the land raid in Gress

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