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.

Map & Directions


What's Nearby

  1. Located at the North of the Archipelago, this rich Machair loch and surrounding wetland…

    0.2 miles away
  2. The ancient church of St Moluag sits in a crofter's field.

    0.66 miles away
  3. St Moluag’s Church is a 12th century Temple, said to have been built by the son of a…

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

    0.68 miles away
  2. Tall, slim stems with pale blue flowers

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

    0.74 miles away
  4. Port Nis (Port of Ness) is in the parish of Ness, the most northerly parish in Lewis.

    0.79 miles away

  5. Photograph © David Wilson

    The boathouse at the harbour in Port of Ness is the scene…

    0.81 miles away
  6. Traigh Shanndaigh (Eoropie beach) is a beautiful sandy beach in the north of Lewis, near…

    0.86 miles away
  7. Low/medium annual flowering plant with White/Mauve flowers

    0.88 miles away
  8. The largest shark seen in the waters around the Outer Hebrides.

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

    0.93 miles away
  10. A small cove accessed on the road to the Butt of Lewis lighthouse.

    1.03 miles away
  11. Adabroc was based on the fictious village "Crobost", where Fin was born and brought up.

    1.19 miles away
  12. A small group of well-used and maintained shielings with a track along a ravine to a…

    1.21 miles away
  13. A low growing plant with small white 2 lobed flowers. Found on improved agricultural land…

    1.38 miles away
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