Otters and wading birds can be seen and photographed from the garden. The rare and secretive corncrake can also be photographed from the house and garden. Golden Eagles have been seen from the lounge.
A pair of hen harriers hunt locally both over the machair and freshwater loch. Short eared owls can be seen hunting, particularly in the evenings. Great northern divers, eider ducks and red breasted mergansers are regularly seen from the kitchen window.
Over 40 different species of birds have been seen from the house or the garden in the last year. It is only a short stroll from the cottage to the small, unstaffed RSPB Balranald visitor centre, which is the starting point for Ranger led organised walks including corncrake walks in spring.
Our cottage is situated on the west coast of North Uist, where the beaches are fringed with rare green machair. The machair formed here on the west of Uist because of the accumulation of white shell sand blown in from the Atlantic ocean. It has been preserved by the continued use of traditional crofting methods together with the use of organic fertiliser, mainly seaweed. The machair provides an unique habitat for nesting birds such as corncrake, snipe, lapwing, corn bunting, skylark, redshank, oystercachers, dunlin and terns. In summer, the machair is a dense carpet of beautiful wildflowers including orchids and the sweet scent is gorgeous.