The smew is a small compact diving duck with a distinctive cracked-ice marking and delicate bill with serrated edges to hold fish. It is an occasional winter visitor to Arran, with the last sighting being near Pirnmill. They nest in tree holes and old woodpecker nests. It is a shy bird and flushes easily when disturbed. As well as fish they will eat insects and their larvae.

4.5cm x 8cm



The beautiful iridescent plumage of the kingfisher makes it one of our most colourful and instantly recognisable birds; despite this it is rarely seen due to its shy nature. The Kingfisher is a small bright blue and orange bird with large head, stubby tail, short legs and a long pointed bill, which fly low over slow moving or still water, often perching on overhanging branches. A resident on Arran, but there is no confirmed breeding, with reported sightings on Fisherman's Walk in Brodick, Torberg and Cordon. They dive to feed on fish and aquatic insects and usually nest in holes dug in riverbanks or ditches with a small chamber at the end of a tunnel.

6cm x 10cm



The goosander is a large, slender diving duck with a streamlined body. It is the largest of the mergansers or ‘sawbills’, a group of fish-eating ducks with long, narrow, serrated beaks that are ideally adapted for grasping slippery prey. The beak is bright red-orange with a black tip, and has a slight hook at the end. It breeds along large, clear rivers and lakes bordered by forest. In addition to waters containing plenty of fish, it also requires surrounding forests with mature trees that are suitable for nesting. It generally tends to avoid salt water.

6.5cm x 10.5cm



A medium sized diving duck with a circular white patch in front of its yellow eye. It is a winter visitor to Arran with sightings from November to March. Sightings of groups have been at Sannox Bay, Cordon, Lochranza and Clauchlands. Feeding during the day on a wide range of invertebrates, the goldeneye captures its prey on or near to the sea or river bed after a short dive with the wings closed and tail spread. Diving for over 30 seconds to depths of four metres, it forages amongst submerged vegetation and overturns small rocks and stones.

4cm x 9cm



A medium-sized plover with a distinctive gold and black summer plumage. In winter the black is replaced by buff and white. They typically stand upright and run in short bursts. In winter they form large flocks which fly in fairly tight formation with rapid, twinkling wing beats. They are commonly seen on Machrie shore from August through till April, with some successful breeding territories in the north west moorland.

6cm x 10cm



An elegant water bird with ornate head plumes, they are an occasional winter visitor and passing migrant to our shores. They are excellent swimmers and divers who pursue their prey underwater, feeding mainly on fish but also on crustaceans and small frogs.

6.5cm x 10cm



Common in the wetlands of South Australia. They are popular as an ornamental bird in Britain and Western Europe but is not thought to be self-sustaining so are not on the official British Bird list. That said, one did live around the Arran shores near Brodick for a while.

6.5cm x 9.5cm



A distinctively-patterned black and white wader with a long up-curved beak. It is the emblem of the RSPB and symbolises the bird protection movement in the UK more than any other species. Its return in the 1940s and subsequent increase in numbers represents one of the most successful conservation and protection projects.

Size: 7.5cm x 8.5cm


Studio 4, Lamlash,
Isle of Arran, KA27 8LA

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designed by EYESPACE DIGITAL on the Isle of Arran