Location and Access
Stevenston is one the Three Towns on the Ayrshire coast and has several good birdwatching locations. The main one is Stevenston Point at NS 270 402. To get there follow the signs for the West Car Park. This is a beach park built on an old industrial area. The Point sticks out slightly into the Firth of Clyde and gives good views of Irvine Bay.
By following Moorpark Road West you get to Auchenharvie Golf Course (NS 264 414) with its two ponds. You can park near the clubhouse. A track skirts the south side of the golf course towards the westerly pond and gives good views. Due care and consideration should be given to the golfers.
Auchenharvie: Park in lay-by, easy viewing from car, large unsurfaced car park at golf course, path across golf course to west pond unsurfaced with potholes.
Easily accessed from nearby National Route 73, Ardrossan to Kilwinning.
Stevenston Point’s location makes it good for watching birds pass up and down the Firth of Clyde, such as Fulmar, Gannet, Manx Shearwater and occasional Skuas, Little Gulls, Storm Petrel, Sandwich Tern. This is also a good spot for checking out ducks with flocks of Eider, Tufted Duck, Common Scoter (and a superb male King Eider in 2003). One or two Long-tailed Duck also spend part of the winter here. In recent years a Whimbrel has over-wintered. It is best looked for in the rocks at the Point (although it can be elusive). The burn mouth is a good gull and wader (Dunlin, Redshank, Turnstone, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, occasional Golden Plover, Knot, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper) roost. A pair of approachable Snow Bunting were on the beach here in early Spring 2001. The rough ground near the beach often have flocks of finches. The grass around the Point is good for Wheatear on passage, and for gulls and Oystercatcher feeding.
The ponds on the golf course have different characters. The one nearest the clubhouse is smaller and edged with reeds. It has breeding Dabchick, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Coot. The larger pond, nearer Saltcoats, is better in winter and is a great place to get close views of Scaup with up to 150 individuals. There are also various hybrids with Tufted Duck to test your ID skills. Mute and occasional Whooper Swans also hang around this pond. Nearby is the meat factory: check out the roof for the recurring Glaucous Gull.