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Sunshine, a nice walk and a lot of friendly walkers. What more can you wish for on your birthday? After the early birthday present two days earlier and the comparably bad weather the previous day it had cleared up for my birthday. The first walk of the day would take us around the RSPB Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve. We met at the visitor centre and soon set off into the hills above Gruinart.
Picture of the visitor centre Picture of walkers on the reserve
Soon we were able to spot various animals, unfortunately most of them too far away to take any pictures (especially since I had forgotten my tele lens). The best I was able to capture was of the deer running away from us:
Picture of walkers looking and one pointing Picture of a deer running away
Picture of two walkers near Loch Gruinart Picture of a pipe used to control the water levelsPast Mill Cottage and Gruinart Farm we made our way to Loch Gruinart.

Behind the sea wall we could see the area flooded for waders and other birds. A quite interesting method to control the water level on the right: The pipe can be lifted or lowered with the rope, thereby controlling the overflow and the water level.

Picture of walkers walking along the sea wall Picture of people inside the visitor centre drinking tea
Picture of my mother and me with our WalkIslay hats We continued along the sea wall towards Gruinart, seeing various versions of the flood gates on the way. After a very enjoyable walk we returned to the visitor centre where we had lunch. Someone also remembered that this was my real birthday and the whole group sang Happy Birthday, again a thank you to all who were there and now read this travelogue.

With this walk we had also earned our WalkIslay hats, proudly presented in the picture left. I'm sure they'll keep us warm on future walks!

The afternoon was spent relaxing, getting ready for the dusk walk planned for the evening...

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