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The Loch is close to the sea and this has meant that it is used by many species of coastal bird to nest in the protected area called St John's Pool where artificial islands and mounds of sand have been created to give the ideal nesting location for terns and other birds. The pool area has been developed over several years and is protected from foxes and otters using a metal security fence.

St John's Pool, Caithness

Terns nesting at St John's Pool

There are several bird hides available, the ones nearest the pool are available for hiring out and give a perfect position for avid wildlife photographers. The main hide is open all year round to the visiting public, although donations can be given it is free to visit and use this excellent hide that has clear views over the pools and nesting areas. Inside this large public hide are information leaflets and photographs of the birds, along with species of moths, butterflies and bees that have been recorded at the nature reserve. The best time to visit is in the nesting season, April and May, although you will find birds within the reserve at all times of the year.

Terns nesting at St John's Pool, Caithness



St John's Loch Trout Fishing in Caithness

Boats at St John's Loch

St John's Loch is a loch with an excellent reputation for brown trout fishing. The St John's Loch Improvement Association manages the fishing on the loch and stocking of the loch from their own hatchery, ensuring the continuing health of the fish stock in the loch. The loch is also a natural haven for wildlife with many species of birds feeding and nesting around the loch.

St John's Loch

St John's Loch is one of the best lochs for brown trout in Caithness. Visitors can get permits for trout fishing on the loch, which is fly only, as well as the hire of a boat. This is fly only loch similar to many of the other Caithness lochs except for Loch Calder. For information on permits / boats see St John's Loch Association website. The Dounreay Fly Fishing Association have a number of boats on the loch.

Birds feeding at St John's Loch

Birds feeding along the edge of the loch.

St John's Pool Nature Reserve

St John's Pool

Several hides are available to hire if you are interested in getting close as possible to the nesting birds at the reserve. St John's Pool is just off St John's Loch which is well known for trout fishing. Dunnet Bay is a short distance where many of the birds, especially terns, can be seen feeding in their hundreds, in the spring and early summer.

St John's Pool nature reserve and the bird hides set around the reserve.

St John's Pool with several species of birds.

The pool is artificial and does dry out during dry spring and summer months, although there is always water at some points for the ducks. The St John's Loch has swans and other birds all year round.

Tern

The pool is artificial and does dry out during dry spring and summer months, although there is always water at some points for the ducks. The St John's Loch has swans and other birds all year round.

Birds can be seen all summer

Ducks at St John's Pool

While the terns and other nesting birds leave after the young are old enough you will always find visiting birds including ducks if you visit during the summer months.

St John's Loch Location Map

St Johns Loch location map

St John's Loch and St John's Pool map location.