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Sandwich Tern Hide


The new Sandwich Tern Hide is located in Caithness in Scotland and believed to be one of only two inland breeding grounds in the UK. The site is home to about 20 pairs of Sandwich Terns as well as a colony of Arctic Terns all photographable from a water side hide. The pool has many species of breeding ducks and waders like Shoveler, Godwits, Lapwing and Redshank. Arctic Skua are regular raiders during the breeding season .we can accommodate up to 3 people; This hide is sunk into the ground so eye level is just a foot or so above water depending on time of year and rainfall. Access is down three steps and the facilities include:  three opening windows on each of three sides featuring one-way glass which can be opened for cleaning; chairs and cushions.

The main breeding season and peak migration opening times run from 16th April to 30th July inc.  Each hire is available from pre-dawn to after dusk.  Ideally every client will be met and escorted to their hide of choice.  Both hides will be only available by appointment and access will be by combination lock on gates so entry to hides will always be possible.  The security number (which will be regularly updated) of each hide will be available on booking.



This exciting new facility will focus on Sandwich terns from their arrival in April through spectacular roost activity and breeding cycle til their departure in July.

Waders and a range of wildfowl will also feature: from early April Lapwings, Oystercatchers and Redshanks; then Black-tailed godwits and Whimbrels from mid-April into May.   The breeding season offers enormous potential for display, territorial and other breeding activity images.

Shovelers feature strongly in May and June with up to four pairs regularly displaying and fighting.  Water level action at close quarters can be impressive.

At St. John’s Pool the possibility of scarce and rare species is always there and most of them have been within 5m of ‘Wader hide’!!  Check out the Checklist for what could be right in front of you next spring!

We look forward to meeting you and hope the information below is useful in helping you plan your trip.  Please contact via email on the site if you have any queries before booking .


The above chart indicates some of the species most likely to be seen on any given day as highlighted in dark pink; lighter shade = fewer birds and/or less chance of good photographic opportunities but birds still potentially around. 


NB  Black-out curtains are fitted and are essential to prevent birds seeing inside the hides. Therefore photography is only possible in one direction at a time.


Hide location ; Caithness Scotland 


Hide times April  - June 

Price ; £125

bookings at uk 


Click here to book