Gruinart Flats are located on the Hebridean island of Islay on the west coast of Scotland. The SPA comprises a diverse array of coastal habitats typical of western Scotland. The main features are a sheltered estuarine and intertidal sea loch (holding sand- and mud-flats as well as an extensive saltmarsh and sand dunes) surrounded by pastoral farmland and backed by semi-natural upland habitats (including ombrogenous peatlands). The grass fields of the farmland support large wintering goose populations which roost at night on the saltmarsh, whilst the intertidal areas support a diverse assemblage of wintering waterbirds important in a regional context. The entire population of the Greenland race of Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis arrives at the site in early autumn before dispersing to other wintering areas in Ireland and western Scotland.