With over 200 miles of coastline, there are some fantastic opportunities for bird watching in Dumfries and Galloway throughout the year. These include stunning walks which also offer opportunities to observe other wildlife inland and along the Solway coast. There are many species of birds of prey in Dumfries and Galloway, including buzzards, peregrines, red kites, sparrow hawks and we are absolutely delighted that we have ospreys nesting in three locations in the region. Anne and Jock are members of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and would be happy to advise you about your trip.
Caerlaverock Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is a superb reserve with many hides and an observatory where you can view some of the best wildfowl in Britain. Highlights are large numbers of pink-footed and barnacle geese arriving to winter and around 300 whooper swans which also make the reserve their winter home. Wigeon, teal, mallard, pintail, shoveler and gadwill can also be seen. Some of the other highlights of the reserve are ospreys hunting for fish in the summer, watching badgers feeding and observing and dawn flights where you can view wild geese flying in against the dawn sky.
At Mersehead Nature Reserve you can stroll through rich wetlands to a wild shoreline. Discover the unspoilt scenery by strolling along the nature trails and use the viewing hides to explore at your own pace. Spring is particularly magical with the wet meadows full of lapwings, skylarks, butterflies and wild flowers and the occasional roe deer. In autumn the arrival of thousands of barnacle and pink-footed geese for the winter is a truly amazing spectacular.
The Galloway Red Kite Trail is another superb bird watching opportunity. The Kite Trail is located around beautiful Loch Ken and promotes red kites, recently re-established in Kirkcudbrightshire. There is a feeding station near Laurieston where many red kites can be seen daily in the winter months. Generally some kites can be seen every day.
Galloway Forest Park has over 300 square miles of forest. It has stunning scenery from coast to mountain, forest to tranquil lochs, wildlife which includes red deer, wildfowl, red squirrels, otter and black grouse. The forest has been named as Britain’s first ‘Dark Skies Park’ where, because of lack of pollution, it is almost totally dark and is a wonderful opprtunity for star gazing.
Hospitality Plus Scotland would be happy to advise you on your bird watching trip to Dumfries and Galloway.