Dumfries and Galloway

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Rural Retreats

Best birding sites


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Applegarthtown Wildlife Sanctuary
Applegarthtown Wildlife Sanctuary
Lying in the heart of the Annan valley, this excellent little reserve is home to the largest artificial Sand Martin colony in the UK.....
Caerlaverock
Caerlaverock
Perhaps the most famous of Caerlavarock's visitors are the wild Barnacle Geese that arrive on the reserve every October from Svalbard in the high Arctic.....
Cairnsmore of Fleet
Cairnsmore of Fleet

Peregrine falcon, red and black grouse, merlin and winter Hen harrier,red deer and feral goats.....


Castle Loch
Castle Loch
Castle Loch is a large freshwater loch that is home to roosting pink footed and greylag geese in the winter. Around Lochmaben Castle there are footpaths, picnic tables and areas to watch birds from.....
Clatteringshaws
Clatteringshaws
Clatteringshaws Loch is a reservoir in the Dumfries and Galloway district of southern Scotland. It was created by damming the Galloway River Dee as part of the Galloway Hydro Electric Scheme.Siskin and Crossbill can be seen around the visitor centre...

The Galloway Kite Trail
The Galloway Kite Trail
The trail is an anticlockwise route of some twenty four miles around Loch Ken (winter) with an additional fourteen miles of forest drive (summer only)......Pic Tony Hisgett Flikr.
Langholm Hills
Langholm Hills
A large expanse of heather and upland grassland surrounding the town of Langholm. A minor road runs from here to Newcastleton.Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Merlin,Buzzard Red & Black grouse all present with Whinchat in summer....
Loch Ken
Loch Ken
A narrow 9 mile long loch flanked by marshland supporting important numbers of both breeding and wintering wildfowl. The RSPB reserve has breeding Willow Tit, Nuthatch and Water rail....
Loch Ryan
Loch Ryan
A large sea loch that is both an important wintering area for divers and grebes, and a breeding site for terns, shelduck and waders....
RSPB Mersehead
RSPB Mersehead
With shimmering Solway sands and the lakeland fells on the far side, and the rolling heather-clad hills on the other,Mersehead is surrounded by breathtaking scenery ....
Mull of Galloway
Mull of Galloway
This RSPB reserve lies at the most southerly point in Scotland with stunning views across the Irish Sea towards Cumbria...
Papy Ha' Bird Trail
Papy Ha' Bird Trail
Starting at the Kirroughtree visitor Centre, the Pary ha' bird trail leads through the Palnure Burn valley floor, taking in a wide variety of habitats.....
Stroan Loch & Raiders Road Forest Drive
Stroan Loch & Raiders Road Forest Drive
In the surrounding forest red and roe deer graze on short vegetation whilst overhead buzzards, sparrowhawk, red kite and raven can be seen with crossbills and siskins feeding on tree cones.......
Threave
Threave
A viewing platform has been set up in order to view the Osprey's at Threave.Situated next to the town of Castle Douglas it is well signposted on the A75 Dumfies to Stranraer road....
West Freugh
West Freugh
Former airfield 5 miles east of Portpatrick.Although it remains private propewrty, there are excellent views over a range of habitats.Grey Partridge, Hen Harrier and other raptors and geese...
Wood of Cree RSPB
Wood of Cree RSPB
The Wood of Cree is the largest ancient oak woodland in the south of Scotland.Resident Tawny Owl and Great Spotted Woodpecker are joined in spring by migrant Pied Flycatcher (Pic Mark Medcalf Flikr )
Wigtown Bay
Wigtown Bay
Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve is the largest LNR in Britain. The estuary, with large areas of salt marsh and mudflats is vitally important for many of the species that live there, especially for salt tolerant plants and wintering wildfowl.....

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