Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Dumfries and Galloway October 2015

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, other wildlife projects have kept keyboard time to a minimum. The appalling weather of late now means outdoor activities are limited so I have time to catch up a bit!

Back in October last year we had a family holiday in the beautiful area that comprises Dumfries and Galloway in south west Scotland. We were not blessed with bright skies for the large part but we were out everyday and had some memorable sightings before meeting up with the younger ones for joyous, fun filled family meals.

The visit was to RSPB Mersehead, a good reserve with plentiful and varied sightings, our first was a teal.

Then a pintail

The area is noted for the large flocks of barnacle geese which over winter before heading back to northern climes.

Yellowhammers can be spotted around the visitor centre

Another reserve at Loch Ken Dee Marshes and a coal tit

A wren had become trapped in one of the hides and despite us opening every door and window it continued to fly in a panicky fashion eventually collided with a wall and stunning itself. Cupping it in my hands I was able to provide it with some necessary warmth and also darkness which calmed it. After a couple of minutes it was fine again and after I placed it by the path it flew to the hide roof and posed for a photograph as if to say thanks!

Nuthatch visited the feeders

Bullfinch in the car park

There is a red kite feeding station in the area and car journeys or walks without sighting them were rare.

Corsewall Point is at the north western tip of the peninsula and offers views out to the open ocean where migratory birds often pass closeby.

A gannet flew by...

A red throated diver came in fairly near to our rocky watchpoint

Rock pipits were around us

And a guillemot bobbed and dived in the lively water...

The lighthouse

We tried a few beach walks when the weather allowed, redshanks are fairly easy to spot.

Common gull


and another redshank
More red kites

Small flocks of redpoll were fairly common in the area

Some scenic drives were enjoyed on the damper days, the autumn colours on the hills were superb.

A buzzard having a scan round from the vantage point of a tree top...

We went back to Mersehead as there were reports of a male hen harrier being seen, this beautiful bird is really hard to see in England mainly due to persecution on the grouse moors. I spotted it as it flew in over some reedbeds.

The contrasting effects that water can create, each beautiful.

The last wildlife activity was a group outing to a small nature reserve where we hoped to see red squirrels, success!

With a bonus of a great spotted woodpecker!

An excellent week really, the light wasn't great but the sightings were and quality time with our family was wonderful.

Once again many thanks to all who read and if you do add a comment please do not forget they come to me first for moderation.