Birdwatching in Dumfries & Galloway

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  • A red kite dives in for food at the Bellymack Hill Farm Red Kite Feeding Station in Laurieston, near Castle Douglas
    A red kite at the Bellymack Hill Farm Red Kite Feeding Station near Castle Douglas
  • An osprey soars in flight.
    A soaring osprey

Whether you are an avid 'twitcher' or just enjoy spotting birds as you explore Scotland's great outdoors, you'll soon discover that there are some wonderful opportunities for bird watching in Dumfries & Galloway.

There is a fantastic variety of avian species to be seen at the various RSPB and other managed reserves across the region including magnificent raptors and huge numbers of migrant wildfowl and geese.

Seabirds

For seabirds, head west to the Rhins of Galloway which offers some of the best seawatching in the region and where you'll regularly find gannet, shags, fulmars and various species of divers. The sheer cliffs along the Mull of Galloway host the largest seabird colony in the area and is home to nesting guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and puffins.

Migrant geese

For geese and waders,  you can see them en masse in autumn and winter at places such as WWT Caerlaverock (south of Dumfries), Mersehead (near Kirkbean), West Freugh (east of Portpatrick) and Wigtown Bay (around and opposite the town of the same name). Huge numbers of migrant wading birds and wildfowl come here from autumn until late spring and the area is internationally renowned for its migrant pink-footed, barnacle and greenland geese flocks as well as its whooper swans.

Golden eagles, ospreys and red kites

There are plenty of raptors to be found on inland sites, particularly around the heather hills, ancient woodland and lochs in the beautiful Galloway Forest Park, Britain's largest forst park. Merlins, red kites, hen harriers, barn owl can all be found here along with the majestic golden eagle on the park's breezy uplands.

There are also several breeding pairs of ospreys in Dumfries & Galloway and if you're lucky, you'll witness them fishing on Loch Ken. Even if you're not, during the summer months you can still watch watch CCTV pictures of the breeding ospreys on their nests as they're fed back to the viewing room in Wigtown County Buildings or to WWT Caerlaverock.

Another undoubted highlight for bird enthusiasts is the Galloway Kite Trail. Following a successful re-introduction programme, the circular trail was set up to let people see these amazing birds in their natural habitat. The trail has various stopping off points where the birds are usually spotted while at Bellymack Hill Farm near Laurieston, a hide overlooks a feeding station where the kites are fed daily.

Browse our listings to plan your birdwatching trip in Dumfries & Galloway today.
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30 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. RSPB Wood of Cree Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    For a woodland walk, it's great place to visit. In spring & summer, the wood fills with a carpet of bluebells, other flowers and birdsong while red squirrels are busy in the trees. Visit the otter platform, where you may luckily see one in the river.

  2. Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Glencaple

    Caerlaverock is a National Nature Reserve with great birdwatching and walking opportunities.

  3. Cairnsmore of Fleet

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    Cairnsmore may be one of the wildest places in southwest Scotland but it is surprisingly accessible and is a paradise for walkers.

  4. Isle Adventures Ltd

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Whithorn

    Based at the Isle Of Whithorn We offer charter boat hire for Wildlife Watching & Sea Fishing trips during the summer. Winter - Dumfries & Galloway has a growing reputation as one of the best areas in Scotland for birdwatching tours.

  5. The Spirit of Place

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Thornhill

    Discover the spirit of this place! Guided Tours In Nithsdale, Dumfries & Galloway

  6. Solway Tours

    Type

    Historical Tour

    Gradings

    • Awaiting Grading
    Awaiting Grading

    Dumfries

    Welcome to Solway Tours- Guided Historic Tours specialising in South West Scotland and beyond. We offer full day, half day and multi day tours covering some amazing historic sites and fantastic Scottish scenery. Personalised, bespoke tours.

  7. RSPB Scotland Mersehead nature reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dalbeattie

    Situated on the scenic north shore of the Solway coast, RSPB Scotland Mersehead is an extensive wetland and saltmarsh area and haven for breeding waders, wintering waterfowl and year-round bird and wildlife-watching.

  8. Wildlfe and Nature @ Castle Kennedy Gardens

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Stranraer

    Castle Kennedy Gardens near Stranraer create the perfect habitat for a fascinating range of species who find perfect sanctuary in the 75 acres of woodland, lochs and gardens

  9. WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Glencaple

    This spectacular 1,400 acre wild reserve of the Wildlife & Wetlands Trust is situated on the north Solway Coast.

  10. WWT Caerlaverock, The Granary Coffee Shop

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Glencaple

    Welcome to WWT Caerlaverock, The Granary Coffee Shop

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