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. Carstramon Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Gatehouse-of-Fleet

    This ancient deciduous woodland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a treasure trove of natural wonders.

  2. Gradings

    Kippford

    Explore the quiet roads, and beautiful scenery of Scotland in a stylish 1960's convertible!

  3. Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre & Café

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    New Galloway

    Enjoy panoramic views of the loch and hills from the café or sit back for a spectacular celestial show after dark

  4. Senwick Falconry

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Kirkcudbright

    Senwick Falconry offers tailored made Hawk Walks and Falconry experience days flying Hawks ,Owls and Falcons.

  5. 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.

  6. WWT Caerlaverock, The Granary Coffee Shop

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Glencaple

    Welcome to WWT Caerlaverock, The Granary Coffee Shop

  7. Glentrool Visitor Centre & Café

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    Explore the waymarked trails, cycle routes and picnic areas by bike amidst the highest hills of South Scotland.

  8. Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    One of the few water-powered sawmills in Scotland - and possibly the only one still in working condition - the Kirkdale sawmill is driven by an overshot 19th century water-wheel.

  9. Summerhill

    Type

    Cycling Tour

    Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    Welcome to Summerhill

  10. 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.

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