Wildlife in Dumfries & Galloway

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  • Looking out over a flock of birds at the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
    A flock of birds at the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
  • Two walkers look out from the Bennan Viewpoint on the Galloway Red Kite Trail
    The Bennan Viewpoint on the Galloway Red Kite Trail
  • A close up of a red kite soaring high above Bellymack Hill Farm in Dumfries & Galloway
    A red kite soaring high above Bellymack Hill Farm in Dumfries & Galloway
  • Looking over a swan at the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
    Swan at the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
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Catch sight of curious animals in their naturally beautiful surroundings as you discover the amazing wildlife of Dumfries & Galloway.

With rolling hills, vast forests and sandy shores, Dumfries & Galloway is full of different species so whether you look to the land, sea or sky, you’re sure to encounter a stunning wildlife sight.

In the Galloway Forest Park, look out for the wild goat park, where this ancient breed roams freely, and for the park’s largest land mammal, the red deer. Step onto the special viewing platform on Carrick Forest Drive to spot the area’s rare black grouse and watch out for red squirrels scurrying around the park.

A great place to see more red squirrels is in Dalbeattie Forest, which has a waymarked Red Squirrel Walk.

Look to the seas during a walk around the Mull of Galloway, Scotland’s most southerly point, and you may spot Atlantic grey seals, harbour porpoises, otters and even basking sharks, minke whales and bottlenose dolphins.

Take a walk around the stunning 200 miles of coastline along the Solway Firth in summer, and on the rocky crags of the shore you’ll see nesting guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes. In winter, the nearby natural wetlands attract over 40,000 wildfowl and 83,000 waders.

Also during winter, pay a visit to Caerlaverock Wetland Centre and the nearby Mersehead RSPB Reserve. These wonderful reserves are great places to see the wintering flocks of thousands of barnacle geese and whooper swans - one of Scotland’s great wildlife spectacles.

The skies are full of graceful birds as well - follow the Galloway Kite Trail for an almost certain sighting of the graceful red kite, once extinct in Scotland. Visit the Bellymack Farm feeding station where up to 30 have been seen at once.

In Wigtown you can watch live CCTV coverage of ospreys, back in Dumfries & Galloway after over 100 years. Get an unparalleled view of ospreys sitting on their eggs and bringing up their young.

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