DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY (Dumfries), (S)
National Grid NX 545561 54o53´/03o40´ N/A ha 6m, mainly grazing marsh (merse) and fields with reedbeds, scrub and hedges with a little woodland
Anytime, winter especially (several visits 2007)
Birding Site Guide
The reserve is reached via Dumfries, from which the A75 and A710 are followed (along the Heritage Coast signed route) to the left turn for the signed RSPB reserve. Or if coming from the nearby Caerlaverock reserve, (see BSG write-up) following the more coastal B725. The reserve is about 5 miles past the large even domed Criffel Hill (1868m). The reserve is especially noted for its wintering Barnacle Geese, as well as huge numbers of ducks. These include Teal, Pintail, Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard and Shelduck. There are waders such as Common Snipe and Common Redshank and large numbers of finches and sparrows. Check the sparrows carefully there are some Tree Sparrows about and Bullfinch are easily seen. All these birds and rabbits attract the attention of birds of prey such as Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Peregrine. Taverner’s Canada Goose has been annual in recent winters.
Also in this area there is a Red Kite feeding area at Bellymack Hill Farm near Castle Douglas.
Heading back north to Dumfries it is worth stopping to have a look around Mabie forest (signed) NX 55010033 and it is also good for butterflies in summer such as Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Purple Hairstreak.