Places to see birds

Estuary at sunset, Mersehead RSPB reserve

"Galloway is varied, beautiful and rich in bird-life. Within its boundaries mountain and moor march with loch, woodland and river and many a farm is blessed with those wild corners that are so valuable to flowers, insects, amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals. Rich estuaries are flanked by rugged coastline and there are uninhabited off shore islands. While much of Britain lives with increasing apprehension among the ravages caused by industry, large-scale monocultural farming and the pathetically short-sighted destruction of lovely countryside Galloway is still a microcosm of all that is bonny in Scotland" More...

RSPB WOOD OF CREE NATURE RESERVE

With its gnarled trees, tumbling streams and stunning wild flowers, the Wood of Cree is a beautiful place for a walk at any time of the year. More...

GLEN TROOL WOOD

A very scenic walk with opportunities to see and hear many birds. More...

CALLY FOREST AND THE FLEET ESTUARY

This walk takes in both oak woods and views of the Fleet Estuary against a backdrop of hills, including Cairnsmore of Fleet (711 metres) a large whale-backed hill of granite. More...

AUCHENCAIRN BAY, BALCARY BAY AND BALCARY HEUGHS

This is a favourite area for birdwatchers and walkers amid beautiful and sometimes spectacular scenery. More...

THREAVE WILDFOWL RESERVE

The National Trust for Scotland has managed Threave Estate since 1948 providing a safe haven for many species of birds, mammals and insects. This is possible due to the diversity of habitats within the 1500 acres, including farmland, woodland, marshes and a two mile stretch of the River Dee. Visitors are encouraged to explore the area with walks following an old railway line and an all-abilities path down to the River Dee. Five bird hides are situated along the River and marshes, connected by a newly-created circular walk, providing excellent opportunities to observe resident and migrant species. More...

A WALK FROM CASTLE DOUGLAS - CARLINGWARK LOCH

Castle Douglas is a good centre for birdwatching, more especially in winter, but at any time of year there are many pleasant walks to be enjoyed, with the prospect of a good variety of birds to be seen. This is a circular country walk of approximately 4 miles and, usually, stout footwear or Wellingtons are recommended. More...

LOCH KEN AND RIVER DEE INCLUDING RSPB RESERVE

The 17.3km length of the Water of Ken, Loch Ken and the River Dee, between Ken Bridge (NX640783) in the north and Glenlochar Bridge (NX732645) in the south, comprises some of the most important sites for birds in the region. More...

GARROCH GLEN

The Garroch Glen is probably the most attractive glen in the Stewartry and is still relatively unspoilt. More...

A CLIFFTOP WALK FROM ROCKCLIFFE TO PORTLING

A delightful coastal walk offering a wide variety of wildlife in addition to birds. More...

THE SOLWAY COAST WEST OF DUMFRIES

This makes a beautiful car drive or cycle ride, with plenty to see en route.The main route (A710) to the Solway coast is signposted from both Dalbeattie and Dumfries and there are several places of interest between the two towns. It is an attractive area at any time but this mainly describes the wide range of ducks and waders that can be seen in winter. More...

LOCHMABEN LOCHS

Lochmaben, which lies in the Annan valley eight miles east of Dumfries on the A709, is surrounded by seven eutrophic lochs (rich in organic matter) all of which have at least some reedbed and alder carr. Castle Loch is a Ramsar Site, Special Protection Area and SSSI which, together with Hightae Loch, is designated as a Local Nature Reserve. The Mill, Upper and Blind Lochs are SSSIs but the Kirk Loch has no protected status at present. The best lochs for seeing birds are Castle Loch and Kirk Loch. More...

GREY MARE'S TAIL NATURE RESERVE (NATIONAL TRUST FOR SCOTLAND)

Driving along the A708 between Moffat and St Mary's Loch affords some of the most dramatic views in southern Scotland, with spectacular hills rising to approximately 800 metres, cut by deep valleys. The road follows the Moffat Water, sometimes through coniferous or broad-leaved woodland, until it opens out into sheep-cropped moorland. From the NTS car park at Grey Mare's Tail, a steep footpath climbs beside the Tail Water, with its beautiful 60 metre-high waterfall, to Loch Skeen, from where a further ascent of White Coomb (821m) can be made. More...