Thursday 30 April 2015

Scotland Trip

Birdwatching around Dumfries & Galloway

The first place visited was the small harbour town of Portpatrick to look for Black Guillemot that breed in the holes around the harbour walls.

Two birds were soon spotted on the water within the harbour and on closer inspection were the Black Guillemots we were looking for, these birds are matt black with a triangle of white on the wings and blood red legs a very smart looking bird.

Out at sea a few Gannets passed by with a couple of Eider duck, on the cliffs Fulmer, Kittiwake and Shag were seen, and a lone Rock Pipit flew past.

On the grass bank at the back of the harbour several Meadow Pipit and Wheatear were busy feeding.

A quick check around the rock pools found only a single Redshank.

Next stop the RSPB Wood of Cree nature reserve, a little quiet but we managed to locate a pair of Nuthach and a single Wood Warbler calling.

Other birds seen included a Goshawk over the trees a couple of Coal Tits, also a Cuckoo calling from the open moorland area with several Wheatear and Meadow Pipits.

We returned again in the evening to find four Goosander on the river with a Grasshopper Warbler reeling from the reedbeds, a Peregrine flew up and over the tree line and as we left a pair of Tawny owls were heard.

Mammals seen here were Red squirrels and Hares.

On our way to Threave Castle to look for Osprey we stopped to look at the estuary, still good numbers of Pink Footed Geese around well over a thousand birds.

Flying up the estuary were four Sandwich Terns and a Raven sat out on a rock!!

At Threave we walk down the pathway to the river Dee where the Ospreys nest, when the birds are back a watchpoint is set up to show visitors the birds so they are very easy to locate here.

Within a couple of minutes both birds flew in and perched on a dead tree opposite the nest platform, wonderful to see that they had returned again for another season.

Other birds seen included Several Swallow, House and Sand Martins and a Single Tree Sparrow coming out of a hole in a dead tree.

Next we headed for the Galloway Red Kite feeding station at Laurieston as feeding time had just stated, we arrived just in time to see around 75+ birds on the wing swooping down to pick up the food from the ground, this is a truly amazing sight to see.

A short trip into Galloway Forest found around half a dozen Tree Pipits out on the felled areas.

A very enjoyable time birdwatching in Scotland. DT

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