Welcome to Dumfries and Galloway in 2013
If you are visiting the site for the first time, then welcome. Previous users will notice the new layout and content which CMS have just updated, a big improvement you must admit. Your thoughts would be most welcome as I revise much of the content.
If you have never been to this part of Scotland, you don’t know what you’re missing. Everything you think that Scotland has to offer in one small area.
Dumfries and Galloway in southern Scotland has a wealth of wildlife and history waiting to be discovered. From the shores of the Solway Firth, through farmland and woodland before on to the high tops of the Galloway Hills.
This web site should give you an introduction as to what you might find on your travels in this area, the best locations and the best time of year to make the most of your visit. Many people travel to the Highlands to see Scotland when there is no need. Everything that Scotland has to offer can be found here in Dumfries and Galloway. Much of the area is undiscovered and I intend to share with you some of it’s hidden secrets. For those of you who subscribe to the popular publication Outdoor Photography magazine and read the viewpoints pages with interest. Try visiting this area and sending locations in, it's completely unknown and a photographers paradise!
Look out for the new lifestyle magazine for Dumfries & Galloway that is now available. It covers all aspects of life in this wonderful area, from wildlife, homes and gardens, artists and craftworkers, heritage and general features. For more information see www.d&glife.co.uk
The re-introduced Red kites are now high on most peoples agenda, although we must not forget species such as the red squirrel, of which Galloway is still a stronghold as the invading grey squirrel marches further north.
The coastline and the inner Solway are a haven for wintering birds, in particular waders and geese. During the spring and summer you have the chance to see, hear and smell some of our breeding seabird colonies. Cormorants, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes etc, that all breed in good numbers. These can all be seen from the coastal footpaths at Balcary, Meikle Ross, Cruggleton and between Rockcliffe to Sandyhills.
The broad-leaved woodlands come alive in spring as the bluebells and wild garlic burst into flower, just as the summer migrants arrive. Pied flycatchers, redstarts, wood warblers and blackcaps all add to the crescendo of the dawn chorus in an Scottish oak woodland.
Venture into the Galloway Forest Park and this will inevitably lead you to the more remote parts of the Galloway Hills with it’s myths, legends and of course wildlife. Red deer, wild goats and the elusive golden eagle can all be found here. Most people stay within the forests and even here there is much to see and do. From dippers to crossbills and otters to midges there is something for everyone.
Most people’s interest in natural history tends to be birds and mammals; but there is much more. Botanically we have a rich countryside with many rare and specialist plants which in return attract a whole host of other interesting species, which include moths, butterflies, reptiles and insects. Not everyone’s cup of tea I know, but very important in the bigger picture and the intricate web of life.
Osprey's have returned to breed in Galloway and can now be seen on CCTV at Wigtown County Buildings and at WWT Caerlaverock, both different nest sites. At Threave Castle near Castle Douglas a nest site can be view from around 300 yards. Any closer and you will be breaking the law. So don't just think of here as a winter destination.
I am still developing this site and welcome any comments. Things I've missed? Things you would like to know?
While every effort has been made to keep the information on this site accurate I cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies found. I am grateful to various organisations for allowing me to use text from their leaflets and literature. Contact details for organisations do change from time to time and I will endeavour to update these as often as possible. If anyone spots an error, please let me know.
Text and picture copyright belong to Keith Kirk and must not be reproduced without prior written consent from him. Should anyone wish to purchase or use any of my images please contact me for more details and prices. I have an extensive stock of natural history images and others, what you see on this site is only a small sample.
Birdwatching In Dumfries and Galloway Booklet
This A5 booklet is available from Dumfries and Galloway Council Ranger Service for £2.00 + 50p P&P
This new revised booklet ( 4th Edition)is now available. A bargain and well worth the money. Send to:
Ross Gemmell (Countryside Ranger) Dumfries and Galloway Council Ranger Service, Militia House Dumfries. DG1. 2DD Tel: 01387 260366
This site has been set up courtesy of CMS. www.cm-systems.co.uk Without their expertise, time and considerable patience I would never have contemplated such a project.
Keith Kirk. Natural History/Environmental Photographer and Writer.
I also have another web site which has more about my photography . www.dumfriesandgallowaywildlife.co.uk
I also have a Flickr site www.flickr.com/photos/keithkirk8
You can also find me on Facebook
You have all seen Autumnwatch and Springwatch, most of the species they show can be seen here in this region. Click the link below to see one of our videos, starting with........
Wild Autumn...............Watch it here in Dumfries and Galloway. The rest are available at www.wildseasons.co.uk