2018 Trip to Dumfries
In February 2018 a hardy group of members braved the snowy weather on a short birdwatching break in Dumfies.
The following is a report of their trip prepared by Alan Paterson:
There were plenty of Barnacle Geese to be seen around Mereshead RSPB and at the feeding station we had close views of House and Tree Sparrows and some Yellowhammers.
While at Ken Dee Marshes the next day Alan was able to find a group of 16 White Fronted Geese. The feeding station was very active with several Coal Tits and a couple of Nuthatch but no sightings of Red Squirrels.
The visit to the Red Kite feeding centre was excellent, they have a huge new building and we all sat out on the terrace eating home made cakes while watching about 100 Kites at times only a few yards away.
Some common birds back home were very hard to find, we eventually found a few Coot's and Moorhen's at Castle Douglas. Feral Pidgeons and Collared Doves were very hard to find as were Magpie only seen by a couple of People.
Alan and Jude moved on to spend 2 nights at Stranraer when the rest of the group returned home before stopping off at Calaverloch reserve for Whooper Swans and Barnacle geese.
At Loch Ryan Alan was able to find several Red Throated Divers and a single much scarcer Black Throated Divers. He also was able to spot several Slavonian Grebes and a few Great Crested Grebes and a couple of Scoter's.
Alan also saw some large rafts of Wigeon, and Scaup, as well as about a dozen Black Guillemots but only singles of Razorbill and Common Guillemot.
At Wigg bay on Loch Ryan Alan was surprised to spot 2 Little Gulls and eventually managed to find a few Twite a bird was hoping to see.
Alan saw 65 bird at Dumfries and added to more at Loch Ryan bringing his trip list to 85 birds
Travelling back they hit the snow near Castle Douglas and a one point got caught in a blizzard but were able to get to the M6 and home safely.
(some of the photos taken by Alan are displayed alongside)