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S.W Scotland

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Old Friday 20th February 2004, 13:37   #1
StevieEvans
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Question S.W Scotland

Hello

South West Scotland.

Having a day in this part of the world on Sunday.
Any relavant info would be welcomed as regards 'whats about' at the moment.

We plan to set off at 4AM so we get a good way west for first light.

All information gratefully recieved.
Thanks in anticipation.

StevieE.
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Old Friday 20th February 2004, 14:06   #2
Acanthis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steviewol
Hello

South West Scotland.

Having a day in this part of the world on Sunday.
Any relavant info would be welcomed as regards 'whats about' at the moment.

We plan to set off at 4AM so we get a good way west for first light.

All information gratefully recieved.
Thanks in anticipation.

StevieE.
Hi Stevie,

I live near Edinburgh and I'm very rarely down in that part of the world, but I've heard there's 2 Richardson's Canada geese at Caerlaverock WWT (on the Solway, South of Dumfries) at the moment. I'm no wildfowl expert but I think they're one of those potential future splits. If that doesn't appeal Caerlaverock is always worth a visit anyway.

Sandy
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Old Friday 20th February 2004, 14:21   #3
Jasonbirder
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Good call - i`m planning on doing a run through in that part of the world myself next week.

There are obviously the 2 Richardsons Canada Geese at Caerlaverock, plus the Greenland Whitefronts on the East side of Loch Ken. Castle Loch must be worth checking (also near Dumfries) as it has held both Lesser Scaup and American Coot recently. Roadside fields on the run from Caerlaverock to Loch Ken should give "wild" Greylags. The RSPB reserve at Loch Ken is a good site to see Red Kite as well. Running west towards Stranraer - Loch Ryan for Black Guillemot and the King Eider (recently seen near the burn mouth or from the A77 Layby north of Stranraer. Ayr harbour has held a couple of Iceland Gulls too....
Let me know how you get on!
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Old Friday 20th February 2004, 15:13   #4
Edward woodwood
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Murrays monument a few miles westy of New Galloway used to have Golden Pheasant though a few were a bit manky and may have had some Lady A in them. Good for Golden Eagle and Black Grouse here too but the latter can I expect be tricky these days
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Old Friday 20th February 2004, 17:56   #5
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I did a trip there a few weeks ago - Loch Ken marshes good for Red Squirrel.
I've put a report on my website http://homepage.ntlworld.com/tony.co...ips/Solway.htm
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Old Friday 20th February 2004, 18:16   #6
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I'm there myself from Thursday until Sunday.
Doing the usual rounds:
Loch Ken
Murray's Monument
Bellymack Farm
Loch Ryan
Mersehead RSPB
and will probably try for these elusive yank rarities at Castle Loch at some stage.
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Old Saturday 21st February 2004, 15:32   #7
StevieEvans
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King Eider, is this a male bird at Loch Ryan? & has anyone got a Grid Ref for the best viewing place. The Black Guillemots would be a good one to see too.

Hope to see an Eagle & Kite also.

Thanks for all your help, feel free to add anything else that may be of help.

Thanks StevieE.
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Old Saturday 21st February 2004, 18:32   #8
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Yes, Stevie the King Eider is a drake (has been there for at least a couple of years now), there's two points to look for him from - unfortunately they're on opposite sides if the loch:

Cairn Ryan picnic site at NX062 691
or,
The Wig at NX032 676

Hope this helps.

Chris
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Old Saturday 21st February 2004, 18:47   #9
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Not sure if King Eider still at L. Ryan.You'll get black g'mot at Portpatrick harbour eaasily enough.L. Ryan should have g.c.,r.n.,bl. n. & slav. grebes.Gannet are back in the area.Fulmar nest by the side of the A77 n. of Cairnryan.Divers esp' r.t. are often close in.P.B. Brent geese may be there ( 2 definately at Maidens,just up the road in S. Ayrshire as was W.pipit.)Get a copy of the D&G birdwatching guide from tourist office or Caerlaverock wwt for the most popular sites.At bellymack red kite site there's no public w.c. yet,but just ask Anne at the cottage if you need and she'll happily oblige.You'll also get a cuppa , well i always do.Remember it's an underwatched area so you may well surprise yourself.
Enjoy youself. Tom.
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Old Monday 23rd February 2004, 00:07   #10
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Thumbs up Cracking (Long) Day in Dumfries & Gallaway

(Thanks again Chris & Tom, for the last 2 postings)

Today has been a great one, we saw almost everything we hoped for & a couple of surprises too!

I left home at 03:30 & the 4 of us set off North at approx 04:15.
Steady progress on icy roads saw us at the dull & overcast Cairnryan picnic site for 07:00. After opening flasks etc the sky quickly began to clear & a fine bright morning arrived.

Summary of Loch Ryan
From Cairnryan
drake KiNG EiDER, 24+ BLACK GUiLLEMOTS, all but one in full plumage induldging in chasing & display around the old pier, south of the lighthouse, 15+ RTDiVERS flew East up the Loch , with several also fishing, alongwith SHAGS & COMMON GUiLLEMOTS. 3-4GANNETS fished the loch while on the West shore swam approx 10 BRENT GEESE. Other birds seen nr the picnic/pier area included ROCK PIPIT, LONG TAiL TiT, GOLDFiNCH, drumming GRT SPOT WPKR. MiSTLE THRUSH, PiED WAGTAiL & GOLDCREST. Also a melanistic type cock PHEASANT.

Loch Ryan, From a Loch side Burn-mouth (approx 1 mile south) off A77
40 SCAUP, 10+ COMMON SCOTER, 3 GCGREBE, 3drake LONG TAiL DUCK, MERGANSERS, EiDERS, 3RiNGED PLOVERS, SHELDUCK, several GOLDENEYES, SHAG & CORMORANTS, TURNSTONE, DUNLIN, OYSTERCATCHER & CURLEW.
5 SANDERLiNG here seemed out of place on the shingle beach. Other birds here were DUNNOCK, ROBiN, SONG & MiSTLE THRUSH. Also seen on the way back to the car was a cracking JACK SNiPE which shot up from th stream side to instantly reland within 10 metres.
The 4 of us 'converged' on the area scanning the ground were it went down, but to no avail it seemed....We scanned the ground on minimum focus but couldnt see it. A COMMON SNiPE shot up lifting our hopes, but we turned to leave to have the JACK shoot up between two of us, right were we had been stood looking !!!! This bird had 2 people within less than a metre of it & we STiLL didn't see it despite the intensive scanning !! Magic.

Loch Ryan, Burn-mouth just north of Innermessan off A77
Several gulls here including 2 Adult L.B.BACKS (British) also strangely 2 female PiNTAiL with MALLARDS & WiGEON on the pebbly beach.

Earlier while driving out West we had a flyover TAWNY OWL & 12 roadside WHOOPER SWANS, close to Newton Stewart.

4mile S.EAST of N.Stewart we turned of at Creetown were we headed over some moorland & got RED & a single cock BLACK GROUSE (much easier to come by at home!)

Between GateHouse of Fleet & Lauriston we had excellent close views of BUZZARDS & RED KiTES, with between 9 to 12 of the latter! SPARROWHAWK & KESTREL were not yet located.

Loch Ken Reserve
It was approx 14:00 now & the sky held several BUZZARDS, KiTES & 4-5 RAVENS
A distant SPARHAWK & 2 KESTRELS were also on the wing.
The reserve had BULLFiNCHES, FiELDFARE, REDWiNG, SONGY, BLACKY & MiSTLEY
Close to the 1st hide were LTTiTS & a TREECREEPER along with WREN & GOLDCRESTS. 2 REED BUNTiNG could have been easily overlooked. A large STOAT ran for cover.
The 'new' hide held some spectacular PiNTAiL feeding in the warm afternoon sun, also HERON, TEAL & GOLDENEYE.
On the way be someone spotted a PEREGRiNE through the trees, we ran to a clearing to see a relaxed adult female drifting about.
The Car park area on return had KiTES, BUZZARD & a RAVEN over the treetops, with 30 or so GREENLAND Y FRONTS which weren't initially on show.
A scan of the lake held GOOSANDER, more PiNTAiL & a GRT.C.GREBE

While driving off a RED-LEG PART ran over the road.


Milton Loch (8mile west of Dumfries)

held the drake RiNG NECKED DUCK, although it was at the far North East end & the only view point appeared to be on the S.West Shore.
Also here were 20+ each of POCHARD & TUFTED.

Called at Dumfries for Fuel & it was after 17:00, so a dash to Caerlaverock where we added 2 Male HEN HARRiERS over the saltmarsh, YELLOWHAMMER, SHOVELLER, PINK FEET & massed flocks of BARNACLES liftingoff together at dusk, excellent! 3 Roe Deer were seen along a field edge as a PEREGRiNE surveyed the dusk approach from its fence post roost.

To summarise we had a day to remember with a large total (105) & wide variety of species noted, in a relaxing & beautiful place.
Its hard to pick out a 'bird of the day'...............but we did see a Northumbrian BARN OWL on the way home just short of 'Our' County Boundary.....

Other species we heard about, seen today but not by ourselves were :-
Golden Eagle, Greenshank, Slav Grebe, Purple Sand.

StevieEvans.
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Old Monday 23rd February 2004, 05:30   #11
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That's one hell of a day Stevie and I'm glad you got the King Eider. Was he distant?
We leave the IOM on Thursday morning and, from Heysham, will be heading straight for Milton and/or Castle Loch then spending the rest of the time (Fri/Sat/Sun) around D&G. I just hope our list is as impressive!

Chris
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Old Monday 23rd February 2004, 05:35   #12
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Great day Stevie. We may have a week up there this April ourselves (there or Majorca) - so i'll be referring back to this thread and your report for ideas where to go
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Old Monday 23rd February 2004, 15:03   #13
StevieEvans
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Chris
the K.Eider was a distance away, from the North East Shore
but conversely would have been realy close from the other view point area you suggested ! !
It was with a loose group of approx 20 Eiders & was the 1st full male type i had seen.
Personally i was more interested in the BlK Guillies.........my best views ever.

Hope you have a good trip, & to read your account of it.

Regards SE.

PS (The R.N.Duck was difficult to get fro where we were on the south side, very distant but prominant features all notable.)

Last edited by StevieEvans : Monday 23rd February 2004 at 15:27. Reason: PS added
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Old Monday 23rd February 2004, 16:27   #14
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Glad to hear you all had a good day.The melanistic pheasant:there's a dark colour type that is bred in the area.There's usually a good size covey of r.l. parts' where you saw one.So,would you recommend the area to others who may have dismissed it in favour of better known parts of Scotland(just as hillwalkers bypass it en route to highlands)?
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Old Monday 23rd February 2004, 20:41   #15
StevieEvans
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Tom
Yes i'd certainly recommend the area & shall have to re-visit maybe late May time.
Briefly which species are special to the area in late spring ?
"We'll be Back"

#Another point i'd like to make as regards information given, we knew of some of the places & birds
but i'm positive the ammount & accuracy of information given by BF members added greatly to our success & enjoyment.

StevieEvans.

Last edited by StevieEvans : Monday 23rd February 2004 at 20:44.
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Old Monday 23rd February 2004, 22:28   #16
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Well,i'm not sure what you'll class as common,but i enjoy wood warbler;pied fly;tree pip;redstart;cuckoo;ring ouzel;dotterel amongst others as good birds for the area.Hmm..cannae wait noo.
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