Have just spent a few days in Dumfries and Galloway with Carole. We just pottered around visiting WWT Caerlaverock, RSPB Mersehead, Galloway Forest Park which includes the Kite Trail and the Red Deer Trail and dropping in to Bellymack Farm. I had planned an itenerary but as usual this went all to cock on the first day as we didn't arrive at Mersehead till about 4 hours past the anticipated arrival time as we just stopped along the way to look at Buzzards sitting just metres away on telegraph poles or bushes, flocks of Barnacles seemed to be landing in fields all over the place and stopping to try and identify several small flocks of birds and just generally dawdling looking at the countryside and as usual my el cheapo Satnav Lady kept telling me to turn when I knew it wasn't right but of course when a woman speaks the man must obey that is until Carole commented that the road sign said one way and Miss Satnav was telling us to go the other so out came the Map (Carole then guided me !!!!!!!). The plan then went ever more awry the next day when as we were starting off Carole spotted this amazing looking bakers so we stopped and partook in a couple of cakes with a nice Costa Coffee (we had already had a Full Cooked Breakfast) overlooking the river at Annan for nearly an hour and from then on it was all impromptu. Here is a few pics of our visit.
This was one of the reasons for our stopping and starting, who can turn
down the opportunity to gaze at a Buzzard.
Fields full of Geese everywhere
Arrived at the viewpoint for the Red Deer and a couple of the Stags were having a little huff and puff but no real action then a Photographer arrived and went right up to fence and stuck his big lens through so this moved the Red Deer back up the hill
Then the Rangers arrived and went to feed the Deer so all animosity was forgotten as about 30+ of them crammed into the small space by the feeding trays
Plenty of Hoopers around with small groups of 4 and 5 spotted all along the coastal route
Quite a few Red Kite seen in the Galloway Forest but then as usual they seem to disappear around midday so you head for Bellymack Hill Farm and we arrived about 1pm and plenty of small birds around including Treecreepers, Yellowhammers, Willow Tit and quite a few of the commoner species. There is a new RSPB built viewing station which we were invited in to watch the feeding as it was not quite finished although the proper opening ceremony was not till the next day but they confessed it wasn't still quite ready. The viewing platform outside was brilliant and as we stood there watching the feed being put out we could still only see a handful of Kites but after about 5 mins a Jackdaw came down and tried to get a bit of the action and immediately Kites just appeared from everywhere to see it off and at one stage there was over 50 in the air at the same time.
A great trip albeit a tad cold but bags of Sun, better than the weather in the North East for a change