Birdwatching in the Machars of Galloway

The two best areas for birdwatching in this area of Wigtownshire are are along the rocky coastline or at Wigtown Bay where there are extensive mudflats and saltmarshes. The moorland areas around Mochrum Loch are also worth a visit.

Luce Bay Shore Road – Cock Inn, Auchenmalg to Monreith

There are numerous parking spaces along the shore. There is an information board at Port William.

Species – Stonechat, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Pied Wagtail, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Curlew, Cormorant, Gannet and Terns. There are also flocks of finches on the strand line in Winter.

Burrow Head & St Ninian`s Cave

This is a coastal footpath of 4 miles return , or or 5.5 miles if starting from Kidsdsale from which there us a woodland walk to St Ninian`s Cave.

Species – Black Guillemot, Shag, Fulmar, Peregrine, Raven and Twite.

Garlieston Bay & Cruggleton Bay.

Park in the grounds of Galloway House for Cruggleton Bay or in Garlieston.

Species – Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Redshank, Greenshank (occasional) Cormorant, Black Guillemot and House Martins on Cruggleton cliffs.

Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve

This is the largest area of saltmarsh, and mudflats on the outer Solway. There is a hide at Wigtown Harbour with views over the River Bladnoch, saltmarsh and freshwater wetland.. There is also a visitor room with  displays and an excellent view at Wigtown County Buildings. There is CCTV of ospreys during summer and wetland birds in winter.

Species – This is an internationally important area for wintering Pink-footed Gesses annd is nationally important for Pintail, Whooper Swan and Curlew. Breeding and passage waders, ducks and curlews.