The Reserves at Caerlaverock and Mersehead

Whooper swans flying. Whooper swans on a December afternoon at Caerlaverock Whoopers landing. Whoopers landing on the Folly Pond, the old Saltcot hide
is in the background
The River Nith marks the old boundary between Kirkcudbrightshire and Dumfriesshire, on each side of its mouth stands a wildlife reserve. To the east are the lands of Scottish Natural Heritage with its SNH Caerlaverock Nature Reserve Go to another site. within which the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has its own WWT Caerlaverock Reserve Go to another site. - yes it causes confusion! And to the west beyond the village of Southerness is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' RSPB Mersehead Reserve Go to another site.. WWT and RSPD each have some three miles of the Solway coast. Old Saltcot hide and gorse. The old Salcot hide with the gorse at its height which was left... Mute and Whooper swans. Mute and Whooper showing the main physical differences in their heads and size - but not the key difference that their names aptly indicate Rear of Old Saltcot hide. ...from the days before WWT took over the site when this was a SNH building. It had become badly in need of refurbishment... Front of new Saltcot hide. The new Saltcot hide looking out over the merse New Saltcot hide and merse ...and was demolished and replaced with this state of the art £100,000 model Folly Pond and Saltcot Hide. The Folly Pond, Saltcot Hide, Merse and Lake Hills Eastpark Farmhouse. Eastpark Farmhouse which can be rented by visitors Willows at the Whooper Pond. Above the Whooper pond with the golden willows chosen by Peter Scott Go to another site. (to the right) who founded WWT (the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust) in 1946.
Beyond is Ward Law on the hill which is the site of a Roman Fort. The hides at Caerlaverock offer good opportunities to see a range of ducks and geese close to, here there are...
Teal. Teal. ...teal... Canada goose. ...Canada geese with less white faces than barnacles... Male shoveler. ...a male shoveler... Tufted duck. ...a tufted duck... Male wigeon. ...a male wigeon... Heron. ...and a heron stalking Wind bent tree. Most of the lands on these reserves are flat salt marsh - merse - so there is nothing to stop the prevailing wind which blows one way Drumburn and the Solway. ... with its shallow water and mud banks, here seen from up on Criffel above Drumburn Criffel and clouds. Looking from the WWT reserve across the estuary of the Nith to the hill Criffel. Below the hill, and to the picture's left, is the Mersehead Reserve. Both reserves front onto the Solway... Barnacles feeding. Barnacles feeding at the Mersehead Reserve - their white faces showing even at a distance Barnacles taking off. A flock beginning to take off Barnacles flying. And a flock in flight with the Solway as background Barnacle flock. These great flocks of barnacles and whoopers, moving between and within the reserves, inexorably draw large numbers of humans to flock to the spectacle The next page follows the path that our migrating birds take to the North Atlantic. Many species make this trip besides the Whoopers and Barnacles. One of the most delightful of these migrants is the Arctic tern, which besides nesting in the UK, also nests in its thousands on the Faroe Islands. Arctic tern. line
Saturday 21st October 2017 Murphy on duty

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