"Caerlaverock -
where the unique balance of agriculture, wildfowling and conservation brings people and wildlife together for the benefit of both."

Geese

Birds

Redshanks - © SNH For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on 01738 444777 or at www.snh.gov.ukWith a population of nearly 30,000 Svalbard barnacle geese arriving at Caerlaverock each autumn, we have become famous the world over as the winter habitat for these spectacular birds.

The barnacle geese arrive from their summer grazing lands in Norway during October and November. Once the birds are settled at Caerlaverock, dawn and dusk are particularly magical times of day for those keen to witness the geese in dramatic flight as they rise up in a great mass and wing their way between their feeding and roosting grounds. The Barnacle geese have had a good breeding season and despite polar bear predation, this year’s counts show their population is now up to 37, 500.

Red breasted goose, snow goose and Ross's goose have also been spotted here. They are joined by pink footed geese and whooper swans who are fed twice a day by wardens at the Wetland Centre - a sight not to be missed.

Whooper SwanSuch has been the success of the geese's conservation programme that we are currently faced with a dilemma of numbers.  Never has the late Duke of Norfolk's philosophy been more severely put to the test as we constantly strive to maintain a sustainable future for all whose lives depend on the grazing in completely different ways.

Skylark - © SNH For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on 01738 444777 or at www.snh.gov.ukCaerlaverock means ‘Castle of the Lark’, and you'd be right in thinking that you've a good chance of spotting larks and hearing their lovely song since a good population both breeds and winters here.  Other birds to look and listen for include the following:

Warblers:
Sedge warbler, grasshopper warbler, reed warbler, lesser whitethroat

Gulls:
Black headed gulls, herring gulls

Birds of Prey:
Hen harrier, marsh harrier, peregrine falcon, short-eared owl, merlin

Other birds:
Sand martins
Swallows
Wagtails
Water rails
Tufted duck
Wigeon
Teal
Shoveler
Mute swan
Snipe
Kestrel
Pin tail
Oyster catcher
Knot

We have a pair of ospreys who arrive in spring, favouring summer as their season of residence.

 


Barnacle Geese - © Creative Station

Redshanks & Skylark - © SNH For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on 01738 444777 or at www.snh.gov.uk

 


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