Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Relaxed, but birding all daylight hours. Up to 3 miles walking per day

Group Size:

Seven plus Leader

Common Eiders

Solway Firth and Lancashire - Winter Birding Bonanza

Date: Tour not currently operating
Leaders: Ashley Saunders



To allow travelling time to Castle Douglas, we meet at our accommodation in the late afternoon/early evening. 
We spend a full day exploring Loch Ryan and environs for sea ducks, grebes and divers in particular.  A drake King Eider has been seen here on previous tours. The loch is a superb winter birding destination, with huge rafts of Greater Scaup and double figure counts of Slavonian Grebe. Black Guillemot can be found and most years a small flock of Twite occurs, often with an attendant Merlin. Great Northern Divers and Long-tailed Ducks can give great views and Pale-bellied Brent Geese winter on the shoreline, accompanied by a variety of waders. We found an Iceland Gull here on our last visit and this species and Glaucous Gull are virtually annual. We will also take a late afternoon visit to the best area for Red Kites, where we can also expect to see Common Raven, Peregrine, Hen Harrier and Common Buzzard.
After searching locally for Greenland White-fronted Geese and Icelandic Greylag in loch side fields near our B&B, we will take a walk through the RSPB reserve by Loch Ken and hopefully connect with Willow Tit and other woodland species. We will also check the loch for wildfowl that should include Goosander and Common Goldeneye, while Red Squirrels are easy to see here. In the afternoon, we visit RSPB Mereshead reserve for wildfowl, raptors and Tree Sparrows with nearby Southerness Point offering more shorebirds which may include Purple Sandpiper. Offshore; we search for more divers, sea ducks and grebes.

WWT Caerlaverock is our main venue today, for the spectacle of huge flocks of Barnacle Geese, along with Whooper Swans. We should also encounter passerines and shorebirds such as Black-tailed Godwit. Raptors too, are very likely here. Our last port of call, will be Castle Loch were up to one hundred and thirty Goosander often gather to roost, as well as good numbers of Pink-footed Geese, while a Lesser Scaup was seen here in 2004. Mid afternoon we begin our journey south towards Lancashire, arriving at Carnforth for check in at the Longlands Hotel in time for dinner. 
After breakfast we make the short journey to the nearby reserve at Leighton Moss where we will spend the majority of the daylight hours. This is a great place to see Great Bittern, and we will put in some time in the hope of a sighting. Bearded Tits come to take grit from the trays in the reed bed often giving great views, and the various freshwater pools will give us the opportunity to search for wildfowl and waders. Passerines can be seen in the woodland and around the feeders and raptors including Marsh Harrier can be seen. The tour will conclude around 14.00 to allow for the onward journey home.     


Additional Information


Douglas Arms Hotel Castle Douglas and Longlands Hotel near Carnforth 
Four nights dinner, bed and breakfast in en suite rooms, packed lunches, reserve entrance fees, ground transport and services of leaders.
Transport to/from Scotland/Lancashire and any additional overnight stays that may be involved, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature.
Dumfries and Carnforth



Tour Reports


2006  2008  2011  2013




“ My holiday was excellent value for money and the leader was top notch – I’ve now had two excellent holidays with you and have high expectations of all future ones”  M. C. Edinburgh.
“ Thanks for a great weekend – I thoroughly enjoyed it”  R. H. Leicestershire.
" Another excellent trip" M & F S Leicester
" A friend recommended this trip to me and I enjoyed it very much. The leader was very knowledgeable, the company good and the accommodation and meals were of a very high standard" M.B. Middlesex