Wildlife and Birdwatching
The ‘Galloway Kite Trail’ around beautiful Loch Ken promotes the population of kites, recently re-established in Kirkcudbrightshire, as a source of nature-based tourism to benefit local communities in the area. In so doing, the trail is helping to strengthen the ‘ownership’ of the kites by local communities and those offering tourism related activities.
Developed by RSPB Scotland, with assistance from Making Tracks, SNH, FCS, D&GRSG and local businesses, the trail includes various facilities around the loch such as footpaths, viewpoints, information points, CCTV (in summer), release cages and RSPB Scotland’s Ken-Dee Marshes Reserve, all of which are good places to see kites and other wildlife.
A feeding station with a hide has been established at Bellymack Hill Farm near Laurieston, and over 30 kites have often been seen together over winter months. These have included many of the birds released in 2003, as well as adult birds and two individuals that arrived from other populations. The site also offers good views of raven and buzzard.
Large numbers of Red Kites are best seen in late afternoon in the winter months, but there are generally some kites around all day at any time of the year.
More information including trail routes and maps can be found at www.gallowaykitetrail.com