Bird watching

SwansThe three lochs, designated S.S.S.Is (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) are ideal bird watching areas. There is a hide close to the Castle on Castle Loch. The Council Ranger service can provide any Detailed information.

E-mail address of Ranger:

A Brief List of Birds to be seen throughout the year

Winter: Goosander and Greylag Geese occur in numbers of national significance while Pink-footed Geese numbers are of International importance. Smew occur Each winter.

Spring: Curlew are a notable and regular feature of the spring migration with peak counts in excess of 1000. Rarer birds Include Black Tern, Spotted Redshank and Osprey.

Summer: Up to twelve pairs of Great Crested Grebes have bred and Mute Swans Coots, Moorhens and Sedge Warblers are Also regular breeders.

Autumn: End of season migration is less Noticeable than in spring. Birds passing Through include Green Sandpiper and Ruff.

Good viewing points at Castle Loch are at The disabled piers on the north side on the Lockerbie Road and on the west side on the Dalton Road. There is a birdwatching hide On the southeast shore, with access from Lochmaben Castle car park.

Bird Report---28/12/2010

On the morning of 28 December 2010 I visited the loch and sighted a Bittern. The loch was frozen at the time. We were in the bird hide on the SE shore when the Bittern flew low over the loch towards us and landed just out of sight. We left the hide but could not locate it.  However, I returned to the hide after about 10 minutes and eventually detected the bird once again, camouflaged in the reeds about 15m to the right (East) of the hide in classic skypointing pose.

Derek Bearhop, Musselburgh

You can download a leaflet with information about the Castle Loch Nature Reserve using the link below (PDF format):

Castle & Hightae Lochs

(Please note, this is a large file and may take some time to download if you are not using a broadband connection. You need Adobe Reader to view this leaflet. If you do not have a copy of the reader, you can download a free copy: Adobe reader)

Castle Loch Sculpture Trail

Lochmaben Nature Reserve Wildlife Report 2009

Lochmaben Nature Reserve Wildlife Report 2008

Lochmaben Nature Reserve Wildlife Report 2006 (Microsoft Word document)

Castle Loch Bat Survey