Site of the Month: Castle and Kirk Lochs (October 2023)

Castle and Kirk Lochs, Lochmaben, are nutrient rich lochs with siginficant ammounts of emergent vegetation, providing an important wintering habitat for birds.

Wintering birds to look out for include Goosander Mergus merganser, Wigeon Anas penelope, Teal Anas crecca, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula and Mute Swan Cygnus olor. Water Rail Rallus aquaticus can be found amongst the reedbeds and Kirk Loch is one of the most likley sites to find elusive wintering Bittern Botaurus stellaris in Dumfries & Galloway.

The wet woodland around Castle Loch is an important habitat for Willow Tit Poecile montanus and at this time of year teeming with fruiting fungi including Alder Bracket Inotus radiatus and Charcoal Burner Russula cyanoxantha.

Peter Norman

SWSEIC Project Officer

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