The RSPB Crook of Baldoon Reserve covers 194 hectares (479 acres) along the Baldoon Sands adjacent to Wigtown. The site lies adjacent to the Cree Estuary Site of Scientific Natural Interest (SSSI) and the River Bladnoch Special Area of Conservation (SAC). There is a designated Scheduled Monument (SM), which is a target range from the second world war.
The reserve is a key place for passage, wintering and breeding wildfowl and waders within Southwest Scotland. Its collaboration with the enlarged Wigtown Bay Local Nature Reserve (WBLNR) is an internationally important haven for the population of Pink-footed Geese, Whooper Swans and Svalbard Barnacle Geese. Many waders and wildfowl will utilise the reserve’s network of wetland and saltmarsh habitats. Hen Harriers, Peregrine Falcons, Merlin, and Ospreys are regularly seen hunting on the reserve. All of this makes the Crook of Baldoon a very special place to visit during winter months.
The event in partnership with the goose festival will be led by the warden and will take you through the two main habitats on the reserve. To the inland side of a sea bank there is a developing wet grassland that hosts breeding lapwing in summer and winter waders such as Snipe and Curlew. To compliment the wet grasslands a number of lagoons have been created, they have developed over a number of years into a diverse habitat with Little Grebe, Shoveler and most recently Coot breeding. As well as winter Wigeon, Pintail and scarcer wildfowl such as American Wigeon.
The seaward side of the bank is the grazing merse. Cattle graze the merse through the summer to ensure that by the winter the vegetation is of a correct length for grazing geese.
The event will focus on the geese around the reserve but there will be a chance to see a range of wildlife on the day. We will also explore the history and management of the reserve that enables the wildlife to thrive, and about the Species on the Edge project which is working to protect coastal wildlife on the Solway.
£4 RSPB members, £5 non-members, Children ½ price