The Wild Goose Festival will be back in 2024!

The 2023 Wild Goose Festival concluded on the 29th of October, but don’t worry! Events celebrating the migration of our feathery friends will return in Autumn 2024. For updates on all things Wild Goose, make sure you are following our social media channels.

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The Geese at the Crook

October 28, 2023 @ 10:30 am 12:30 pm

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

Accessibility Details: The car park is at the end of Shell Road off the A714, from there, a path runs parallel to Wigtown Bay to the north and south of the car park. The path is level but is unsurfaced and can be muddy and uneven especially when wet. A Toilet will be available on site for the event. Please be dressed in warm clothing and have wet weather gear. There will be cattle on site, so dogs are welcome but must be on a lead.

Age Restriction? Under 18 allowed if accompanied by parent or guardian

RSPB Scotland

RSPB Crook of Baldoon

Shell Road
Wigtown, DG8 9AF
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