|Entrance to WWT Caelaverock (photo Laura Shearer)|
Upon arrival I had a great chat with a volunteer who explained the layout of the reserve and the recent wildlife sightings. First stop- the Farmhouse tower in search of the Green Winged Teal (Anas carolinensis). It only took a few minutes before I was watching this American visitor alongside some other birders- what an amazing start to the day!
Walking from hide to hide I was astounded at the amazing set-up of this nature reserve with regular hides providing amazing views of the wildlife! As I wandered around the Peter Scott trail I stumbled upon some bird feeders crammed with Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskins, Chaffinches- even a Great Spotted Woodpecker was in on the action. I could've sat there all day but there was plenty more to see.
Into the next hide, this time facing onto the back pond. Within seconds of sitting down there was a blue flash as a Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) whizzed by! Could this get any better?!! I sat there alone, watching this gorgeous bird fishing approximately 30-40m from the hide for about 20 minutes. What a vista!
|Kingfisher fishing at the "Back pond" at WWT Caerlaverock (photo Laura Shearer)|
|Swan feed as seen from the Peter Scott Observatory at WWT Caelaverock (photo Laura Shearer)|
|Reading colour rings during the swan feed (photo Laura Shearer)|
Fortunately I didn't have long to wait as several days later I was invited to be part of the audience of BBC Autumnwatch Unsprung- filmed live from the reserve. Tom Burditt from the National Trust highlighted their Sounds of the Shores project #shoresounds aiming for members of the public to record their favourite sounds from our coast. The show played several clips including my personal favourites- Kittiwakes and Grey Seals calling. Chris Packham's enthusiasm and passion for natural history was infectious and once again I left Caerlaverock with a smile on my face, itching for a return visit!
|In the audience at BBC Autumnwatch Unsprung (in the red coat)|
Watch Autumnwatch unsprung on BBC iplayer: