Celebrations for Red Kite Trail’s 10th year

Red kite Milvus milvus, in flight, UK, March
Red kite Milvus milvus, in flight, UK, March

Seeing a red kite overhead while out and about on the Galloway Kite Trail can be one of the highlights for many holidaymakers to our region.

First released over 12 years ago, these graceful raptors are now doing very well with between 75 and 80 pairs, nesting this summer.

RSPB Scotland are running guided walks every week throughout August this year, giving everyone the chance to see these birds and learn how they were returned here.

The ‘Trek to the Secret Cages’ walks begin at Mossdale village green, where the successful trail was inaugurated back in 2003, and continue to the ‘Secret Cages’ where the first red kites were reared before their release into Galloway, in 2001.

Walks will be lead by RSPB’s Calum Murray and take place on Tuesday 6 August, Thursdays 15, 22 and 29 August, between 9.45am and 1pm. These walks have taken place for eight years now and they still attract visitors wanting to learn more about the kites, their reintroduction and of course other wildlife in the area. This is an excellent walk for its wildflowers, butterflies and birds but there is also a good chance of seeing reptiles, amphibians and maybe an occasional red squirrel. Those taking part can also learn how to help wildlife and give nature a home.

The walks are free but booking is essential. Both adults and children are welcome, and there is a Scavenger Hunt for kids to get involved in.

The trail celebrates its 10th anniversary, later this year, with events taking place during the October school holidays, including an open day at the kite feeding station near Laurieston and a sponsored walk on the newly opened Parton Heritage Trail. More information will be made available on the trail website: www.gallowaykitetrail.com, in the coming weeks.

If you would like to help with these events or book onto one of the summer walks, please get in touch with RSPB Scotland, on 01556 670464 or email calum.murray@rspb.org.uk for more details.