AU­TUM­N­WATCH WALKS

Find rare birds, grey seals and an­cient trees in breath­tak­ing places

Countryfile Magazine - - Front Page - By se­ries ed­i­tor Rose­mary Ed­wards

Wildlife lovers are blessed this month. As well as The Hunt on BBC One, BBC Two’s Au­tum­n­watch sets up camp in the WWT Caerlave­rock Wet­land Cen­tre in Dum­friesshire (see page 72). From 2-5 Novem­ber, pre­sen­ters Chris Pack­ham, Michaela Stra­chan and Martin Hugh­esGames will bring view­ers live re­ports on the sea­son’s best wildlife ac­tion from this stun­ning lo­ca­tion. The se­ries will not only fo­cus on the West of Scot­land, as naturalists Iolo Wil­liams and Nick Baker will also look at au­tumn sto­ries across the Bri­tish Isles.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE CAERLAVE­ROCK?

Sit­u­ated on the north Sol­way coast­line, Caerlave­rock comes alive ev­ery au­tumn with hun­dreds and thou­sands of mi­grat­ing birds. Huge flocks of bar­na­cle geese ar­rive from Sval­bard, Nor­way to over win­ter, and th­ese are closely fol­lowed by hun­dreds of whooper swans, which have made their way from Ice­land.

The re­sult is an in­cred­i­ble spec­ta­cle of wild­fowl, feed­ing daily across the salt marshes and graz­ing lands of the re­serve. For Au­tum­n­watch, this pro­vides a per­fect set­ting for us to tell the story of mi­gra­tion – a stun­ning sea­sonal phe­nom­e­non.

Caerlave­rock re­serve is not the only en­tice­ment. We also hope to fea­ture the wide range of wildlife liv­ing in the sur­round­ing area. Gretna, for ex­am­ple, is one of the top places to see star­ling mur­mu­ra­tions as half a mil­lion birds gather here to roost. Salmon spawn­ing takes place on the trib­u­taries of the River Nith, while The Caul (gi­ant weir) in the cen­tre of Dum­fries is a meet­ing place for a range of wildlife, from goosanders to ot­ters.

LEFT Martin Hugh­esGames, Michaela Stra­chan, Chris Pack­ham will be pre­sent­ing Au­tum­n­watch 2015

BE­LOW Caerlave­rock Wet­land Cen­tre

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