Adapted to living on moorlands and upland pastures, the region has a proud and unique breed of cattle, lovingly referred to as a 'Beltie'.
Stroll among the snowdrops and bluebells, along coastal paths and miles of shoreline and sandy beaches.
Roe deer, woodpeckers, otters, red squirrel and red kite are regularly seen throughout the estate and in the nearby nature reserve at Wigtown Bay, the largest nature reserve in Great Britain.
Here is a list of wildlife sightings made by visitors to Kirkdale Estate.
If you have stayed and have any sightings you would like to add to our list, please do let us know! We can add your name or not (as you wish!) to your sighting.
The following list of birds (79 species) was spotted in a week in and around the area by Joe England who stayed at Kirkdale Port.
Little Bunting · Little Grebe · Great Northern Diver · Cormorant · Grey Heron · Little Egret · Whooper Swan · Mute Swan · Pink-footed Goose · Shelduck · Mallard · Pintail · Teal · Wigeon · Tufted Duck · Goldeneye · Red-breasted Merganser · Red Kite · Sparrowhawk · Buzzard · Merlin · Kestrel · Coot · Moorhen · Oystercatcher · Lapwing · Redshank · Curlew · Snipe · Black Headed Gull · Great Black Backed Gull · Herring Gull · Pheasant · Collared Dove · Wood pigeon · Great Spotted Woodpecker · Dunnock · Goldcrest · Robin · Blackbird · Fieldfare · Song Thrush · Long Tailed Tit · Great Tit · Blue Tit · Coal Tit · Nuthatch · Treecreeper · Wren · Chaffinch · Goldfinch · House Sparrow · Starling · Jay · Magpie · Jackdaw · Rook · Crow · Raven · Red Throated Diver · Fulmar · Eider · Turnstone · Pied Wagtail · Rock pipit · Brent Goose · Greylag Goose · Twite · Slavonian Grebe · Great Crested Grebe · Rock Dove · Common Gull · Redwing · Dipper
The Hannay family first came to Kirkdale in 1532 from Sorbie in Wigtownshire in the west of Dumfries and Galloway. In the 17th century members of the family were involved with the covenanters, sat in Parliament and at one time Kirkdale was used as a staging post for Irish mercenaries going to Sweden.
The present Kirkdale House was built by Sir Samuel Hannay from local granite to plans by Robert Adam between 1780 and 1787. Sir Samuel became wealthy as a manufacturer of chemicals and drugs in London where he was at one time M.P. for Westminister. He made several fortunes and lost them gambling, dying in considerable debt.
Despite a fire which destroyed the centre of the house in 1893, the outside remains one of the few unaltered original Adam exteriors in Scotland.