As the spring ended breeding season is in full flow and as the summer sun warms up the reserve a multitude of life is filling the senses. The backdrop of the summer is the Galloway Hills turning a variety of greens as the seasons change and the lagoons are filled with young birds, if you have time to find them. Although the migration has finished until the autumn there can be some surprises still to be had. At the end of last week when carrying out the breeding bird survey a small duck appeared at the back of the lagoon near the track and closer examination provided excellent views of a drake Garganey. Whilst many of our wildfowl head northward for the summer this little fellow winters in Southern Africa and Asia and migrates to the UK in the summer.

View Across the merse to the Galloway Hills

Lagoon 1

Garganey (this bird was from a different RSPB site)

However, the resident birds are in full breeding mode with adults either in full song or collecting food for quick growing chicks. Many of these species are ground nesting, so we ask visitors to ensure they keep to the paths and have dogs on a lead over the coming weeks to ensure the next generation of our favourite birds like the Skylark are successfully reared and the pleasure of them singing next year will continue.

 

Meadow Pipit

Skylark

Linnet

Over the lagoon the air is slowly filling up with Swallows, Sand and House Martins, if you are lucky the occasional Swift feeding on the abundance of insects hatching from the pools.

 

Swallow

Sand Martin

Out along the paths and in the fields the warm days fill the air with the buzzing of the all-important insects. So, of the most graceful of these are the butterflies, seen flitting on the paths so watch out for Small tortoiseshells, Peacocks, and a variety of whites, but be careful there may be a Wall butterfly sat on the track in front of your cryptically marked.

 

Wall

The reserve is starting to change to a yellow hue with flowering yellow rattle around the car park area and buttercups in the meadows. This will change through the summer so worth visiting.

Yellow Rattle

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