• Red sky in the morning

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 10th October - 16th October 2020

    The advantage of the shortening October days is that you don’t have to get up particularly early to appreciate an awe inspiring sunrise.  This is made all the more special by the opportunity to witness thousands of Barnacle Geese fly across the red bleached sky, as they make the short journey from mudflat roosts on the Solway Estuary to daytime feeding grounds…

    • 16 Oct 2020
  • Wetted up and starting to fill!

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 3rd October - 9th October 2020

    Thousands of geese have been seen, roosting on the mud and sandflats, including pink-footed and Svalbard barnacle geese and lesser numbers of Canada and greylag geese. On Monday, over 9,500 barnacle geese were counted on the reserve (mostly in fields at West Preston). One leucistic barnacle goose (lacking pigment, thus appearing whitish in colour) was found to be…

    • 9 Oct 2020
  • Chicken of the Woods

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 26th September – 2nd October 2020

    What an amazing start to the day! Early morning mist and a slight frost cloaked the wetlands. The high-pitched peep of a Kingfisher revealed its presence as it zoomed into view and perched on a log. Wigeon could be heard whistling on the newly flooded wetland habitats which were also teeming with Mallard, Teal and Shoveler. A small group of Pinta…

    • 2 Oct 2020
  • “Autumn is a second Spring, when every leaf is a flower “…. Albert Camus

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings: 19th September – 25th September 2020

    4 seasons in one week? It could only be at RSPB Mersehead! It has been a very changeable seven days, from beautiful warm sunshine over the weekend, to high winds, rain and dipping temperatures.   The Autumn equinox on the 22nd September has signalled the start of a new season but the wildlife on the site is showing no signs of disappearing from…

    • 25 Sep 2020
  • What's that coming over Criffel?

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 12th September - 18th September 2020

    A calm and settled start to the week brought pleasant relief from the relentless winds that swept across the reserve over the weekend.  With the temperature rising and the sun making a welcome return, conditions were just right to conduct a survey of the butterflies and bees that have made Mersehead their home over the summer.  Walking the fixed transect, which…

    • 18 Sep 2020
  • Social gatherings, with restrictions

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 5th September - 11th September 2020

     

    There are exciting times ahead, with one season closing as the next begins. Last week, there were plenty sightings of birds passing through, like wheatears and stonechats. We still had a good number of swallows on reserve and more activity in terms of winter waterfowl passing through. This week has seen a change and winter is certainly on the way.

     Changes…

    • 11 Sep 2020
  • Footprints in the Sand

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 29th August – 4th September 2020

    September has arrived and signs of autumn are appearing. The nights are noticeably drawing in, the leaves are turning golden and birds are flocking together. In September, we start conducting the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) again after a break during the breeding season. This monitoring scheme for non-breeding waterbirds in the UK aims to assess the…

    • 4 Sep 2020
  • Changing of the Guard

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 22nd – 28th August 2020

    It has been a week where the weather has stolen the show at Mersehead.  First Storm Ellen peaked on Friday, with gale force winds combined with a 9m tide sending waves crashing into the sand dunes, and led to the southern half of the salt marsh and Rainbow Lane being submerged.  Heavy and unpredictable showers over the weekend then culminated in over 30mm of…

    • 28 Aug 2020
  • Reaping the harvest

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 15th – 21st August 2020

    August is always a busy month for farming and natural productivity in the high summer. Hay was finally gathered before wet weather set in, with most getting lifted last weekend. In total, 190 round bales were rolled out and most were taken into the sheds. Our Tuesday Volunteers helped to prepare the hay sheds in advance, and everything was good to go (as soon…

    • 21 Aug 2020
  • Dance of the Thousand Bales

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 8th – 14th August 2020

    A key component of the Barnacle Goose management on the reserve is hay making. By removing the grass from the field, we can ensure the vegetation is nutrient-rich and lush, just what the barnacle geese need after their 2000-mile migration from Svalbard.

    Making Hay. Photo credit: R.Flavelle

    It can be quite tense hay making in Scotland as you need at least a…

    • 14 Aug 2020
  • While the Sun Shines

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 1st August – 7th August 2020

    Overall, it has been an unseasonably wet and windy start to August at Mersehead.  The unpredictability of the scattered, and occasionally heavy showers at the weekend was followed by more certainty in the first half of the week.  High winds and long periods of persistent rain leading to flooding, and limited opportunities to fully appreciate and enjoy Mersehead…

    • 7 Aug 2020
  • Elemental

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 25th July – 31st July 2020

    In a very changeable week we faced all kinds of weather, with sunshine, rain and breezy episodes.  So, one thing that has been experienced by returning visitors is the elements.  On Monday, the reserve had to be closed with the access road getting flooded (up to 65cm at its deepest).  The run-off that followed from surrounding hills saw to the reserve remaining…

    • 31 Jul 2020
  • The Merse at Mersehead

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 18th – 24th July 2020

    Many visitors to Mersehead walk the main coastal trail in a loop around the reserve. The Southwick Water cuts its way west through the merse (saltmarsh) and winds out across the sandflats into the estuary towards Sandyhills. This is a beautiful quiet corner of the reserve and worth the extra walk.

    Southwick Water. Photo credit: R.Flavelle

    Most of the shells…

    • 24 Jul 2020
  • A Different Perspective

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 11th July – 17th July 2020

    We would like to start by thanking all our visitors for their patience whilst waiting for Mersehead to re-open, and for being understanding of the additional measures and restrictions that have had to be put in place to enable the reserve to be enjoyed once again.  It has been great to see and hear so many people around the site during the last week, and…

    • 17 Jul 2020
  • Small, and far away!

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 4th July – 10th July 2020

    At last! We opened today and welcomed visitors back on the reserve. It’s been a long wait and a lot has changed but people can now get out and see the fantastic nature here for themselves. Please note however that the visitor centre, viewing hides and Sulwath Garden (including children's play area) will remain closed for the foreseeable future, to ensure social…

    • 10 Jul 2020
  • Lunar Hornet

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 27th June – 3rd July 2020

    We are hoping to open Mersehead in line with Scottish government guidance during the next two weeks, this will include the car park and trails. The hides, playground and Visitor Centre will remain closed. However, following a cluster of Coronavirus cases in the Annan and Gretna areas of Dumfries and Galloway, restrictions to the distance people can travel…

    • 3 Jul 2020
  • That Was Then, This Is Now

    The Mersehead Warden and Assistant Warden live on the reserve and are going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 20th June – 26th June 2020

    The highlight of the week was seeing some much missed faces back at Mersehead…

    • 26 Jun 2020
  • Stubby Legs

    The Mersehead Warden and Assistant Warden live on the reserve and are going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 13th June – 19th June 2020

    The merse is currently brimming with colour and sound. Ragged Robin and 

    • 19 Jun 2020
  • Open to Bovine Visitors

    The Mersehead Warden and Assistant Warden live on the reserve and are going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 6th June – 12th June 2020

    Mersehead is going to start looking, sounding (and probably smelling)…

    • 12 Jun 2020
  • Four Legs & a Tail

    The Mersehead Warden lives on the reserve and is going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 30th May – 5th June 2020

    After entering a semi-dormant state during all the dry weather, the Natterjack toads briefly…

    • 5 Jun 2020
  • Wee Little Beasties

    The Mersehead Warden lives on the reserve and is going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 23rd – 29th May 2020

    Essential work on the reserve this week has focused on inspecting and repairing livestock fencing…

    • 29 May 2020
  • Yellow Brick Road

    The Mersehead Warden lives on the reserve and is going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 16th – 22nd May 2020

    With a force 8 “fresh gale” currently battering the reserve it is hardly the bright sunny day depicted…

    • 22 May 2020
  • Two Pink Elephants

    The Mersehead Warden lives on the reserve and is going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 9th – 15th May 2020

    With warm and sunny weather holding throughout the weekend I headed down to the sand dunes last…

    • 15 May 2020
  • Reedbed Highway

    The Mersehead Warden lives on the reserve and is going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 2nd – 8th May 2020

    As Sunday was a bright and sunny day I decided to hunt amongst the Cuckooflower for Orange-tip b…

    • 8 May 2020
  • Farewell until September

    The Mersehead Warden lives on the reserve and is going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead at this challenging time during their daily walk and whilst completing essential work on the reserve in line with government guidance.

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 25th April – 1st May 2020

    The Barnacle geese were very restless on Sunday, with large numbers jumping into the air,…

    • 1 May 2020