• Season of the Storms

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 8th February – 14th February 2020

    The British Isles have been taking a battering over the past week, with Storm Ciara blasting through earlier in the week. Mersehead faced high risks of flooding and with tidal surges and high winds, parts of the reserve were closed off to visitors for their safety. Snowfall on many of the surrounding hills, along with previous and predicted rains…

    • 14 Feb 2020
  • Singing Skylarks and other Signs of Spring

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 1st – 7th February 2020

    It may only be the start of February, and we’ve certainly had a few rather frosty starts this week, but there’s nevertheless been a definite feeling of spring in the air!

    The warm sunshine on Wednesday morning was translated into “glorious rolling sound by a chorus of several territorial male Skylarks, an ensemble of “hovering specks…

    • 7 Feb 2020
  • The Final Leg of the ‘Great Mersehead Beach Clean’?

    Mersehead Beach Clean, 1st February 2020

    On a grey and blustery Saturday morning in early February, nine committed volunteers and one very well-behaved dog turned up for our first beach clean event of the new decade and our fifth such event here at RSPB Mersehead since September last year.

    Beach litter. Photo credit: Donal McCarthy

    Thanks to the help of dozens of volunteers, we’ve been making our way in stages along…

    • 5 Feb 2020
  • Courtship on the Wetlands

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 25th – 31st January 2020

    The focus at Mersehead this week has been the re-development of the footpath through the woodland to Meida Hide. We have widened the path and are currently installing boarding along the sides to define the edge. Practice for the dawn chorus has been evident with Treecreeper, Mistle thrush and Chaffinch heard warming up their vocal cords. A small party of Long-tailed…

    • 31 Jan 2020
  • Not Such a Tranquil Place

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 18th January – 24th January 2020

    With weather settling in the last week, the reserve has been open for visitors, with some great wildlife to showcase. Starlings are still putting on a great display with their murmuration at dusk over the reedbed and raptors aren’t missing out on the spectacle, with peregrine, sparrowhawk, marsh and hen harrier all close by. It’s definitely worth…

    • 24 Jan 2020
  • After the Storm

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

    Last week ended with a stunning day of cold bright weather and our monthly wetland bird count (WeBS) over at Kirkconnell Merse, carried out from the eastern banks of the River Nith against an early morning backdrop of a snow-capped Criffel and thousands of noisy Barnacle Geese and Pink-footed Geese flying out from their overnight roosting sites.

    • 16 Jan 2020
  • A New Decade

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 3rd January – 10th January 2020

    Damp and mild weather at the start of the week has been replaced by minus temperatures with the first snow fall on Criffel and ice forming around the edge of the wetlands. The pools from the Visitor Centre have been busy with Teal, Wigeon, Pintail and Mallard. A Whooper Swan dropped in which was great to see as we usually see these elegant birds from…

    • 10 Jan 2020
  • Midwinter and a Merry Christmas from Mersehead

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 14th – 20th December 2019

    This is a tough time of year for wildlife, as the days get progressively shorter and noticeably colder. However, as we approach midwinter and the festive period, there are already emerging signs of new life for the seasons ahead.

    Hazel catkins. Photo credit: D. McCarthy

    Hazel catkins are beginning to appear in the hedgerows, a sure sign that spring is actually…

    • 19 Dec 2019
  • Pintail

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 7th – 13th December 2019

    As the second week of December draws to an end it has become really noticeable how stark and bright the reserve is in the winter sunlight. All the leaves have fallen from the trees and hedgerows making it much easier to spot the tiny Goldcrest flitting from branch to branch. Fieldfare can be seen feeding on the bright red berries whilst Long-tailed tit follow…

    • 13 Dec 2019
  • Face to Face with our Plastic Waste

    Mersehead Beach Clean – 8th December 2019

    It was a bright and windy start to our monthly beach clean event last Sunday morning. Eight enthusiastic volunteers came along to assist us in keeping our stunning stretch of the Solway coastline as free as possible from plastic and other types of waste. The rain held off for most of the morning, although the strong winds meant that we had to be extra careful in loading…

    • 11 Dec 2019
  • The Wall

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 30th November- 6th December 2019

    The bitter temperatures continued into the early part of this week, making for more fantastic icy landscapes in the winters sun. Most of the wetlands had frozen over, with many wildfowl hunkering down, heads tucked in waiting for conditions to improve. The sunrises and sunsets have been absolutely spectacular, with pinks, oranges and reds making the sky…

    • 6 Dec 2019
  • Winter is coming

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 23rd – 29th November 2019

    There’s a flash of cold in the air as the last of the auburn leaves are shed from trees, and morning frosts glint in the strong midwinter sun. Roe deer continue to graze through the fields in groups, their breath creating smokescreens in the biting air. Thrushes, notably Redwing and Fieldfare, continue to pluck red berries from the Hawthorn hedgerows…

    • 29 Nov 2019
  • Winter's visitors

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 16th - 22nd November 2019

    What a chilly week it has been! On Monday and Tuesday in particular, the reserve was looking spectacular as the ground sparkled with thick frost. For those braving the cold weather, plentiful numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing have been view-able gorging on the berries in the hedgerows, and it would of course not be possible to go without mentioning the thousands of Barnacle…

    • 22 Nov 2019
  • A busy week at Mersehead International Airport

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 9th-15th November 2019

    It was a cold and windy start to the week here at RSPB Mersehead, but the sun was shining brightly on Sunday morning for our monthly beach clean event. Twelve dedicated volunteers came along to assist us in keeping our 3.2-mile stretch of the stunning Solway coast free from plastic waste. One of the volunteers was even lucky enough to spot a Snow bunting feeding along…

    • 15 Nov 2019
  • Snowy

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 2nd – 8th November 2019

    Cold, dry and bright weather is forecast over the coming week, the perfect conditions to head down to Mersehead for some autumnal sunshine. The hedgerows are brimming with bright red berries providing a vital food source. The flocks of Fieldfare have been amazing with up to 70 birds recorded together. A soft “seep seep” call reveals the presence of the …

    • 8 Nov 2019
  • Murmuration magic

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 26th October - 1st November 2019

    We were reminded that winter creeps ever closer this week, with frosts crisping the reserve on a few mornings and making for magical sunrises. As we’ve previously reported, our winter visitors are now well and truly in, and the reserve is bustling with life.

    It’s almost impossible to walk anywhere without thrushes bursting from the bushes around you. Large…

    • 1 Nov 2019
  • Sightings and Sunsets

    Mersehead Recent Sightings: 19th-25th October 2019

    It has been another exciting week at Mersehead, with a diverse array of sightings reported by visitors and staff. From both Bruaich and Meida Hides hundreds of splashing Teal, ‘peewit’-ing Lapwing, and bathing geese can reliably be seen. Whilst out on the trails, passing Redwing and Fieldfare continue to gorge on the hawthorn berries which laden the hedgerows…

    • 25 Oct 2019
  • An event-full week at Mersehead

    Mersehead Recent Sightings: 12th- 18th October 2019

    The magic of bird migration continues to thrill us here at Mersehead. This week saw more winter visitors arrive, including the first sightings of Redwings and Fieldfares. These colourful Scandinavian migrants are best looked for feasting on the abundant supply of bright scarlet hawthorn berries in the hedgerows along the Wetland Trail. A male Brambling was also reported…

    • 18 Oct 2019
  • 8 Million tons

    Despite the weather forecast 15 hardy souls ventured down to the beach at RSPB Mersehead on Sunday to help us clean part of our 3.2-mile coastline. This was an area that we have not previously cleaned so we discovered a vast array of items from an inflatable swimming pool toy, to balloons, Barbie's hair comb, a Coca Cola crate and of course a multitude of single use plastic bottles.

    It's important to carry a specially…

    • 16 Oct 2019
  • Migration Magic

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 5th- 11th October

    It was another wet start to the week with the reserve entrance road again flooding on Saturday and meaning wellies were still an essential requirement when visiting the hides. However, it did mean that there was a lot of water around on the reserve attracting lots of birds in. A large flash that formed in one of the fields along Rainbow Lane was holding over 1000 birds on most…

    • 11 Oct 2019
  • It’s not just geese flooding into Mersehead!

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 28th September – 4th October 2019

    The barnies are back! (photo credit: RSPB Scotland)

    It’s been a wet week at the reserve, with the access road being badly flooded for much of the week. An increasing problem faced is that we must close when the access road floods. But that said, winds from the north have assisted our winter visitors from the Arctic. Barnacle Geese numbers continue…

    • 4 Oct 2019
  • The Smallest Falcon

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 21st – 27th September 2019

    The Barnacle Geese have started returning to the Solway this week with 305 counted on the sandflats on Wednesday morning. A White-fronted Goose was spotted amongst them. Pink-footed goose numbers have continued to increase with 3000 feeding in the stubble field.

    The first Barnacle Geese to return to Mersehead. Photo Credit: Dave Jackson.

    Overwinter stubble is…

    • 27 Sep 2019
  • On the Up

    RSPB Mersehead recent sightings 14th-20th September 2019

    It feels like the reserve is really starting to come alive again as the number of geese, ducks and waders continue to increase.  Pink-footed Geese have definitely stolen the show this week as groups up to 800 strong have been spotted feeding around the reserve mainly out on the wetlands and in the fields past the woodland.  The best time to see the ‘pinkies’ is early…

    • 20 Sep 2019
  • Burger Banquet

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 7th – 13th September 2019

    This week at Mersehead we had a BBQ to say thank you to our volunteers for all their hard work. It was a nice chance to get staff and all the volunteers together, as usual with enough burgers and pudding to feed an army.

    Volunteer thank you BBQ. Photo credit: D. Jackson

    Moth numbers continue to decline with the cool nights. Last night’s minimum temperature…

    • 13 Sep 2019
  • Icelandic Voyagers Return

    Mersehead Recent Sightings 31st August – 6th September 2019

    There is a sudden Autumnal feeling at Mersehead with overnight temperatures dropping to single figures with a minimum of 5oC recorded. The hedgerows are bursting with bright scarlet berries on the Hawthorn and Rowan trees which will provide a fantastic food source for returning winter migrants. The English Oak is heaving with acorns at Meida Hide. Most…

    • 6 Sep 2019