• Frozen Over

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 25th November – 1st December 2023

    With temperatures dropping to -5oC on the coast it has been no surprise that layers of ice have spread across the wetlands. From Bruiach Hide, the distinctive call of Wigeon can be heard drifting across the frozen water. From the deeper pools within the reedbed, great swirling clouds of wildfowl appear in mixed flocks including ShovelerPintailTeal and Mallard. The…

    • 1 Dec 2023
  • Mersehead Mammals and Marvellous Murmuration at Our Meida Hide

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 18th – 24th November 2023

    Heavy rainfall over the weekend meant water levels were high at the start of the week across the reserve.  While changing water levels across the reserve can bring challenges for our reserve team i.e., flooding issues, they ensure that the reserve provides a range of dynamic and differing habitats for our species, resident and migrant.  

    A good example of this would be the…

    • 24 Nov 2023
  • Keep your ears open for the Cetti’s Warbler

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 11th – 17th November 2023

    For our keen birders out there, you’ll be interested to know that our staff heard the loud, piercing call of the Cetti’s Warbler on Thursday at our Meida Hide whilst conducting our reserve wetland bird survey. The Cetti’s Warbler (pronounced chetty) is a shy wee bird that you’re most likely to hear before seeing. Typically, this species’ range has been Northern…

    • 17 Nov 2023
  • Reedbed Acrobatics

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 4th – 10th November 2023

    With some cold but sunny days this week, it has become really noticeable how stark and bright the reserve is in the autumnal sunlight. As the leaves fall from the trees and hedgerows it has become much easier to spot the tiny Goldcrests flitting from branch to branch. Fieldfare and Redwing are feeding on the bright red berries whilst Long-tailed tit follow each other from tree…

    • 10 Nov 2023
  • A land of plenty

    Mersehead Blog 28th October - 3rd November 2023

    Opportunities for you

    Saturday saw the first session with our new Forest School teacher.  We are really grateful Ed has picked up the reins (or should that be rain this week...?!) to keep Forest School running here and it was great to see some of our regular families returning to support him.  Forest School is a great way to learn how to toast marshmallows over your own fire…

    • 2 Nov 2023
  • Banqueting Badgers pass the Baton onto Berry Loving Thrushes

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 21st – 27th October 2023

    The week began with the final in our series of three Badger Banquets, run as part of the #WildGooseFestival2023.  Once more spectators were treated to a fine display of foraging from four of our resident friends.  Overall, the events have proven hugely popular with all three selling out.

    The badgers were not the only species dining out this week.  The fruiting Hawthorn in…

    • 26 Oct 2023
  • Close encounters of the wild kind

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 14th – 20th October 2023

    Badgers and wintering wildfowl galore

    We kicked off this week with perfect conditions for an evening to enjoy a Badger Banquet, an event where visitors get an up-close, exclusive viewing of our residential Badgers from the comfort of the Sulwath Centre. This ticketed event is part of the region’s #WildGooseFestival2023.

    A few badgers showed up in all their black…

    • 19 Oct 2023
  • Wintry

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 7th – 13th October 2023

    It has certainly started to feel wintry on the reserve with overnight temperatures dropping to 2oC. Winter migrants have been returning with a flock of 60 Redwing seen on Rainbow Lane on Monday. Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush and Brambling have also been recorded.

    This week has seen the team busy with bird surveys. On Wednesday a co-ordinated count of the Solway Estuary for…

    • 12 Oct 2023
  • The Wildflower Trailer

    RSPB Mersehead blog 30th September – 6th October 2023

    We began the annual task of autumn cutting and nutrient stripping our wildflower meadows this week. It is important to remove the cut vegetation to ensure the soil remains nutrient poor which helps keep grasses at bay and allows wildflowers to thrive.


    We were joined by a herd of spectators from the adjoining field who helpfully formed a work party to help…

    • 5 Oct 2023
  • They’re here – the Barnies have landed!

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 23rd – 29th September 2023

    It’s been a wet and wild week, in more ways than one! Storm Agnes blew in with a mighty force, leaving a noticeable mark on the shoreline. Our public access road flooded a couple of times due to heavy rainfall and run-off from the hills.

    Shoreline after Storm Agnes. Photo Credit: A. Hallatt

    We sincerely apologise if the flood road closures affected your ability…

    • 29 Sep 2023
  • Floodgates Open!

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 16th – 22nd September 2023

    The week began with heavy rain causing the public access road which leads up to the reserve boundary to flood. Our team were quick to respond and made sure visitors were kept safe and informed of what was going on.


     Minor Flooding Photo Credit R.Chambers 

    The resulting weather did bring vital benefits to the reserve, compartments which have been dry all summer transformed…

    • 22 Sep 2023
  • Return from Iceland

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 9th - 15th September 2023

    There is a sudden Autumnal feeling at Mersehead with glistening cobwebs greeting the early risers. The nights are noticeably drawing in, the leaves are turning golden and birds are flocking together. 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 such as Redwing and…

    • 15 Sep 2023
  • Summer Revisited

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 2nd – 8th September 2023

    September is a transitional month, when anticipation grows as we await the arrival of the Barnacle Geese from Svlabard.  However, whilst the UK is in the midst of a heat wave – with temperatures in South West Scotland reaching the high 20’s – it is hard to believe that the stars of our winter show are less than a month away.   There are a few sights to…

    • 8 Sep 2023
  • Comings and goings

    RSPB Mersehead Blog – 26th August – 1st September

    As warm summer breezes give way to cooler temperatures, more species are beginning to set off on their migratory journeys. There’s still plenty to see at the reserve though, including some nightly entertainment provided by our resident wildlife.

    Caught on camera

    Our camera traps caught these fellas along one of our tracks – a Roe Deer stopping…

    • 1 Sep 2023
  • Treasured Memories

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 19th - 25th August 2023

    My two weeks of work experience at Mersehead has certainly given me the opportunity to develop many skills and receive excellent insight into the varied nature of conservation work – from habitat management to species surveying; from unpicking Owl Pellets to a ride in the tractor to check on the cows…

    Checking on the cows. Photo credit: E. Harvey

    It would be impossible…

    • 24 Aug 2023
  • A Cutter Above the Rest!

    RSPB Mersehead Blog – 12th- 18th August

    Our Saturday morning work party began preparations for our Family Fun Day which was fast approaching on Thursday. Bird boxes were cut, sawn, nailed and sanded ready for the big day along with medallion making which would be available for children to decorate on the day. Signs and banners were recycled and painted to help inform people of what was on offer (no plastic laminates…

    • 19 Aug 2023
  • An Improvement in the Weather

    RSPB Mersehead Blog – 5th- 11th August

    With slowly improving weather, visitors have been able to fully enjoy the wildlife and landscapes of Mersehead. Some visitor highlights include Spotted Flycatchers and Tawny Owls in the woodland, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers on the shore and flocks of Linnets across the fields!

    Buzzard in flight. Photo credit: Josh Shaw

    Although it is a quieter time of year for bird species,…

    • 11 Aug 2023
  • A Volunteering Life Less Ordinary

    RSPB Mersehead Blog - 29th July - 4th August

    My volunteering period is coming to a close, and I’m reviewing the previous 6 months, remembering all the many and varied corners of the reserve where I’ve encountered marvellous wildlife and carried out tasks I never thought I’d be involved in. Being asked to grease a plough recently was definitely a new one for me…certainly one for the C.V….…

    • 4 Aug 2023
  • The Sweetest Nectar

    RSPB Mersehead blog: 22nd - 28th July 2023

    The stars of the Mersehead wildlife spectacular can be a little trickier to find at this time of the year, as they are either very small, refuse to sit still, or come out under the cover of darkness.

    With the wild flower meadows in full swing, these are the places to spend time looking for some miniature marvels.  The knapweed in the Butterfly Meadow is attracting a host of insects…

    • 27 Jul 2023
  • An Elephant or a Tiger?

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 15th – 21st July 2023

    Some of our most colourful, beautiful and bizarrely named creatures come out at night while we are all fast asleep. With around 2,500 species of moth recorded in the UK, they outnumber the much-loved butterflies by 43 to 1.

    The lure of the moth to the flame has long been a scientific mystery. Being primarily nocturnal it is believed that moths evolved to travel by the glimmer…

    • 19 Jul 2023
  • A visit to Ailsa Craig

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 8th – 14th July 2023

    Welcome to the weekly RSPB Mersehead Nature Reserve Blog!

    Work continues on the outer fields at Mersehead, with a tractor recently being deployed to some of our fields, equipped with a power harrow and rotavator to carefully prepare the ground for reseeding. This process may seem disruptive at first, but it plays a vital role in maintaining the health and vibrancy of the land…

    • 13 Jul 2023
  • Streaking Across the Reserve

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 1st – 7th July 2023

    It’s all about the butterflies this week with not one, but two exciting species recorded on the reserve. First spotted on the reserve 2-years ago, a Purple Hairstreak was seen in one of the oak trees along the footpath to the beach. This butterfly can go under-recorded due to it’s habit of remaining high in the canopy of oak trees where it feeds on honeydew.

    • 7 Jul 2023
  • Literal Kaboom!

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 24th – 30th June 2023

    Greetings, nature enthusiasts! As the summer season unfolds, we find ourselves witnessing a dramatic shift in weather patterns, transitioning from three scorching hot and dry weeks to a period of refreshing rain and wetness. Join us as we delve into the recent developments at the reserve, including preparations for cattle grazing, a mega moth haul, and an unexpected visit…

    • 30 Jun 2023
  • Kaboom!

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 17th – 23rd June 2023

    Well, it’s been an action-packed week again at Mersehead. Thankfully, the weather has taken a different turn with the cooler temperatures being much more comfortable to work in. Flowers are in full bloom, butterflies abound, Barn Owls are often spotted and ‘dragons’ and ‘damsels’ surround any remaining water. It’s a wonderful time to be on such a special reserve and…

    • 22 Jun 2023
  • Some Like it Hot

    RSPB Mersehead Blog 10th – 16th June 2023

    Like the rest of the UK, Mersehead is still in the middle of a heat wave, with temperatures peaking at close to 30oC.  Every now and again the breeze has picked up, making conditions more bearable, but in the main it’s been a case of trying to get things done whilst move as slowly as possible (whilst wearing a hat and plenty of factor 50).

    Taking a slow stroll through…

    • 16 Jun 2023