• Whop Whop

    At Mersehead, we have two staff cottages with both the Warden and Assistant Warden living on the reserve. We are going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife we see at Mersehead during our daily walks.

    Mersehead Moments

    The very distinctive low chatting of whooper swans could be heard from my garden over the weekend and alerted me to the presence of 21 of these elegant swans out on the wetlands. These birds…

    • 30 Mar 2020
  • Pink Elephants, Emeralds and Tigers in your Garden

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 21st – 27th March 2020

    At Mersehead, we have two staff cottages with both the Warden and Assistant Warden living on the reserve. We are going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife we see at Mersehead during our daily walks.

    Following the latest clear instructions from the Government for us all to remain at home apart from a limited number of allowed activities, we 

    • 27 Mar 2020
  • All Change!

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 14th – 20th March 2020

    What a week! I’m sure everyone has had a bit of a wham on their lives with what’s been going on in media and indeed, how it can potentially affect us all in the coming weeks. I’m no different and know that the next few weeks if not months, will be challenging.

    RSPB Scotland are following government guidelines and decisions have been made to…

    • 20 Mar 2020
  • Floods and Frolicking

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 6th – 13th March 2020

    The weather has been as diverse at the wildlife at RSPB Mersehead this week.  Strong southwesterly winds and spells of heavy rain, combined with the moon being full and at its closest to the earth during its orbit (known as a supermoon), have seen high tides on the Solway of over 9m.  These completely flooded the salt marsh and Rainbow Lane, and made areas of…

    • 13 Mar 2020
  • The Sleeper Awakens

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 29th February – 6th March 2020

    Spring has well and truly sprung, with bird song and the breeding season now underway. In the last couple of weeks, male chaffinches have burst into song along most of the hedgerows and skylarks are ascending with song (usually in the sunshine). Song thrushes can be heard by their varying repetitive calls and blackbirds singing melodious phrases.


    • 7 Mar 2020
  • Getting Ready to Depart

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 22nd – 28th February 2020

    After so much wet and windy weather recently, the several days of bright sunshine and blue skies that we’ve enjoyed this past week have been welcomed by staff, volunteers and visitors alike.

    As for the wildlife, with the days getting longer we are moving into a critical time of year for our wintering population of Svalbard Barnacle Geese. These birds…

    • 28 Feb 2020
  • Croak or Ribbet?

    RSPB Mersehead Recent Sightings 15th – 21st February 2020

    A wet and windy week with several yellow warnings for wind and rain as storm after storm batters the UK. In the brief spells of calm sunny weather, we have seen Lapwing warming up their vocal cords with short bursts of display flight. Winter flocks begin to break up in February with birds returning to their breeding grounds. Keep a lookout for the male lapwings…

    • 21 Feb 2020
  • 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