An amazing effort from over 70 folk of all ages came and helped out on the Great British Beach Clean at RSPB Mersehead on Sunday 16th Sept working with the gallant ‘Dumfries and Galloway Eco-Warriors’.

Photo D&G Eco Eco-Warriors

Over a trailer full of rubbish was collected. Much of this was plastic ranging from bottle tops to wheelie bins! A big thanks the D&G Eco Warriors and to everyone else who helped out on the day. Plastic pollution in our seas and coastlines are at global proportions and sadly, concerns of this growing disaster are still not being realised or addressed fully.    
Continuing with a slightly altered Churchill theme, we can never surrender! We hope to continue the battle with further beach cleans in the future, for alas, in a few weeks, more for flotsam and jetsam will be washed up not only on the shoreline at Mersehead but elsewhere on our Scottish coastlines   

Meanwhile on the reserve we have been busy with continued topping and some fence removal work at West Preston, reserve staff from across D&G came to help as part of a mini team challenge.

Photo Colin Bartholomew Fence removal at West Preston 

The reserve was forced to close due to storm ‘Ali’ and we lost several trees in the Sulwath Gardens 4 of which are hung up (or leaning on) other trees making the area unsafe to visitors until we have them felled.

Geese continue to arrive with over 500 pink footed geese seen from the hides on Thursday as well as 10 greyleg geese and 55 canada geese. Looking further beyond the hides small groups of shoveler, teal and mallard are present.

Flocks of passerines are all staring grow with groups of blue tit , great tits seen in the woodlands this week and of course includes the usual visitors such as sparrows robins, greenfinch and goldfinch at the visitor centre, seen on the feeders and meadow pipits and skylark still to be seen on the merse  

On Sunday we had a male and female marsh harrier over the wetlands, and have had continuing reports of sparrowhawks seen within the visitor centre area and a male kestrel seen around the farm buildings  .

Photo Calum Murray Marsh Harrier in the foreground 

Events

There are general walks taking place once a fortnight on Thursdays through to December. If you’d like to see how we attract nature throughout the seasons and get to discover some of our wildlife close-up, then get in touch to take part in one of the Mersehead Discovery Walks.

For the more adventurous, we will be running to special events in the next couple of months. The Reserve’s Last Piece in the Jigsaw guided walks will offer the chance to experience Preston Merse (the new part of this reserve that now links Mersehead with West Preston). This recent acquisition has raised interest by a number of visitors and now, you can join in the walk to see it first hand and learn about its story and how work is being done to develop it into an important part of the reserve. This walk is for the physically fit, as ill be quite strenuous. The event will take place on 16th October and again on 17th November, from 10am to approximately 3pm. Booking is essential and there will be limited spaces for those wishing to take part.

For more details, check online at https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/find-a-reserve/reserves-a-z/events.aspx?reserve=Mersehead

Colin Bartholomew Site Manager RSPB Mersehead 

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