The visitor centre at the Mull of Galloway has now been re-open for just over a week and the wildlife sightings are plentiful.

Shag - Photo Credit: Robert Conn

Shag are busy gathering nesting material and constructing their rather scruffy looking nests of seaweed, twigs and other vegetation on the steep cliff faces, some are even sitting on eggs. Kittiwake are steadily returning to the cliffs and are busy staking out potential nesting spots whilst guillemot and razorbill are spending most of their time on the water. Black guillemot can frequently be seen swimming close in to the cliffs and with a keen eye looking out over the water you might glimpse a Manx shearwater as they fly low over the waves.  Gannet are a regular sighting as they travel from their breeding colony on Big Scare passed the headland and out in to the Irish Sea.

Meadow pipit are very noticeable around the heath, busily displaying and defending territories. Small flocks of linnet can be seen mainly around the gorse, and in the willow patch we have had goldcrest, willow warbler, reed bunting, wren, and goldfinch. Wheatear are often seen around the steps leading down to the fog horn as is a rock pipit.

Reed bunting - Photo Credit: Robert Conn

Swallow and house martin are slowly returning after wintering over 3000 mile away in Sub-Saharan Africa and many wildflowers such as dog violets, spring squill, and common scurvy grass are beginning to flower, attracting a few buff-tailed bumble bees.


Spring Squill - Photo Credit: Robert Conn

Oystercatcher and curlew have both been present down in both East and West Tarbet and a peregrine has been sighted most days scouting along the cliffs in search of a meal.

Roe deer and brown hare can be viewed most mornings and grey seal have been seen popping their heads up out of the water as they scan the area, but my highlight so far was on my first day back when I was treated to a very rare sighting of an otter casually swimming around below the Gallie Craig Coffee House before it ducked under and disappeared from sight. A fantastic start to the season!

Grey Seal - Photo Credit: Robert Conn

The Lighthouse Tower and Exhibition Centre are both open for the Easter holidays and over the Easter weekend (15th, 16th) we will have a free Easter Egg trail and craft activities for children running from the RSPB Visitor Centre and our regular guided walks will be commencing from Wednesday 19th. Check out our website for more information by clicking here.

 

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