As August arrived there was an excitement in the air. The seabird breeding season was drawing to a close and the autumn migration was just around the corner. The weather has been incredibly nice: regular sunshine, very little wind and only the odd day of rain (this is Scotland afterall!). Despite the summer weather, migrating birds have been travelling through at an exceptional rate. Each day hundreds of House Martins, Sand Martins, Swallows and Swifts have been whizzing overhead, beginning their long migration south.
The willows behind our visitor centre are a haven for wildlife- providing a place to shelter and rest for migrating birds. Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats, and Goldcrests have been recorded here in good numbers regularly throughout the month.
Sedge Warbler (photo Laura Shearer)
As you walk around the reserve, Meadow Pipits and Wheatears flit between the heather in search of insects. They take little notice of your presence, often feeding mere feet from where you stand. Chirping nearby you will hear Linnets and Goldfinches, feeding on the small seeds of thistles and weeds.
Meadow Pipit migrating through Mull of Galloway (photo Laura Shearer)
The heather at the Mull of Galloway in full bloom (photo Laura Shearer)
There is no shortage of food for the Sparrowhawks and Peregrines that can be seen shooting across the reserve at lightning speed. Their dynamic aerial flights are impressive as they try to catch smaller birds on the wing.
Peregrine on the lookout (photo Laura Shearer)
With all this migration activity it’s inevitable that several unusual species for the reserve would turn up too. The highlights from August include a Reed Warbler, Curlew and Osprey! There’s never a dull day at the Mull of Galloway!
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