Anyone visiting the Mull of Galloway during the summer will appreciate it is a time of colour, largely formed by the rich carpet of wildflowers and further enhanced by the diverse range of butterflies, bees and colourful beetles that abound, and of course, the wide variety of birds.

One of my favourite birds is the brightly coloured goldfinch. The collective name for a flock of goldfinches is a 'charm', and these undeniably charming little birds with their delightfully soft twittering song are frequently seen flitting from thistle plant to thistle plant were they dine on the small seeds produced within.

Goldfinch - Photo Credit: John Bridges (

Another member of the finch family often seen at the Mull of Galloway is the linnet. These are often seen in small flocks, darting around the heathland. The male linnet is clearly identifiable with his smart red waistcoat.

Linnet - Photo credit: RSPB (

Other small birds seen on or around the reserve include stonechat, wheatear, meadow pipit, rock pipit, pied wagtail, whitethroat, house martin and swallow.

On the cliffs, prospective kittiwake parents continue to incubate their eggs. Kittiwake incubation generally takes around four weeks and with many clutches now being incubated for more than three weeks, we expect to be seeing chicks in the very near future (UPDATE - First chick seen 26/06/2016 - pop in to the RSPB Visitor Centre at the Mull of Galloway for a chance to see them through the live camera!).

kittiwake incubating eggs - Photo Credit: Andy Hay (

Guillemot, black guillemot, razorbill, gannet, fulmar and shag are also breeding and many are either sitting on eggs or feeding young.

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