It’s all go at the Mull of Galloway this week as thousands of birds have passed overhead on route to their wintering grounds. The wind began to ease last weekend and early this week- excellent conditions for witnessing visible migration. Winds from the East help to push migrating birds onto the Rhins. These birds then follow the land down to Scotland’s southernmost point and pass through in large numbers.

Sunrise at the Mull of Galloway- what birds will be spotted today? (photo Laura Shearer)

The highlight from this week is no doubt witnessing large flocks of Skylarks passing over the reserve. Sunday (09.10.16) saw a whopping 1,222 skylarks migrating through. The following day (Monday 10.10.16) there was another 1,179 whizzing past, calling as they went. What an incredible sight and sound!

One of many Skylarks passing by the Mull of Galloway this week (photo Laura Shearer)

Many other birds migrated through the Mull of Galloway during this time. Meadow pipits, Linnets and Goldfinches were all recorded in their hundreds as they travelled south towards their winter grounds. Read the complete counts here:

With an influx in small birds there is an inevitable increase in the number of raptors. Sparrowhawks and Merlins patrol the area in search of a good meal. Our resident Peregrine has also been very active and can be spotted firing along the cliffs at lightning speed. 

Merlin waiting to pounce on unsuspecting prey (photo Laura Shearer)

Buzzard circling around the Mull of Galloway (photo Laura Shearer)