It's been an important week at the Mull of Galloway as the staff have been busy performing the annual census of the breeding seabirds. Counting all of the birds on the cliffs is no easy feat and requires a lot of time, dedication (5am rises!) and patience. The results are being collated and we will bring you updates over the next few weeks on how this season has fared. The first Guillemot and Razorbill eggs hatched mid-week and adult birds can be seen carrying sandeels to feed their hungry chicks. Protective parents sit tight on their eggs, keeping them warm and hidden from aerial predators such as Herring and Great Black backed gulls.
Proud Guillemot parent protecting it's egg (photo Laura Shearer)
The cliffs at the Mull of Galloway are a hive of activity with Kittiwakes copulating, nest building and laying eggs every day. Standing on the viewing platform at the Foghorn, their charismatic call can be heard echoing around the cliffs while they glide below- completely undisturbed by your presence. It's hard not to be charmed by their elegance and grace as they carrying bills full of mud and grass back to their nests before starting all over again. We had our first Shag chicks fledge on Tuesday with many more nests supporting large well developed chicks. Each shag is at different stages of nesting though and on Thursday morning we found a new nest with just one egg laid so far. As always we will monitor their development closely.
Kittiwake gathering nesting material below the Foghorn (photo Laura Shearer)
Don't look- its an egg! Shags on their nest (photo Laura Shearer)
This week has also been good for Puffins with several seen each day off Lagvag Point. Rafting on the water with the Guillemots and Razorbills, they can be seen feeding in the tidal race which surrounds the reserve. Ask a member of staff at the RSPB visitor centre for more information.
Puffins off Lagvag Point at the Mull of Galloway (photo Laura Shearer)
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654