Puffin sightings remain frequent this week, mainly coming from the Foghorn or Lagvag Viewpoints with a peak count of 17 seen swimming together.

Puffins - Photo credit: Rob Conn

Guillemot and razorbill chicks can still be seen on the cliffs with the first ‘jumplings’ expected to take the leap next week. Guillemot and razorbill chicks leave the cliffs before they can fly by scrambling down the cliffs or, where they come to a ledge, jumping from the cliffs. Once down on the water they will be cared for by the male parent bird for roughly 12 weeks until they are able to fly and fully fend for themselves. Earlier this week we had the first sighting of a recently fledged black guillemot chick swimming on the water.

The number of kittiwake nests with chicks has vastly increased, with the majority of nests now holding two chicks.

Manx shearwater are often seen in good numbers rafting out to see or flying low over the water. Gannet have been seen diving for fish in Luce Bay which is always a joy to watch as they plunge into the sea at high speed and fulmar  continue to nest along the cliffs near the Gallie Craig. The vast majority of shag chicks have now fledged and can be seen on the lower rocks, identifiable by their more brownish plumage and pale white patch on their throat.

Swift numbers have been a little lower this week but still often reaching double figures as they scream through the air. House martin  and swallow also continue to also grace the air over the reserve.

Both male and female stonechat are frequent sightings near the RSPB Visitor Centre as are goldfinch, pied wagtail and linnet. Male stonechats are easily identified from the females with their black heads and white collar.

Male stonechat -  Photo credit: Rob Conn

 

Female stonechat -  Photo credit: Rob Conn

Fledgling wheatear are a common sight as they hop along paths and cliff tops in search of insects to feed upon.

Fledgling wheatear - Photo credit: Rob Conn

Other avian records this week include peregrine falcon, kestrel, whitethroat, herring gull, great black-backed gull, lesser black-backed gull, raven, carrion crow and a rare record for the Mull of Galloway, song thrush.

Song thrush - Photo credit: Rob Conn

A stoat was seen and photographed earlier this week by a visitor to the reserve who shared this marvellous photograph below. A female roe deer with a young fawn has often been seen and there have been a few reports of common lizard seen basking in the sunshine.

Stoat - Photo credit: Graeme Whipps

Results from this weeks moth trapping included a female ghost moth, a first for the South Rhinns according to the National Biodiversity Network Database (NBND), garden tiger, and map-winged swift. Common blue, red admiral, painted lady and green-veined white are among some of the butterflies seen this week.

 

Female ghost moth - Photo credit: Rob Conn

garden tiger moth - Photo credit: Rob Conn

White-tailed and buff-tailed bumble bees have also been seen feeding on many of the wildflowers.

White-tailed bumble bee feeding on wild thyme - Photo credit: Rob Conn

Porpoise and grey seal have both been seen from the foghorn and Lighthouse Viewpoints,and between Foxes Rattle and the Lighthouse there has been a large parasol mushroom fruiting.

Parasol mushroom - Photo credit: Rob Conn

The RSPB Visitor Centre at the Mull of Galloway is open 7 days a week between 10am and 5pm and between 10am and 4pm (last entry 3;30pm) you can visit the Lighthouse Exhibition or climb the Lighthouse Tower.

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