As we move in to September we are starting to see early signs of autumn migrations. The willow patch which acts as a tempting stop off point for migrants has been attracting willow warbler, sedge warbler, whitethroat and goldcrest. The number of linnet and goldfinch that have been feeding amongst the heathland has increased vastly, with mixed flocks often reaching 50 plus. There has also been a marked increase in the number of pied wagtail, Pied wagtail will move from colder upland areas to milder lowland sites in autumn, many of which may pass through the Mull of Galloway and some may continue on as far as North Africa,

Sedge warbler - Photo credit: Rob Conn

Other African bound birds such as house martin and swallow are frantically feeding up in preparation for their southward journey as are wheatear.

Wheatear - Photo credit: Rob Conn

Kittiwake which have been resident on the cliffs since March are spending more and more of their time on the water and will soon be departing to spend the next few months out on the Atlantic Ocean.

Not all our birds will be departing however. Stonechat may remain around all winter as will raven, peregrine, kestrel and meadow pipit, although many meadow pipit will move southwards in search of milder climates.

Stonechat - Photo credit: Rob Conn

Gannet are still a common feature over the seascape that stretches from the far side of Luce Bay out to the Irish Sea and will still be around for a few weeks yet.

Other wildlife sightings include harbour porpoise, common lizard, common shrew, bank vole and roe deer.

Common lizard - Photo credit: Rob Conn

The RSPB visitor centre at the Mull of Galloway continues to be open each day between 10am and 5pm with guided walks each Wednesday at 1pm. The lighthouse exhibition centre is open 7 days a week between 10am and 4pm and on weekends you can climb the lighthouse tower between 10am and 4pm. For more information visit the following websites.

www.rspb.org.uk/mullofgalloway

http://www.mull-of-galloway.co.uk/mull-of-galloway-experience/

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