• Singing to an audience of none

    As a small headland jutting out into the Irish Sea the Mull of Galloway can occasionally feel quite isolated. Never more so than if you are a male whitethroat looking to attract a mate with no females around. This has not dampened the ardour of our currently resident male whitethroat though. Male whitethroats often arrive back in the UK prior to females and begin to build what are referred to as “cock nests”. These are…

    • 10 Jun 2016
  • Lazy Sunny Days

    It's not surprising that with all this sunshine we've been having lately, wildflowers and the insects that feed upon them have been adding to the beauty of Scotland's most southern nature reserve at the Mull of Galloway Experience.

    Flowers such as spring squill, thrift, sea campion, wild thyme, northern marsh orchid, heath bedstraw, buckshorn plantain, bloody cranesbill and purple milk vetch, to name just…

    • 5 Jun 2016
  • We've been eggspecting you...

    It’s an exciting time to visit the Mull of Galloway as the breeding season for many of our birds continues. Walking around the reserve it’s impossible to miss our nesting Meadow pipits. They perform fantastic aerial flight displays- known as ‘parachuting’- flying high before gliding back to the ground. This week, several birds have been seen collecting bugs, ants and caterpillars to feed their newly hatched…

    • 22 May 2016
  • Flying the nest

    It’s been an exciting few days at the Mull of Galloway as we welcomed our first chicks of the season! To make this occasion even more exciting the chicks were from our Stonechats- a species which failed to nest here last year. The pair took up residence in early April and have been a common sight (and sound!) around the RSPB visitor centre. We’ve been following their progress- watching them carrying nesting material…

    • 14 May 2016
  • We're eggspecting!

    It’s been an incredibly busy week at the Mull of Galloway as the breeding season continues to get underway. Around the heather, the Meadow Pipits and Linnets have been busy collecting twigs and grass with which to line their nest. On Tuesday we noted a Meadow Pipit carrying food- a tell tale sign that they have some hungry mouths to feed! As reported in our last blog, our wonderful Stonechats also have chicks. The…

    • 5 May 2016
  • The cliffs are alive with the sound of gulls

    The cliffs around the Mull of Galloway are once again beginning to resonate to the sound of kittiwakes.

    Although kittiwake are the most numerous of gulls, both nationally and internationally, with around 380,000 breeding pairs in the UK (8% of the global population), it is possibly the least known or recognised member of the gull family.

    The reason for this is that kittiwakes are predominately oceanic birds, spending…

    • 1 May 2016
  • New man about town

    It’s been a busy week at the Mull of Galloway as our nesting season continues. The cliffs have been a hive of activity with Shags continuing to collect nesting material to construct their elaborate nests. Many more eggs have been laid- including another one which can be seen from the RSPB visitor centre via our nest camera.  Shags tend to return to the same nesting site each year – if it is deemed to be a good spot…

    • 24 Apr 2016
  • Gawk at an Auk

    Guillemot and razorbill numbers have vastly increased in the last week. These distinguished looking seabirds are members of a group of birds known as Auks, which also includes the black guillemot, little auk and the Atlantic puffin. Guillemot and razorbill both lay a single egg per pair on the bare rocks without constructing a nest. They spend most of the year out at sea and return to their breeding colonies around this…

    • 16 Apr 2016
  • Spring arrivals

    Activity on and around the cliffs is slowly building with numbers of kittiwake, razorbill and guillemot increasing day by day. Fulmar and gannet are frequently spotted soaring over the water and shags have been busy gathering material to construct their nests, some already sitting on eggs.

     

    Photo credit: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    Shags are the earliest of the seabirds at the Mull of Galloway to lay eggs, with most…

    • 10 Apr 2016
  • We're back!!!

    The RSPB visitor centre at the Mull of Galloway opened last Friday- just in time for Easter. With an eggciting Easter egg hunt planned alongside other fun activities ran by the Mull of Galloway Trust, it was set to be an enjoyable weekend. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be with strong winds and wild weather however that didn’t stop us from enjoying ourselves anyway! Over 100 people visited the centre on Easter Sunday, purchasing…

    • 1 Apr 2016
  • Leaving on a high

    It’s been a busy couple of weeks at the RSPB Mull of Galloway as we prepared for the end of the 2015 season. With lots of things to pack up and organise, annual meetings and reports to write- it was shaping up to be a busy time. Cue some more visible migration to keep us on our toes!

    Rewind back to last Wednesday (28.10.15). Some gentle Easterly winds followed two days of bad weather- the perfect conditions for…

    • 5 Nov 2015
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5....666!

    It’s been another busy week on the RSPB Mull of Galloway as migrating birds travel past on their long perilous journeys to their wintering grounds. Each day we record several hundred Skylark, Linnets and Meadow Pipits as they fly past the reserve travelling south. Just yesterday (14.10.15) we recorded a staggering 666 Skylark in only an hour and a half- what a sight! For a full report see http://www.trektellen.nl…

    • 15 Oct 2015
  • Bottlenose Dolphins

    Harbour Porpoise are a regular sighting on the RSPB Mull of Galloway however at around 3:30pm from outside the visitor centre we could hear some splashing. Quickly running towards the edge of the cliffs (not too fast!) we were lucky to have amazing views of over 30 BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS! We watched them travel past Maryport Bay towards Drummore however they turned around and swam back around the headland of the Mull before…

    • 7 Oct 2015
  • Mull of Galloway Migrations

    As the day draws to a close we start to review our visible migration festival- and what a day it was! This is the first time we have run this event so we were anxious to ensure the winds were from the right direction and that there was plenty to see. We were not disappointed!

    We began our visible migration counts at 7am. With high counts of Meadow Pipits and Linnets recorded throughout the week, we were hopeful today…

    • 4 Oct 2015
  • Migration, Migration, Migration

    The sky is alive at the Mull of Galloway with a constant stream of birds migrating overhead. Taking advantage of the nice weather and gentle winds, many birds can be seen flying past the Mull of Galloway enroute to their wintering grounds.  

    This week has seen some amazing records! On Wednesday we recorded 3,571 Meadow Pipits, 979 Skylark, 1,202 Linnet, 99 Chaffinches and 95 Swallows. Wagtails, Goldfinches, Siskins and…

    • 3 Oct 2015
  • Migration Mayhem

    As the autumn migration continues, so too does the number of birds stopping off on the RSPB Mull of Galloway, taking respite before continuing with their long perilous journeys south.

    Swallows and House Martins can be seen early morning in flocks of up to 100+ birds. As the day continues their numbers slowly decrease until by early evening we are left with only 1 or 2 individuals. The following morning however, it begins…

    • 28 Sep 2015
  • Sunny September

    The Mull of Galloway has been bursting at the seams with migrating birds this week. With gentle winds and some sunshine(!) it’s a great time to visit!

    The shrubs behind the RSPB visitor centre provide shelter for migrating birds, stopping off on their journeys south. It can provide some much needed respite for small birds and this week has supported Willow warblers, Chiffchaffs, Chaffinches, Whitethroats, Redp…

    • 18 Sep 2015
  • Visible Migration Festival

    The Mull of Galloway lies at the end of a peninsula jutting out into the Irish Sea. As Scotland’s most Southerly point, it can play a vital role for migrating birds which may refuel here before continuing their perilous journeys to their wintering grounds. Birds travelling down the peninsula are filtered to the RSPB Mull of Galloway and here you can experience “Visible Migration” (or “vis mig”). …

    • 11 Sep 2015
  • Bustling with Birds

    The Mull of Galloway is bustling with birds at the minute as the autumn migration gets underway. Our location is fantastic for spotting migrating birds as they begin their journey South to their winter grounds. Many birds will stop off on the reserve to refuel and with lots of insects, moths and butterflies around at the moment- the Mull of Galloway is like an ‘all you can eat buffet’.

    Green veined butterflies…

    • 4 Sep 2015
  • Have you had the Mull of Galloway Experience?

    The Mull of Galloway Experience has been awarded as a 4 Star visitor attraction from Visit Scotland. The experience offers a wide variety of activities to suit different age groups with a variety of interests. The RSPB visitor centre boasts LIVE cameras feeding from our cliffs. Here you can view our nesting seabirds or use our telescope to view the “Scar Rocks” – a gannetry several miles offshore. Have a chat with our…

    • 28 Aug 2015
  • Mull of Galloway Gannets

    During the spring and summer, the Mull of Galloway is home to thousands of nesting seabirds. Our most numerous breeding bird is the gannet, nesting several miles offshore on the Scar Rocks (also spelt Scare or Scaur Rocks).  Although less than a hectare in size, the largest of the islands- Big Scar- supports 2,376 nesting pairs. Aerial surveys are performed every 10 years to assess the population and in 2014 the population…

    • 21 Aug 2015
  • Celebrating International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend

    This weekend the RSPB Mull of Galloway has celebrated the International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend in conjunction with the Mull of Galloway Community Trust. Numerous talks have taken place in the RSPB visitor centre ranging from U-boats and shipping losses along the Wigtownshire Coast during WW1 to the ‘Life and Death on Little Ross’. These talks have been thoroughly enjoyed by many and we would like to thank the speakers…

    • 16 Aug 2015
  • International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend

    This weekend (Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th of August) the RSPB in collaboration with the Mull of Galloway Trust will be celebrating the International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend. There is a programme of events and talks on offer, taking place in the RSPB Visitor Centre. These are free of charge and booking is not necessary however due to limited spaces, please arrive early. 

    The Mull of Galloway Lighthouse will be open…

    • 13 Aug 2015
  • Birds and the Bees

    The first Kittiwake chicks have fledged on the Mull of Galloway just last week, with many more on the cliffs, stretching their wings and preparing to fly the nest. The poor weather delayed the seabird nesting season on the reserve and many of our birds suffered due to strong westerly winds. The Kittiwakes were the last to lay which meant they would miss the poorest of the weather- or so we thought. After the first chicks…

    • 13 Aug 2015
  • What's the porpoise of seawatching?

    This week there is a National Whale and Dolphin Watch led by the charity Seawatch Foundation. They aim to track the distribution of whales, dolphins and porpoises around the UK. Since last Saturday, volunteers have been seawatching around our coastline in search of cetaceans to add important data to this study which has been running for 13 years.

    On the Mull of Galloway, staff regularly seawatch in search of moving

    • 30 Jul 2015