After a 17 year stay as warden of RSPB Pagham Harbour and Medmerry, February 2022 was a time of new beginnings. At the beginning of the month, I moved up to southwest Scotland to become the new warden for the RSPB reserve at the Crook of Baldoon. I have now been here for three months and starting to settle down. The location is amazing with the reserve lying on the western shores of Wigtown Bay, the area is well known for its flocks of Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese in the winter, nosily grazing on the fields and the saltmarsh. The backdrop is the Galloway Hills and some iconic vistas over the late winter with the geese flying in front of the snow-capped mountains.


View of RSPB Crook of Baldoon From the Wigtown office

As the spring progressed winter slowly turned in to spring and the noise of the geese was replaced by the songs of Lapwing, Redshank and Skylark as they prepared to breed. As of writing this blog the first young Lapwing are taking tentative steps in the world. Migrants are starting to flood in now a little later than I use to when working at Pagham, but wheatears are hoping around the merse as well as Swallow and House Martin making the most of the Lagoons. The more unusual visitors have included a couple of Spoonbills one in full summer plumage, Water Pipit and Short-Eared Owl. But most exciting was the presence of a Cettis Warble present for a couple of days early in the spring at the Wigtown Wetlands. A Species that was common on my last reserve but this bird, I was informed the first confirmed record for Dumfries and Galloway.

Spoonbiill (this photo taken at Pagham) recently seen on the Crook