Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Mull of Galloway RSPB Reserve

Friday 9th July

Early in the morning just as the sun was rising I saw .... nothing very thick fog covered everything and I had to look carefully at the reserve map to get from the above sign to the visitor's centre only 50 yards or so away.

Talked with a volunteer, 76 year old Margaret from california originally but now living in Yorkshire, for a while before braving the gale and fog to get down to the foghorn viewing platform.
Guillemot, razorbills, kittwakes and shags on the cliffs. those and gannets flying past but the views were brief due to the fog. Then in the space of a couple of minutes it all lifeted and there was the Isle of Man about 30 miles to the south. Amazing views now and what a tide and swell.

More birds, 3 puffins, a few manx shearwaters, a wheatear, a stonechat, an arctic tern and 6 curlew going around the headland then a coffee with Margaret and a chat to warm up.

Spent the whole day at the reserve because the boat from Girvan to Ailsa Craig had been cancelled due to a rather bad weather forecast. Met the warden, Paul and then had some food at a cafe called Gallie Craig, apparently named afetr the most southernmost rock in Scotland situated just below the cafe.

Back to the foghorn replete with masses of custard. More manxs going past now than previously and a single grey heron flying along the cliffs caused panic amongst the guillemots.

Sitting on the cliff opposite the cafe I noticed a fox far down below, then another. Put the camera on video and spent a minute recording them, eventually 8 of them cavourting around oblivious of me. Rain stopped the cubs play as they disappeared into the rocks leaving me to have one last look from the lighthouse.

The day ended with 2 roe deer along the cliff and the late evening talking to the local farmer, Billy about why I was camping in one of his fields. Spent about 20 minutes in the rain chatting before settling down to Sally Hinchcliffe's book. Now do British great-crested grebes dance over the water?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing some of the Mull of Galloway reserve atmosphere. I was there as a volunteer at the beginning of June & remember one very foggy day when I might as well have been in a cloud! The climb down (and back up again) to the foghorn is something to do just once. The birds were nesting when I was there & the shag chicks on the cliffs were good to look at on the cameras. Your last photo across to the cliff edge is where I also saw the roe deer. My friend David who was holding the flag at the top of Cairngorm sent me the link to your blog - good luck and good travels for the rest of your amazing journey.