On Monday (22 Sep) we woke to the sound of geese returning to the Solway from their summer holiday in the Arctic Circle. That is the first time since April and we now have 6 months of goose music to enjoy.

This wasn’t the first hint that this glorious Indian Summer that Dumfries and Galloway is enjoying will eventually give way to autumn. The curlews have been singing their haunting cry across the sand flats for a few weeks now, perhaps the most beautiful birdsong of all.

The stubble fields are now starting to fill up with of our winter residents: fieldfares and redwings as well as several flocks of starlings.

This year has been a good year for barn owls. We were worried that they were nearly extinct in this part of the world after the long periods of snow in the winters of 2009 and 2010 when they were unable to hunt. But the great news is that barn owls have been seen hunting at dusk in several different parts of the estate.

On the other hand we are seeing fewer swallows now as they start to depart for warmer climes, including, we hope the 3 broods that hatched in the eaves of Curlew Lodge this summer!