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Old Friday 4th January 2008, 22:18   #351
Andrew Whitehouse
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Into the maelstrom!

I see nobody managed to find anything rare while I was away, despite Helen's instructions .

I had a quick look from the flat yesterday morning but didn't see much apart from a Kittiwake.

This morning it was looking decidedly rough. In fact, the harbour was actually closed today, and it's easy to see why from the pictures below.

Something I shall be keeping an eye on over the coming months is the colony of gulls that nest on the roof tops behind my flat. Over recent weeks a few Herring Gulls have been prospecting their nesting sites. I shall keep you informed of their progress via the medium of the photograph (see the first picture).

After this morning's rain subsided, I set off for a walk around the Ness. The wind seemed to be keeping everything on the move as great swirls of gulls were whisked about the river mouth. Unfortunately there was nothing white-winged amongst them. A lot of Eiders were sheltering on the harbour but I couldn't find either of the Royals amongst them. It looks like these aren't around at the moment, but perhaps they'll return. Also on the harbour were 9 Red-breasted Mergansers. Otherwise most birds seemed to have been blown away or were seeking shelter elsewhere. Four Purple Sandpipers were on Greyhope Bay, a Rock Pipit and a Lapwing were in the lighthouse field. From the foghorn one Red-throated Diver went south and there were quite large numbers of Fulmars and a few Kittiwakes lingering offshore.

The car has now been removed, but signs of its presence remain (see picture 5 below).
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Old Friday 4th January 2008, 22:22   #352
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O Cruel Sea!
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Old Friday 4th January 2008, 23:07   #353
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O Cruel Sea!
Andrew - take a look at these two from, I think, the 1920's. I actually remember the crane, if not the incident!

Regards,

Dave Kennedy

PS - I see I got them the wrong way round - but i am sure that you can figure out that the big splash is the first one. That's what did the damage.
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Old Friday 4th January 2008, 23:14   #354
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Oh my I LOVE seas.... it a bit calm here...

I wish it looked like this out of my bedroom window just now http://www.birdforum.net/attachment....7&d=1069428835
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Old Saturday 5th January 2008, 13:49   #355
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Andrew - take a look at these two from, I think, the 1920's. I actually remember the crane, if not the incident!

Regards,

Dave Kennedy

PS - I see I got them the wrong way round - but i am sure that you can figure out that the big splash is the first one. That's what did the damage.

Brilliant photos Dave,are they from a book ?
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Old Saturday 5th January 2008, 13:51   #356
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Although it is hard to make out,the badge on my avator is of the same Lighthouse.It is the badge of the local Youth Football Club in Torry,of whom I Coach the Under 16s age group.
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Old Saturday 5th January 2008, 21:05   #357
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I like the old photos. Any more of the area would be good to see.

The waves were still very high today, but I was further north for most of the time. It was a good day for gulls and I had good views of adult Little Gull and Iceland Gull in Fraserburgh and the Bonaparte's Gull in Peterhead. I'll try and get out around Girdle Ness tomorrow, to see if anything similar has made it down here.
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Old Saturday 5th January 2008, 21:42   #358
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I like the old photos. Any more of the area would be good to see.

The waves were still very high today, but I was further north for most of the time. It was a good day for gulls and I had good views of adult Little Gull and Iceland Gull in Fraserburgh and the Bonaparte's Gull in Peterhead. I'll try and get out around Girdle Ness tomorrow, to see if anything similar has made it down here.
Tsk. And there was I struggling to find a Herring Gull in Peterborough.
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Old Sunday 6th January 2008, 18:31   #359
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Old Aberdeen

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Brilliant photos Dave,are they from a book ?
I have been writing, purely for personal reasons, an account of Aberdeen as it was in the 1940's and 1950's. I contacted the University of Aberdeen for help with illustrations, particularly concerning the harbour and fish market area. They very kindly sent me a great deal of material from their archives, and that is where I found those pictures.

I have attached two more, one more showing how we used to get about Aberdeen, and the other showing Andrew the road to Torry over 60 years ago.

Best wishes,
Dave Kennedy
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Old Sunday 6th January 2008, 19:37   #360
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The Return of the King

Fantastic pictures Dave. It's changed a bit hasn't it.

Today was a remarkable contrast to recent days, with only a whiff of a breeze, calm seas, blue skies and pleasant temperatures. A fine day for a wander around the Ness in fact.

I skirted the allotments and then headed down to the north shore. There were plenty of gulls feeding on the small beach next to the inner pier but these all took off and settled in the water on my approach. All, that is, except for a quite splendid 1st winter Glaucous Gull, which remained on the beach with a flock of Turnstone and continued to pick about the washed-up seaweed as I stood by taking pictures. At one stage it found a small worm-like thing that it set about delicately swallowing. A Herring Gull eventually came up onto the beach, and it became clear that it was at least as bothered by the Glaucous Gull as it was by me. The Glonk just sat by and glowered at it all the other gulls.

178 Purple Sandpipers were roosting on the old pier, so no change to the totaliser there, and a drake Long-tailed Duck flew into the harbour. There was a decent flock of waders in, of all places, the lighthouse field. Recent rains have made it nicely marshy and amongst the Oystercatchers, Turnstones and Starlings were four Dunlin and a patch tick - a rather warm and buffy looking juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit.

Then to the foghorn and, unlike recent days, there were plenty of birds on the sea. There were lots of Eiders and eventually I located the 1st winter drake King Eider, whose bill is now starting to look properly orangey. Who knows where he's been over recent days, or where the Queen is for that matter, but it was good to see him back in place for 2008. There were around a dozen Red-throated Divers and an excellent Great-northern Diver, as well as good numbers of auks. There wasn't too much moving further out though.

I had a look for the Glaucous Gull later on but it had disappeared from the shore. There was some potential for it to reappear as a house tick, or so I thought, but I couldn't see it perched up on any of the piers of loafing about on the water. Perhaps it headed up to Donmouth where several hundred gulls could be seen distantly near the beach, probably feeding amongst material washed up by the recent rough weather.
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Old Sunday 6th January 2008, 20:48   #361
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Behold the mighty Glonk!
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Old Sunday 6th January 2008, 21:17   #362
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A productive day for you Andrew and some great pics.
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Old Monday 7th January 2008, 21:25   #363
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I had a look for the Glaucous Gull later on but it had disappeared from the shore. There was some potential for it to reappear as a house tick, or so I thought, but I couldn't see it perched up on any of the piers of loafing about on the water. Perhaps it headed up to Donmouth where several hundred gulls could be seen distantly near the beach, probably feeding amongst material washed up by the recent rough weather.
I had a quick look at this gull flock today but didn't see any white wingers. The highlight was a typically huggable and squeezable juvenile Little Gull fluttering over the waves at Donmouth. Lots of waders along the shore too, particularly Turnstone and Sanderling. There were even a few Purple Sandpipers, which are fairly unusual on Aberdeen beach.
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Old Wednesday 9th January 2008, 23:06   #364
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Hey, Andrew -

Came across a nice picture of Torry today. Which one's yours?
By the way, the lighthouse in among the houses is a nice touch.

Regards,
Dave K
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Old Thursday 10th January 2008, 13:30   #365
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The Lighthouse still stands (known as the Leading Light) but the houses (Old Torry) were pulled down,to make way for the Oil Industry moving into the North Sea and Aberdeen in particular.The residents of Old Torry,received a cash sum and a new council house,to move out of the area.

Probably useless information for most but a lot of history,is attached to the Fishermens Cottages and their residents and I remember playing there as a boy.
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Old Thursday 10th January 2008, 16:28   #366
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The Lighthouse still stands (known as the Leading Light) but the houses (Old Torry) were pulled down,to make way for the Oil Industry moving into the North Sea and Aberdeen in particular.The residents of Old Torry,received a cash sum and a new council house,to move out of the area.

Probably useless information for most but a lot of history,is attached to the Fishermens Cottages and their residents and I remember playing there as a boy.
Thanks for the information about these quaint dwellings, although I don't suppose they were the lap of luxury for those living in them. Nevertheless, it's always sad when a piece of history gets pulled down and replaced with something which, regrettably, is rarely better.

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Old Friday 11th January 2008, 13:22   #367
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If it's of interest a juvvy Glauc is sitting on the Golf Course close to the road just past the allotments...well it was when I cycled past 20 mins ago. Can also be seen looking back from the end of Viccy Road across the corner of the GC.

The young male King Eider still off the foghorn...a good BIGBY tick I feel!.
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Old Friday 11th January 2008, 14:46   #368
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If it's of interest a juvvy Glauc is sitting on the Golf Course close to the road just past the allotments...well it was when I cycled past 20 mins ago. Can also be seen looking back from the end of Viccy Road across the corner of the GC.

The young male King Eider still off the foghorn...a good BIGBY tick I feel!.
Damn. I bet if I was at home I could get it on my flat list. I'll keep looking over the weekend though!
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Old Friday 11th January 2008, 16:27   #369
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Damn. I bet if I was at home I could get it on my flat list. I'll keep looking over the weekend though!
It was patrolling a wide patch of the river when I first saw it so would have visible from a variety of places. You'll get one from the house sooner or later I'm sure...

Whilst I'm here does anyone know if the Bonys is still about at Peterhead?. Where best to look?. Ta!.
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Old Friday 11th January 2008, 16:48   #370
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It was patrolling a wide patch of the river when I first saw it so would have visible from a variety of places. You'll get one from the house sooner or later I'm sure...

Whilst I'm here does anyone know if the Bonys is still about at Peterhead?. Where best to look?. Ta!.
I saw it last Saturday but I've not heard of it being reported since. There have been periods before when it's not been reported though, so it's probably still around. Last Saturday it was feeding on the beach to the north of the Ugie mouth, near to where the rocks start.
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Old Sunday 13th January 2008, 10:39   #371
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It was patrolling a wide patch of the river when I first saw it so would have visible from a variety of places. You'll get one from the house sooner or later I'm sure...
Pretty much the first chance I've had to look this morning and there it was, the first winter Glaucous Gull sat on the golf course before being flushed by a dog. Yaldy! I think that's 73 for the flat list and the first new one for a while.
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Old Sunday 13th January 2008, 12:16   #372
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Yaldy!
Dr W, what is this word? I like it.
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Old Sunday 13th January 2008, 12:25   #373
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Dr W, what is this word? I like it.
Here you go.
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Old Sunday 13th January 2008, 12:29   #374
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Nice site!
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Old Sunday 13th January 2008, 19:15   #375
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After the rain cleared today I thought I'd pop out for a stroll round the Ness. By the time I got out, the rain had started again. But there was still much joy to be had amongst the unrelenting greyness. The Glonk was again seen, flying down to its favoured bit of beach on the north shore. He seems to do his own thing. Perhaps he's got no friends. Maybe, the other gulls don't talk to him, just because he's 'different'. I think he's just misunderstood.

A drake Goosander was on the river near the Victoria Bridge and a Red-throated Diver and male Red-breasted Merganser were also on the harbour. The Purple Sandpipers were 'at roost'. Grrrr187rrrrr. Whaddaya mean 'Grrrr187rrrr?'. That's 187, roughly speaking. Ted Chippington joke - doesn't work too well in writing. I also managed to finally see my first Stonechat of the year, a female.

There was a pretty hefty flock of Turnstones in the lighthouse field, together with 4 Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin and 2 Rock Pipits. However, I regret to report that despite the prominent signs ordering its prohibition, no fewer than three people, if you can even call them 'people', were practicing golf. Name and shame them, I hear you say. I'd like to, but I can't. Because I don't know their names. And in any case, they'd probably write in to the BF admin and a pronouncement would be posted saying that they weren't really playing golf but firing golf ball sized bits of chocolate to the confectionery-starved worms of the field and were thus providing a valuable ecological service. That does seem a bit far-fetched though.

Oh, and the immature drake King Eider was 'again present' as they like to say on the info services. Plus 3 Red-throated Divers and a few Fulmars drifting south.
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