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Old Wednesday 12th August 2009, 23:23   #101
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How do you get to the Ythan Estuary? I'm going there after Strathbeg and don't know directions...
There are various places to look from mostly around Newburgh. The beach car park has good access to the mouth (lots of birds there) and Inches Road is a good viewpoint too. Around the bridge is easy to view and there are some lay-bys further along the road. Waulkmill hide is near the head of the estuary and is reached from Collieston crossroads. Try to avoid high tide as most birds will be harder to see then.
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 00:47   #102
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There were a few Dunlin on that bit of freshwater when I was there the other day, but Greenshank and Common Sand is good. I think with hindsight you should have stayed out to look for the scoters rather than watching the Scotland game!
Your right, Andrew, that would have been a good idea to stay for the scoters. However, how I was supposed to know Scotland would lose so badly? Anyway, my Dad and I will have a proper look in a couple of days time, from a point where we can actually see them.
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 08:44   #103
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Where about on the Ellon-Collieston road is the Waulkmill Bird Hide?
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 08:54   #104
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Where about on the Ellon-Collieston road is the Waulkmill Bird Hide?
I've marked about where it is on this map (I think!):
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=57.3...,0.077162&z=14
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 21:49   #105
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Went to the Loch of Strathbeg and what I think was the Ythan Estuary. I seen the Little Egret, Grey Heron, Tree Sparrow, Blue Tit, Pectoral Sandpiper, Moorhen, Swallow, Greenshank, Sandpiper, Kestrel and Curlew. Just viewed from the visitor centre where I talked to an RSPB volunteer and a couple from Cumbria who were at Ythan yesterday and are going somewhere in the highlands tomorrow. I doubt I was in the right place for the Ythan, I went beside the golf course but there were a beach full of seals, Cormorants, gulls, terns and an unidentified duck. Going to Loch Garten on the weekend though!
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 21:55   #106
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Went to the Loch of Strathbeg and what I think was the Ythan Estuary. I seen the Little Egret, Grey Heron, Tree Sparrow, Blue Tit, Pectoral Sandpiper, Moorhen, Swallow, Greenshank, Sandpiper, Kestrel and Curlew. Just viewed from the visitor centre where I talked to an RSPB volunteer and a couple from Cumbria who were at Ythan yesterday and are going somewhere in the highlands tomorrow. I doubt I was in the right place for the Ythan, I went beside the golf course but there were a beach full of seals, Cormorants, gulls, terns and an unidentified duck. Going to Loch Garten on the weekend though!
Sounds like you got to the mouth of the Ythan, which is normally a good place. It's better when the tide's out though. A good day otherwise.
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 22:02   #107
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I'm glad you finally made it to Strathbeg. Sounds like you had a good day and saw some nice birds. You found the Ythan OK if you saw the seals on the beach. Weren't there hundreds of Eiders there as well? It's probably a bit better further upstream for waders. Still, I'm sure you'll be back now that you've found it. The numbers of birds will continue to grow over the next couple of months as the waders and geese return from up north. Eventually there will be tens of thousands of birds on the estuary.

Have a good day at Loch Garten as well. There's lots of info here on BF about the area but if you want any help just ask.
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 22:18   #108
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I'm glad you finally made it to Strathbeg. Sounds like you had a good day and saw some nice birds. You found the Ythan OK if you saw the seals on the beach. Weren't there hundreds of Eiders there as well? It's probably a bit better further upstream for waders. Still, I'm sure you'll be back now that you've found it. The numbers of birds will continue to grow over the next couple of months as the waders and geese return from up north. Eventually there will be tens of thousands of birds on the estuary.

Have a good day at Loch Garten as well. There's lots of info here on BF about the area but if you want any help just ask.
There was a flock of a few hundred birds flying about, not sure what they were though. I'll analyse my photos later. Thought I'd ask though, what is the chances of managing to see a Capercaillie at this time of year? I know that your best observing them in spring during the lek but they can't be impossible to see
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 22:30   #109
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Finally got to hear a Quail calling at the Tarland hide tonight. Otherwise very little to report. The grass is now so long it's become very hard to see and count all the birds.
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 22:50   #110
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Sounds like someone needs to get the shears!
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Old Thursday 13th August 2009, 23:28   #111
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Just found out that my unidentified duck is a Little Grebe!
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Old Friday 14th August 2009, 22:32   #112
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2 Peregrines "playing" with a Sarrowhawk early this morning,over the Kirk of St Nicholas on Schoolhill and Union Street.
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Old Friday 14th August 2009, 22:33   #113
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2 Peregrines "playing" with a Sarrowhawk early this morning,over the Kirk of St Nicholas on Schoolhill and Union Street.
Could even have been a Sparrowhawk..!
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Old Saturday 15th August 2009, 17:20   #114
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Aww, was in town yesterday and today and no Peregrines despite searching on Schoolhill for ages!
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Old Saturday 15th August 2009, 21:57   #115
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This evening, my Dad and I once again went to look for the Surf Scoters, walking from Donmouth to see if we could find the duck flock. They had moved north from where we had last seen them, up towards the golf course at Murcar, and this time the flock was scattered, and very flightly (we saw several scoter in flight). There were probably around 4 flocks in all, each varying in size. In one flock there was 70 Velvet Scoter, quite an extraordinary number in my opinion, considering Velvet Scoters aren't that common. In the other flocks there were mostly Common Scoter, but as far as we could see, despite the perfect conditions, there were no Surf Scoters. I don't think we are going to have a look for a Surf Scoter there for quite some time now.
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Old Sunday 16th August 2009, 09:05   #116
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A little away from Aberdeen but does anyone know if you can access Abernethy Forest from the Osprey Centre? Or if you can't where's the entrance?
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Old Sunday 16th August 2009, 10:39   #117
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A little away from Aberdeen but does anyone know if you can access Abernethy Forest from the Osprey Centre? Or if you can't where's the entrance?
I'm probably too late if you are going there today, but anyway:

Abernethy forest covers many square kilometres, and there are several public roads going through it, with plenty places to park a car. There is no entrance as such. Anyone is free to access the forest on foot, bearing in mind the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, and the need to avoid disturbing the wildlife. There are a number of waymarked paths as well for anyone who can't read a map , or has a poor sense of direction. Just go and explore, and enjoy the experience.
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Old Sunday 16th August 2009, 16:35   #118
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Spent the day at the Ythan and managed one more species of wader than I saw two weeks ago. The extra species was an adult Little Stint on the lower part of the estuary. Numbers of other species include: Black-tailed Godwit (6), Bar-tailed Godwit (2), Golden Plover (40) and singles of Greenshank, Whimbrel and Ruff. Also at least one Osprey.
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Old Sunday 16th August 2009, 19:18   #119
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Back from Abernethy! After going 13 miles off track and ending up in Tarland that is. Got there after 4 hours! Highlights were Osprey, Red Squirrel, Mountain Hare, possible Ptarmigan and possible Golden Eagle!
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Old Sunday 16th August 2009, 20:15   #120
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Back from Abernethy! After going 13 miles off track and ending up in Tarland that is. Got there after 4 hours! Highlights were Osprey, Red Squirrel, Mountain Hare, possible Ptarmigan and possible Golden Eagle!
Well done, sounds like a great day. Any more details on the Ptarmigan and Golden Eagle?
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Old Sunday 16th August 2009, 20:44   #121
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Well done, sounds like a great day. Any more details on the Ptarmigan and Golden Eagle?
Well one of my great birding habits is to birdwatch in the car when there is no chance of a certain ID or binocular usage. So the possible "Ptarmigan" was certainly a species of gamebird and the "Golden Eagle" was certainly a large bird of prey at a very high altitude.
Anyway I walked the green trail at Abernethy Forest and all I got out of it was nice scenery, an ant hill, some ducks, Great and Blue Tits and a possible Crested Tit. At Loch Garten there were Siskin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Osprey and Red Squirrel. My parents though must stay and conform within the boundaries of a suggested path route so no mice, voles, Capercaillie or Wildcat sadly but I wasn't expecting any.
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Old Sunday 16th August 2009, 20:55   #122
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Well one of my great birding habits is to birdwatch in the car when there is no chance of a certain ID or binocular usage. So the possible "Ptarmigan" was certainly a species of gamebird and the "Golden Eagle" was certainly a large bird of prey at a very high altitude.
Anyway I walked the green trail at Abernethy Forest and all I got out of it was nice scenery, an ant hill, some ducks, Great and Blue Tits and a possible Crested Tit. At Loch Garten there were Siskin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Osprey and Red Squirrel. My parents though must stay and conform within the boundaries of a suggested path route so no mice, voles, Capercaillie or Wildcat sadly but I wasn't expecting any.
I'm jealous now, all I've done today was go Glenkindie House gardens. House Martins still have young in the nests on the house. Ptarmigan are found only above about 800m, probably higher at this time of year, so maybe the game bird you saw was a Red Grouse or a Black Grouse. Red Grouse on heather moorland, Black Grouse the same, or maybe rough grass with some trees.
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Old Sunday 16th August 2009, 21:18   #123
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I'm jealous now, all I've done today was go Glenkindie House gardens. House Martins still have young in the nests on the house. Ptarmigan are found only above about 800m, probably higher at this time of year, so maybe the game bird you saw was a Red Grouse or a Black Grouse. Red Grouse on heather moorland, Black Grouse the same, or maybe rough grass with some trees.
Well it was beside the Leicht Ski Centre, how high is that? And I can't find a Highlands thread, is there one?
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Old Monday 17th August 2009, 09:47   #124
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Well it was beside the Leicht Ski Centre, how high is that? And I can't find a Highlands thread, is there one?
Not quite high enough for Ptarmigan, and probably too high for Black Grouse, which leaves Red Grouse. I've seen lots of them at the roadside around the Lecht Ski Centre, so almost certainly what you saw. Nice one! Good place for Snow Buntings too, in the winter. They come to the car park for scraps.
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Old Monday 17th August 2009, 09:50   #125
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Link to Highland and Moray forum here: http://highlandandmoraywildlife.free....org/index.php
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