• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Birds fae Torry (1 Viewer)

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
As I've recently moved house, I thought I'd start a thread detailing what I see from my new place. I'm now living in Torry, on the south side of Aberdeen harbour, and from the bedroom of my third floor flat I've got great views over the city and out to sea. I'll also mention any birding I do in the nearby area, which in this case is Girdle Ness - the peninsula that runs out from Torry and into the North Sea.

After a week in the flat, my house list has climbed up to 45. Not too bad, particularly considering the conditions haven't been all that favourable. Here's a preliminary house list to get us started:

Red-throated Diver
Manx Shearwater
Gannet
Cormorant
Shag
Grey Heron
Mute Swan
Pink-footed Goose
Mallard
Eider
Common Scoter
Sparrowhawk
Oystercatcher
Knot
Common Redshank
Turnstone
Arctic Skua
Great Skua
Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Kittiwake
Sandwich Tern
Guillemot
Razorbill
Woodpigeon
Collared Dove
Swallow
House Martin
Rock Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Robin
Blackbird
Blue Tit
Magpie
Jackdow
Carrion Crow
Starling
House Sparrow
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Linnet

So some good birds there, although nothing that's surprised me too much and plenty of easy things still to get. It's relatively easy to see quite a few seabirds, although the open sea is the best part of a mile away. Arctic Skuas have appeared three times, harrassing the terns and Kittiwakes that frequent the harbour mouth. A Bonxie drifted through on one occasion and a single Manx Shearwater flew north well out to sea. Commoner seabirds are often closer in, with good numbers of auks in the harbour at the moment and lots of gulls, Cormorants and Shags. Waders have been a bit harder to see, and there's only really one quite distant area - a concrete platform by one of the harbour breakwaters - where they can be seen feeding. Today I managed four species there, including four Knot. There was a little bit of evidence of visible migration early in the morning, with a few Meadow Pipits going over. Yesterday I saw the first flock of Pink-footed Geese, coming in off the sea and over Girdle Ness. Perhaps the most impressive sight so far have been the Bottle-nosed Dolphins. These are regularly found around the mouth of the harbour and at least half a dozen, including a mother and calf, have been scything through the waters over the past couple of days, attended by a crowd of gulls.

I'll post a few pictures later, together with some thoughts on what I might manage to see in the future.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
The first picture shows the view out to sea and the outer part of the harbour. You can just about see the northern edge of the Girdle Ness peninsula. Try to imagine a few dolphins leaping out the water and you're just about there.

The second picture is the view out over the harbour and the throbbing heart of the Granite City beyond. Haven't seen too much looking in this direction yet.

The third picture shows the garden. Not too exciting but you never know. I might start putting out a bit of food during the winter, although this will probably be of most benefit to the thriving local Feral Pigeon population. The fourth picture shows a nice scruffy patch a few doors down. I've high hopes for there being a skulking Barred Warbler in here, although so far it mostly just harbours a few idle House Sparrows.
 

Attachments

  • Flat view B.jpg
    Flat view B.jpg
    189.7 KB · Views: 1,038
  • Flat view C.jpg
    Flat view C.jpg
    208.7 KB · Views: 1,005
  • Garden view A.jpg
    Garden view A.jpg
    282.1 KB · Views: 1,004
  • Garden view B.jpg
    Garden view B.jpg
    263.1 KB · Views: 1,053

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Nice one Andrew... 'bout time we had some reports from 'up there'.

Tell me, were you a bit tipsy or is that last photo of a verrrry steep hill:-O

D
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
OK I'll believe you... now there's just the question of um... spelling to sort out o;)

D
 
I'm not jealous. Nope. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I mean it's not as if I still need Bonxie for my year list or anything. Oh no, not jealous at all.

*goes very green
 

StuartReeves

Local rarity
I'll be watching this one with interest Andrew. As you may know I used to have an office even closer to my local patch of Girdleness in the building on the left of the first photo. By the time i left Aberdeen I had amassed a Girdleness list of 195 and my office window list included both Hobby and Red-footed Falcon so you've got a little while to go yet! Still if you get any South-easterlies over the next couple of weeks I'd put a bet on Yellow-browed ahead of Barred Warbler.

Cheers,

Stuart
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
I'll be watching this one with interest Andrew. As you may know I used to have an office even closer to my local patch of Girdleness in the building on the left of the first photo. By the time i left Aberdeen I had amassed a Girdleness list of 195 and my office window list included both Hobby and Red-footed Falcon so you've got a little while to go yet! Still if you get any South-easterlies over the next couple of weeks I'd put a bet on Yellow-browed ahead of Barred Warbler.

Cheers,

Stuart

Interesting stuff Stuart - my Girdle Ness list is only just over 100, so I've some way to go on that. Will do my best though! The winds look like they might get a bit more interesting during the next week so perhaps some more unusual stuff will be on its way. I suspect you might be right with YB Warbler.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
The sea was pretty quiet throughout today, although there was a brief flurry of juvenile Gannets heading through late in the afternoon. Enlivening things a bit were two Arctic Skuas, heading north but pausing briefly for informal negotations with a few Kittiwakes.
 

RecoveringScot

Well-known member
The sea was pretty quiet throughout today, although there was a brief flurry of juvenile Gannets heading through late in the afternoon. Enlivening things a bit were two Arctic Skuas, heading north but pausing briefly for informal negotations with a few Kittiwakes.

I was there today from 13:30 too. I had lots of juvenile Gannets and a couple of Arctics too. Also 42 Pinkfeet S and loads of Divers, including at least one Great Northern. They were put up by two guys on jetskis. Actually today was one of the noisiest birdwatching days I've had there.

I think I ticked you there a couple of weeks ago, though you may not have seen me.

Cheers,
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
I was there today from 13:30 too. I had lots of juvenile Gannets and a couple of Arctics too. Also 42 Pinkfeet S and loads of Divers, including at least one Great Northern. They were put up by two guys on jetskis. Actually today was one of the noisiest birdwatching days I've had there.

I think I ticked you there a couple of weeks ago, though you may not have seen me.

Cheers,

Hi Phil - I think I saw the jet skiiers but not the GND! The only diver I saw today was a single Red-throated this morning.

I forgot to add earlier, one rather prosaic house tick - a Chaffinch.
 

RecoveringScot

Well-known member
Hi Phil - I think I saw the jet skiiers but not the GND! The only diver I saw today was a single Red-throated this morning.

I forgot to add earlier, one rather prosaic house tick - a Chaffinch.

I've been really unlucky with the passage at Girdleness this year. When I can get off work, nothing's moving, and when I go back, Great Shearwaters waltz by, flocks of Sooties strut their stuff impudently and so on. However the law of averages must mean I get one good day there this autumn. Time is running out, though.

Cheers,
 

Ben Nevis

Registered User
Supporter
Scotland
Have seen a Woodcock on the lane at the back of your new house,after an Autumn gale.By the way,Im a "Torry Loon" born and bred.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
I've been really unlucky with the passage at Girdleness this year. When I can get off work, nothing's moving, and when I go back, Great Shearwaters waltz by, flocks of Sooties strut their stuff impudently and so on. However the law of averages must mean I get one good day there this autumn. Time is running out, though.

Cheers,

I've also been rather ill-starred, although did manage a few Sooties on one occasion. There were two Great Shears past the morning I moved in (not seen by me inevitably) but there's been nothing much since. The forecast is looking a bit more promising this week, so perhaps my luck will change. At least now I'm in a good position to get to the action quickly!
 

markgrubb

Leading a life of quiet desperation
Looks like a nice spot Andrew-and glad to see you are building up your list in the correct order with the commons first unlike some other reprobates.

No doubt you will be having your flatwarming on the weekend of the 3rd/4th Nov;)
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Looks like a nice spot Andrew-and glad to see you are building up your list in the correct order with the commons first unlike some other reprobates.

No doubt you will be having your flatwarming on the weekend of the 3rd/4th Nov;)

It's the only way I'll appreciate the rares when they come. Which might be later this week, judging by the looks of the forecast. I'd better make sure I've seen all the appropriate common stuff pretty sharpish.

Hmm, maybe we will do something for that weekend. Do you have anything planned yourself?
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Have seen a Woodcock on the lane at the back of your new house,after an Autumn gale.By the way,Im a "Torry Loon" born and bred.

Woodcock is one I'll have an eye out for if we get some easterlies over the next couple of months. I've seen some in some pretty unlikely situations here in Aberdeen. I'm kind of hoping one puts down in the garden.
 

markgrubb

Leading a life of quiet desperation
It's the only way I'll appreciate the rares when they come. Which might be later this week, judging by the looks of the forecast. I'd better make sure I've seen all the appropriate common stuff pretty sharpish.

Hmm, maybe we will do something for that weekend. Do you have anything planned yourself?

Hope to come up with my brother for the BF weekend as that seems the likely date now
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Looks like I might need to invest in a few more chairs for the flat by November.

A bit of seawatching in the early morning murk produced a pale phase Arctic Skua and a Bonxie both going south off the mouth of the harbour. Also a Common Scoter north and a Red-throated Diver south. Four Teal flying around the harbour were a house tick. Also added to the burgeoning list were a Grey Wagtail on the warehouse roof opposite and a Redpoll briefly seen and heard as it flew over. The Bottle-nosed Dolphins were in action once more, impressing the judges with some synchronised breaching. At least five were around.

It's a bit sunnier now. I might even go out later.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top