• 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.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Birds fae Torry (1 Viewer)

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It was a calm but cloudy evening today when I headed around the headland. Still 84 Goosander in the harbour and there were two Wheatears in Greyhope Bay. I spent most of the time seawatching, which was fairly productive. Most conspicuous were Manx Shearwaters with 65 going north. Eventually, two Sooty Shearwaters also went through, a reasonable distance out. Seven Bonxies and four Arctic Skuas were lingering around. A juvenile Black Guillemot was in the throng of other auks just offshore.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
A slightly gloomy evening walk around the headland was fairly productive. Of most note was a flock of 12 Whimbrel that came in from the north, circled a few times around Aberdeen Bay and then continued southwards. Other waders included two Common Sandpipers along the north shore and a juvenile Knot in Greyhope Bay.

Seawatching was okay with 22 Manx Shearwaters, five Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas and a Puffin. Two Black Guillemots, an adult and a 2nd calendar-year, were also seen.

I was thinking there might not be any Swifts this evening but, in fact, at least ten were still around.
 

Attachments

  • Whimbrel_Girdle Ness_200821a.jpg
    Whimbrel_Girdle Ness_200821a.jpg
    376.3 KB · Views: 7
  • Whimbrel_Girdle Ness_200821b.jpg
    Whimbrel_Girdle Ness_200821b.jpg
    567.6 KB · Views: 6

Ben Nevis

Registered User
Supporter
Scotland
A Sunday evening walk around the headland,produced an "anti climax moment" on the scrub bushes just past the Allotments.I noticed a small bird flitting around deep In the undergrowth,so I stalked It and waited for It to show Itself.I was hoping for something rare but after a 20 minute wait,It appeared on top of the Hawthorn and revealed Itself as a Willow Warbler.Even calling,just to kill the moment !! The Goosanders were well spread out from SEPA to the Skates Nose and I have never seen so many of them together before,as there Is just now.
A fantastic amount of Guilliemots and Razorbills were sitting on the sea between Greyhope Bay and the new Harbour and after a good search,I managed to pick out a single Black Guilliemot.Also what looked like thousands of Kittiwakes were on the North and South Piers,which hopefully suggests a good breeding season for our cliff nesters.
Offshore from the Torry Coo was very quiet,with not a Skua to be seen and only a single Gannet flying north,In my time watching from there.My walk home ended nicely,as I came across two Foxes (probably youngsters) rolling about on the grass,near St Fitticks Park.
 

Cucurrucucu

Cucurrucucu
Supporter
Some local birds are a little too localised for comfort: 1629914962365.png 1629914985631.png .
Di and Lisa brought it round having found it on the ground. Maybe it was too young to understand what a window is or a car. But still well enough to cause trouble in the kitchen. Flew away at speed. Much relief for both of us.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Back in Torry today for some relatively serene birding, certainly compared to the mayhem that took place yesterday. A Knot and four Dunlin were in Greyhope Bay but the main attractions were offshore. In around 90 minutes, 70 Manx Shearwaters went north, with several feeding on the sea. Eventually, a Sooty Shearwater also passed through at reasonably close range. Also moving were ten Bonxies, an Arctic Skua, ten Common Scoters and a Teal. Quite an interesting sighting was of a juvenile Puffin heading north before ditching on the sea. Large numbers of Arctic Terns were lingering offshore and the final count of 68 included a flock of 42 that appeared overhead from the southwest towards the end of the day.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
I was at the old seawatching there again this evening, in what seemed like promising conditions with a brisk northerly and murky light. Piles of Kittiwakes were going through and my interest in them ratcheted up when a Sabine's Gull was reported heading north off Inverbervie early in the evening. I suspected it might not make it up to the Ness before dark, and sadly so it proved. A certain amount of consolation came with my first Little Gull of the year, loitering rather distantly offshore. Other birds included ten Bonxies, four Arctic Skuas, 12 Manx Shearwaters, eight Common Scoters, 22 Arctic Terns and a Red-throated Diver. Two Knot were on the pier below the foghorn and three Purple Sandpipers tipped the Totaliser upwards.

Here's a gloomy shot of an Arctic Skua going through, with a throng of Kittiwakes and other seabirds in the background.
 

Attachments

  • Arctic Skua_Girdle Ness_010921a.jpg
    Arctic Skua_Girdle Ness_010921a.jpg
    797.1 KB · Views: 14

Cucurrucucu

Cucurrucucu
Supporter
What is the mortality rate of young guillemots?
Found two corpses yesterday. (Took one home to preserve its skin.)
Eight dead today - three of them on the rocks east of the middle pier. and two corpses on the South Breakwater. 1630587162024.png This one was there yesterday.
Also a much smaller bird with its head missing. 1630587272449.png
And a well picked carcass. 1630587342843.png
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It was a fairly pleasant afternoon today, with some sun coming out and a light SE breeze. I had a leisurely wander along the north side, seeing a Dunlin and a couple of Wheatears in Greyhope Bay. Two Knot were again on the pier below the foghorn.

Given recent evenings, I thought it would be worth seawatching, particularly as the wind had now switched to the east. There wasn't much moving initially, although a sub-adult Arctic Skua appeared on my first scan. For about 25 minutes or so, things were quiet and I half wondered about giving up. I'm glad I didn't because the next couple of hours were the best seawatching I've ever had at Girdle Ness.

First up was a small juvenile skua heading north about a kilometre out. The slim build, light flight and whitish belly identified it as a pale phase juvenile Long-tailed Skua. A nice adult Little Gull went north soon after and the first of six Sooty Shearwaters also flew north at fairly close range. A moulting Black Guillemot was on the sea near the shore.

Nearly an hour later, another small skua headed north, a bit further out than the first. The flight and shape were very similar but this was a dark phase juvenile Long-tailed Skua. Craig Gordon had arrived by this stage and then Ian Broadbent turned up. It was around this time that things got a bit crazy. At about 6.40, Ian said he had a 'seabird' heading north. There was touch of excitement in his voice. We couldn't initially see it but he said he'd let us know when it came in line with the large yellow buoys offshore. I picked up the bird just as it flew behind the furthest one. It was immediately clear that this was something different. 'Tell me what you can see,' asked Ian. After following it for a bit and seeing the distinctly dark underwings, I said it looked like a Fea's Petrel. I was able to follow as it headed steadily but swiftly north for another 3 or 4 minutes. Seemingly, the calm conditions meant it was much easier to see than the bird on Monday. Amazing stuff.

About five minutes later, Craig pointed out two shearwaters heading north. When I got onto them, I could see one was a Manx Shearwater but the other was slightly but distinctly larger and chunkier. After watching it for a bit longer, it was clear that it was almost entirely dark brown with a touch of white on the belly. It was my second ever Girdle Ness Balearic Shearwater.

Other totals included six Bonxies, three Arctic Skuas, 13 Manx Shearwaters, five Puffins, ten Arctic Terns, three Common Scoters and a Whimbrel.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
What is the mortality rate of young guillemots?
Found two corpses yesterday. (Took one home to preserve its skin.)
Eight dead today - three of them on the rocks east of the middle pier. and two corpses on the South Breakwater. View attachment 1403799 This one was there yesterday.
Also a much smaller bird with its head missing. View attachment 1403800
And a well picked carcass. View attachment 1403801
There do seem to be quite a few dead Guillemots around at the moment, although some of the dead ones seem to be adults. The number of Guillemot families around recently has been very high - more than in most years. I'm not sure why. I worry a bit when auks come into the harbour, as this usually means they're not feeling all that healthy. There are still lots around doing okay though!
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It was another interesting day at Girdle Ness, although not quite as dramatic as yesterday. Conditions late in the afternoon were very calm, with just a light easterly. Waders included four Dunlin and a Knot. The moulting Black Guillemot was again on the sea below the foghorn, along with stacks of other auks.

Not surprisingly, quite a few people were seawatching today, although relatively little had been seen by the time I arrived. The biggest talking point was a medium distance small, dark phase juvenile skua. I was pretty happy at the time and am now totally happy this was another Long-tailed Skua. As with most juvenile skuas at anything other than close range, there's a lack of really diagnostic features but to me Long-taileds are strikingly slim and dainty looking in a way Arctic Skuas never really are. Later, there was probably another one a very long way out, but it was too distant to be sure.

A very distant flock of eight Brent Geese flew south and was later followed by a much closer flock of 20. Also moving were three Sooty Shearwaters, 12 Manx Shearwaters, three Puffins, nine Bonxies, four Teal, three Common Scoters and three Red-throated Divers. 30 Sandwich Terns and several 'Commic' Terns went south.

Here's a photo for those of you who like them bad. In the top left is a Sooty Shearwater.
 

Attachments

  • Sooty Shearwater_Girdle Ness_030921a.jpg
    Sooty Shearwater_Girdle Ness_030921a.jpg
    413.3 KB · Views: 27

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
I found a L&F lens filter on the middle pier (old breakwater) this morning. Still in its box. Anybody lost one? Know who might have?
It's definitely not mine! There often seem to be various folks around taking photos, although I don't know many of them.

Anyway, I'm back in Torry after a break in the Northern Isles. A glance out the window this morning produced an interesting sighting of a couple of Harbour Porpoises around the harbour mouth. Perhaps a sign that the dolphins haven't been around lately, as porpoises don't normally come so close in.

I had a wander round the headland late in the afternoon. I spent a bit of time seawatching. Not too much was moving, although a Bonxie went north. 17 Wigeon, five Red-throated Divers, 17 Sandwich Terns, 11 Common Terns and three Arctic Terns were also around. A moulting adult Black Guillemot showed nicely as it hung around with the Eiders in Greyhope Bay and a juvenile was off the foghorn. Two adult Arctic Skuas sauntered through Greyhope Bay. Waders included a vocal Whimbrel in Greyhope, three Dunlin, 80 Turnstone and a Purple Sandpiper.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It was a bit quieter around the headland this evening. I tried a bit to look for migrants but my only reward was a calling Chiffchaff in the allotments. The Black Guillemot was again pretending to be an Eider in Greyhope Bay. Offshore, two Bonxies went south, as did seven Red-throated Divers. Otherwise, there were 13 Sandwich Terns and 81 Turnstones. Two Harbour Porpoises were again around the harbour mouth.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
A pleasant early evening walk around the headland didn't produce too much. Two Black Guillemots were on the sea. Nine Red-throated Divers and 13 Sandwich Terns went south. Both species seem to be very much on the move at the moment. A Knot was on the shore and two Wheatears were zipping around Skate's Nose.
 

Attachments

  • Redshank_Girdle Ness_160921a.jpg
    Redshank_Girdle Ness_160921a.jpg
    821.8 KB · Views: 3
  • Curlew_Girdle Ness_160921a.jpg
    Curlew_Girdle Ness_160921a.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 3

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Fairly quiet this evening around the headland. A Wheatear was on the golf course and a Dunlin on the breakwater. Three Red-throated Divers and 11 Sandwich Terns were the best of it out to sea.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It was a generally pleasant, calm day in Torry today, after some overnight rain. It proved fairly interesting. Perhaps the most notable bird was seen early: a surprise Brambling along Victoria Road. There seemed to have been an influx of Chaffinches too, so presumably it came in with those. I think that's my earliest autumn record here. A look around St Fittick's was hard work but produced eight Chiffchaffs, a Whitethroat and a Siskin. A Treecreeper was along the railway embankment. A Teal was flushed from the reedbed pool.

I headed to the Coo for a tentative seawatch early in the afternoon, although I wasn't optimistic there'd be much to see. It was actually surprisingly good. Four Sooty Shearwaters, three Manx Shearwaters, two Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies and an Arctic Tern were heading north. Also moving were seven Red-throated Divers, seven Common Scoters and my first two Velvet Scoters of the year. The most interesting sighting, however, was non-avian: a group of at least ten White-beaked Dolphins that were heading steadily north at least two miles out. It seems a very scarce species here these days, so these were particularly good to see. Two Wheatears were along the north shore and there were four Dunlin.

The haar came in during the afternoon but had disappeared an hour or two later, so I headed out again for some seawatching. It was much quieter, although a Bonxie, four Common Scoter and seven Wigeon went through and a Black Guillemot was on the sea.
 

Attachments

  • Brambling_Torry_180921a.jpg
    Brambling_Torry_180921a.jpg
    556.1 KB · Views: 5
  • Moorhen_Torry_180921a.jpg
    Moorhen_Torry_180921a.jpg
    718.6 KB · Views: 3

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It was damp and misty early on but brightened up later when I wandered around the headland. It was another interesting day. Seawatching was the main focus. Not too many typical seabirds were moving, although there were two Bonxies and at least four Manx Shearwaters, some of which were stopping to feed with the auks. A Black Guillemot was still around. Ducks were particularly prominent with most going south. The best of these were a pair of Scaup, a Pintail and five Velvet Scoters. Also moving were 25 Teal, six Wigeon, four Common Scoter, 18 Red-throated Divers, an Arctic Tern, six Common Terns and six Sandwich Terns. Perhaps the most unlikely birds over the sea were a flock of seven Snipe.

Waders included a Knot, six Dunlin, an impressive 107 Turnstone and a Totaliser-shifting six Purple Sandpipers. Things were rounded off nicely with a lovely Little Gull (I think a second calendar-year) that came into the harbour to bathe.
 

Attachments

  • Little Gull_Girdle Ness_190921a.jpg
    Little Gull_Girdle Ness_190921a.jpg
    651.7 KB · Views: 7
  • Little Gull_Girdle Ness_190921b.jpg
    Little Gull_Girdle Ness_190921b.jpg
    691.1 KB · Views: 7
  • Little Gull_Girdle Ness_190921c.jpg
    Little Gull_Girdle Ness_190921c.jpg
    738.4 KB · Views: 8
  • Little Gull_Girdle Ness_190921d.jpg
    Little Gull_Girdle Ness_190921d.jpg
    704.6 KB · Views: 7

Cucurrucucu

Cucurrucucu
Supporter
As part of having our garden re-wilded (by David Hunter/ Habitat People), the two small ponds on the eastern side have been replaced by one bigger one. I put a camera trap out to see if the mammals were using it. (No). But did get a thrush a couple of times WILD 21,9,18 song thrush pond 24 screen shot 3 .png and, unexpectedly, WILD 21,9,18 grey wagtail, pond close up screen shot 31.png a wagtail being chased off by a robin.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top