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Birds fae Torry (1 Viewer)

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
A surprise because it is rare here, early or just coz it was on Vic Rd?
A surprise because it was early. We normally get some in autumn but generally not before the last few days of September. They mostly go through in October.

A fine morning here today and, as I suspected, there was quite good visible migration with over a hundred Meadow Pipits, 80+ Swallows, a couple of Sand Martins and a few wagtails and Skylarks going south.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Meadow Pipits and Swallows are still moving south in small numbers. I also just had my first flock of Pink-footed Geese of the autumn - around 45 flying west over the north of the city. Better than that, this was followed by a full-fat house tick when two Stock Doves flew straight over.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
I did bit more vismig over lunchtime, particularly as a group of Cranes had been reported flying in my direction. They didn't appear, sadly. Maybe they stopped in a field and will come this way tomorrow. Swallows and Meadow Pipits were still moving south at 1pm. Day totals were 116 for the former and 144 for the latter. Another group of around 15 Pink-footed Geese went through.

A wander around the headland was fairly quiet. An Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar was wandering about near the allotments. Three Red-breasted Mergansers were around the harbour mouth. There were three Dunlin and a Black Guillemot was again on the sea. 18 Sandwich Terns went south. The highlight was the surprising sight of two Swifts, initially over Tullos Hill and then heading west over the Torry rooftops. I think my latest ever in Scotland.
 

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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It was another interesting evening after a warm, blustery day on the headland. Waders were the most obvious feature. A Common Sandpiper was near the Banana Pier. The most notable bird was a juvenile Grey Plover on Greyhope Bay - my first of the year. It flew off south but then had returned a bit later. Waders were moving offshore too, including three Golden Plovers, two Sanderling and 18 Purple Sandpipers (which possibly boosts the Totaliser, although I wonder if they should be on the deck rather than flying by). Two Wigeon and ten Sandwich Terns also went through.
 

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JTweedie

Well-known member
Looking back at the start of the thread Andrew and admiring the walled garden a few doors down. Anything of note there since you moved in? It reminds me a little of the walled garden at the top of the Isle of May beside the lighthouse where they have the heligoland traps.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Looking back at the start of the thread Andrew and admiring the walled garden a few doors down. Anything of note there since you moved in? It reminds me a little of the walled garden at the top of the Isle of May beside the lighthouse where they have the heligoland traps.
I probably should look into a bit more often, but nothing major that I can remember. We don't get too many migrants in the gardens, although there was once a Woodcock in the neighbours.
 

Cucurrucucu

Cucurrucucu
Supporter
Grey Plover on Greyhope Bay - my first of the year, Golden Plovers
Since June, no mention of, let alone a Totaliser for ringed plovers. Are they too common to bother with? Or is that you don't like them...they wet their nests? No, that's gannets which you have also expurgated. (Happily watching one on a bait ball yesterday.)
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Since June, no mention of, let alone a Totaliser for ringed plovers. Are they too common to bother with? Or is that you don't like them...they wet their nests? No, that's gannets which you have also expurgated. (Happily watching one on a bait ball yesterday.)
There are usually too many Gannets for me to count. I do count Ringed Plovers too, although don't often post the numbers. There have generally been around ten recently, usually on the breakwater.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
A few flocks of Pink-footed Geese were passing over the city this morning. I got out later in the day when the wind had died down and the cloud had returned. I managed to resolve the Purple Sandpiper Totaliser issue with a group of roosting birds:

18

There were also 79 Turnstones and four Ringed Plovers ;). A Wheatear was near Skate's Nose. Nearby, I was surprised to see a group of four light-bellied Brent Geese along the shoreline. They headed into the harbour and started feeding on underwater weeds. It's a bit unusual to see Brent Geese acting like proper Brent Geese here. They're usually either flying over or looking a bit lost. The Grey Plover was again around, showing nicely on the small sandy beach.

Offshore, two Arctic Skuas went north. Also moving were four Common Scoter, an Arctic Tern and 12 Sandwich Terns.
 

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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Lots of birds were moving this morning in the fine weather. I wasn't watching for long but counted 235 Pink-footed Geese, 97 Meadow Pipits, 15 Swallows, 13 House Martins, five Skylarks, two Pied Wagtails and a Chaffinch. Birds still seemed to be moving through the middle of the day.

I headed around the headland late in the afternoon. The four Brent Geese were still around, feeding busily in the shallow water of the harbour below the allotments. Around 170 Pink-footed Geese went over. Better, though briefer, were a flock of around 30 Whooper Swans that flew south. I almost missed them (they weren't calling, unusually) so the count isn't totally accurate. A flock of 32 were seen on the Ythan today, so possibly it was them. The Grey Plover was still around, as was a Dunlin and eight Ringed Plovers. Two Wheatears were along the north shore and there were two Sandwich Terns and five Common Scoters passing.
 

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Cucurrucucu

Cucurrucucu
Supporter
Where are the martins coming from these days? North or west? How far away are ours now?
Gratified to have my Brent gooses confirmed. They were on the little beach below SEPA yesterday morning.
And razorbill the closest I have ever seen one in the water on the landward side of the South Breakwater.
Lovely to hear the geese and chiffchaffs again.
Non bird ID, please. The path above the water treatment plant was strewn with little white dots today.
1632586545337.png
Brought some home (as you do!) to photograph up close. WALK 21,9,25 mites? from Rail Road >St F's>harbour 6 cropped1 .jpg WALK 21,9,25 mites? from Rail Road >St F's>harbour 6 cropped3 .jpg 3mm long. Lice. What from? They were all the way along - under the trees and in the open. All dead.
And while I am infecting the Bird Forum with creepy crawlies, there was a huge devil's coach horse on South Pier beach. But what was more remarkable was the size of the mite on its side. 1632589694704.png Like being parasitised by a rat!
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Where are the martins coming from these days? North or west? How far away are ours now?
Gratified to have my Brent gooses confirmed. They were on the little beach below SEPA yesterday morning.
Glad to hear you got the Brents. They seem to have gone now. There are still one or two House Martins and Swallows attending nests in the area, although most have left now. The numbers I had yesterday were migrating south, usually fairly high up. Not sure about the strange creepy-crawlies!

I had a look around St Fittick's this morning (and caught some of the People's Assembly discussions that were going on there). A Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling and a couple of Teal were in the wetlands. I heard four Chiffchaffs but there was no sign of any other migrants.

An afternoon look around the headland produced a Common Sandpiper along the north shore and nine Purple Sandpipers. As often seems to be the case these days, the best of the action was offshore. A Black Guillemot was quite close in among the Eiders. Further out, a brief but concerted surge of Sooty Shearwaters was a surprise, given the unfavourable south-westerlies. At least 15 were counted in less than half an hour, with some apparently stopping to feed on the sea. A Little Gull also drifted past - perhaps the same one that was around last weekend. Also passing were an Arctic Skua, five Manx Shearwaters, five Common Scoters and three Arctic Terns.
 

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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
This afternoon was also good for seawatching in slightly misty conditions and a brisk southerly wind. The highlight was a hulking juvenile Pomarine Skua - my first of the year. Four Sooty Shearwaters, two Manx Shearwaters, nine Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies, two Arctic Terns, a Common Tern, seven Red-throated Divers and five Teal kept things lively. A Black Guillemot was again on the sea, although today's bird was a juvenile. Scanning through the feeding Kittiwake flocks produced at least three Little Gulls: an adult, a juvenile and a second-year bird. There wasn't too much else, although a Song Thrush around the foghorn hinted that a few migrants might have been arriving.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
It was raining here for much of the day but that gave way to a bright, clear and cool end to the afternoon. I set off around the headland to see what had come in. Perhaps the best bird was a gorgeous Merlin that dashed southwards across the golf course near the allotments. There seemed to be some evidence of migrants arriving, with a few Song Thrushes and Chaffinches about and at least one Chiffchaff along Abbey Road. It wasn't until dusk that something a bit more interesting appeared, with a Redstart along the track over the top of the golf course.

A fairly brief seawatch produced two Bonxies, an Arctic Skua, four Red-throated Divers and two Sandwich Terns. A Manx Shearwater was feeding quite close in amongst the numerous auks. We also had some purposeful action on the Purple Sandpiper Totaliser:

26
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Not too much has been around over the past couple of days. Yesterday, there were three Wheatears and two Sandwich Terns. Today a few ducks were moving, with four Common Scoter and 22 Wigeon. Eight Red-throated Divers, two Sanderling and a Black Guillemot were also around.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
This was the day 'IT' finally happened...

It's been pretty rainy here today and it only brightened up somewhat by late afternoon. I headed out around the headland thinking that the bad weather would have done something interesting, but I wasn't sure quite what. A Chiffchaff and a Blackcap along Abbey Road suggested there might be migrants about but, apart from a Wheatear, I didn't find any. A couple of Dunlin were the best of the waders. Once again I saw a Merlin, in fact on two occasions. The first time it was heading over the sea beyond the North Pier before skimming low up Aberdeen beach. Presumably the same bird then flew right over my head and landed on the ground by rough path near the breakwater. It sat there for several minutes, giving perhaps the best views I've ever had of one here, before dashing off over Greyhope Bay.

The sea has often been the place to be for birds recently. There didn't seem to be too much moving initially but a group of Kittiwakes was feeding just offshore. I started scanning through them and soon noticed a couple of adult Little Gulls and a Common Tern. I then got onto another bird that, for a split second, I thought might have been a juvenile Little Gull. Then it turned and showed a striking grey, black and white wing pattern and I nearly screamed. Sabine's Gull is a good bird but one that occurs somewhat regularly in Britain. There are maybe four records from Girdle Ness in recent years. But I didn't see any of those and, perhaps surprisingly, I've never seen one anywhere. Not even on my travels around the world. It's almost comical how I've avoided them over the years. But, this one was here and front of me and totally real. It was a juvenile and quite lovely - very small and dainty, somewhere between Little Gull and Kittiwake in size. It fluttered about elegantly as it fed and sometimes rested on the water where it looked quite dark. After a bit, it settled more permanently among the Kittiwakes and looked as though it planned to roost on the sea with them, a few hundred metres southeast of the foghorn. It's probably still there now.

I was a bit distracted from anything else that might have been moving, but other stuff I noticed included an Arctic Skua, seven Arctic Terns, two Sandwich Terns, 11 Teal, a Red-breasted Merganser and twelve Red-throated Divers.
 

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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
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Scotland
Today was fresh and breezy and not quite as exciting. I saw the Merlin again briefly, darting low over the diggers in Nigg Bay. Offshore, there were two Little Gulls again, although today's birds were an adult and a juvenile. Also about were four Arctic Terns, six Red-throated Divers and a Dunlin. Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the harbour are getting quite late for here.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
I had a good look around today, in fairly cold, breezy conditions. First up was St Fittick's. Three Snipe were in the marsh and there was also a Teal, seven Chiffchaffs and two Redpolls. I pinned some hopes on seawatching being good again, but it was pretty poor. Six Common Scoter, ten Red-throated Divers, an Arctic Tern and a Sandwich Tern were the best I could do. Not much else except for a Dunlin and five Purple Sandpipers. Hopefully, tomorrow will be livelier.
 
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

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