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Birds fae Torry (1 Viewer)

The rain gave way to quite a pleasant, bright late afternoon. I was hoping some migrants might have arrived, although the NW breeze didn't make it easy to look. All I managed was a Redstart, seen rather distantly in the higher line of gorse between the allotments and the Battery. I suspect there might have been more out there though.

Very much the highlight was a crisply marked juvenile Osprey, which cruised along the north side at eye level before drifting into the harbour. My first of the year here. A Knot and three Dunlin were the best of the waders. Offshore, there wasn't much moving but a lot of birds were feeding. The flocks included at least 11 Little Gulls - a very high number for here. 30+ Common Terns were also gathered and these attracted the attention of a couple of pale juvenile Arctic Skuas.


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I had a look around St Fittick's for the first time in a while today. I was hoping there might be some migrants lurking but it was pretty quiet. 14 Chiffchaffs and four Goldcrests were counted. Otherwise there were two Stock Doves and a Redpoll flew over.

I had a somewhat cursory look around the headland late afternoon. Two Little Gulls were around the harbour mouth, along with 20+ Common Terns.
Quite breezy here today. I had a look around through the middle of the day after the rain had cleared. Waders included a Grey Plover on the breakwater, three Knot and a Dunlin. Nine Purple Sandpipers got the Totaliser creaking back into action. Seven Teal flew through the harbour. Not much was offshore and what there was moved too rapidly to get onto. Three Manx Shearwaters zoomed through, one of them very close in. 35 Common Terns were still lingering, mainly beyond the north pier.


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Pretty windy today in Torry, which made it slightly hard work. Waders again included a Grey Plover, as well as a Knot and three Dunlin. The Purple Sandpiper Totaliser crept up to 14. I timed my look offshore well, as a flock of 15 Barnacle Geese were heading south into the wind immediately on my arrival. Not too much was out there, except for one Manx Shearwater. Large numbers of Common Terns are still around, with at least 65 counted. Two juvenile Arctic Terns were on the breakwater. A Wheatear was in Greyhope Bay.


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I was out for most of the day today. The weather was generally pleasant but cool, and the wind picked up late afternoon. I looked round St Fittick's first but it was fairly quiet. A Mistle Thrush flew over, a Buzzard flew over Tullos Hill and there seven Bullfinches and Chiffchaffs. A pair of Stonechats showed nicely along the edge of Walker Park - the first time I've seen a pair together for several months.

I mainly focused on the sea. The best bird was a juvenile Black Tern, which was around for quite a while. It mainly fed with the large groups of other terns, but at one stage it flew off on its own to catch an insect. It then appeared on the breakwater, where I got some very nice views. Other birds offshore include six Sooty Shearwaters, an Arctic Skua, a Little Gull, seven Manx Shearwaters 27 Pink-footed Geese, two Red-breasted Mergansers, six Wigeon, 19 Common Scoters, and 22 Red-throated Divers. A couple of Harbour Porpoises were also out there and I saw some Bottlenose Dolphins for the first time in a while. Waders included two Knot.


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I had a fairly interesting morning around the headland today. The conditions were a bit murky, which often helps. The Black Tern appeared on the breakwater again to give good views. The large RSPB group visiting timed it well to see the bird as it arrived. There were also several Common Terns and at least two Arctic Terns. Two Common Sandpipers along the north shore were the first for a while. Offshore, not too much was moving but there was one Bonxie and a lovely juvenile Black Guillemot on the sea off the foghorn. 14 Red-throated Divers went south.

The most interesting bird was a Lesser Whitethroat in the sycamore by the steps to the beach. It showed nicely for a short time and showed quite extensive sandy brown upperparts, with the brown reaching up the nape and crown and onto the rump. The relatively pale lores and ear covers and the buffy flanks all added to the features that are good for the Siberian blythi subspecies.

There had apparently been a good movement of Barnacle Geese earlier in the morning and I saw a lone bird fly into the harbour and start heading up the river. I hope it meets up with the rest soon.


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Another breezy day today and I got out late afternoon around the headland. Three Knot, two Dunlin and a Purple Sandpiper were the best of the waders. Seawatching was quite lively to begin with, with three Barnacle Geese and a Velvet Scoter heading south. After that, things dropped off quite markedly. Other birds included a Manx Shearwater, a Common Scoter, seven Red-throated Divers and six Teal. Four more Teal were on the north shore below the allotments. Quite large numbers of terns came into the breakwater at the end of the day, although I didn't see the Black Tern. Totals were 57 Common Terns, seven Arctic Terns and a Sandwich Terns. Almost all were juveniles. Three Common Sandpipers appeared in the harbour at dusk.
I was hoping Storm Agnes might have done something interesting overnight, so had a look around the headland late morning. There may have been some migrants around, and I did see a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Wheatear, but there wasn't much that was too obvious. The best bird was my first Short-eared Owl of the year, between the Battery and the allotments. The most obvious movement was of Barnacle Geese, with 108 counted in three different groups offshore. Not much else was out to sea though. Waders included seven Knot and five Dunlin. The tern roost on the breakwater involved an impressive 113 Common Terns, seven Arctic Terns and two Sandwich Terns. I don't remember there ever being anything close to that number of terns around here at this time of year.


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I had an interesting wander round the headland late afternoon today, in pleasant but breezy conditions. I again saw the blythi Lesser Whitethroat in the sycamore by the steps. Waders included 15 Knot in Greyhope Bay and four Dunlin. A juvenile Peregrine scooted through, creating its own patented brand of havoc. A female Stonechat and two Wheatears were around the eastern end of the golf course. Offshore, two flocks of Barnacle Geese totalling 85 birds went south. A dark Arctic Skua was marauding around but not too much else was moving, aside from ten Red-throated Divers. An adult Little Gull was with a flock of Kittiwakes on the water in Greyhope Bay.

The most notable feature of the last week has been the large gathering of terns on the harbour breakwater. At dusk today, this numbered 280 Common Terns and six Arctic Terns. The Common Tern count is easily my highest ever here. Almost all are juveniles, so they've obviously had a successful breeding season here. Normally, Common Terns have departed by late September and I rarely see more than the odd one or two at this time of year. Perhaps this is to do with the high sea surface temperatures this year?


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A generally overcast day today, with mostly light winds. A look out my back window early in the morning revealed what I suspect is a record count of six Collared Doves. There was also a good movement of Pink-footed Geese with 485 counted going south.

I went to St Fittick's in the morning and there was a definite autumnal feel with five Teal and four Snipe in the marsh. Better still was my first Jack Snipe of the autumn (and the year). Other birds included a female Great Spotted Woodpecker, a heard-only Treecreeper, three Goldcrests and five Chiffchaffs.

I went round the headland in the afternoon, by which time the wind had picked up a little. A Knot and ten Dunlin were the best of the waders and a pair of Stonechats were again around. I counted four Arctic Terns, two Sandwich Terns and 44 Common Terns, although the latter was probably an underestimate. Many were feeding offshore and among them were at least nine Little Gulls. Also offshore were an Arctic Skua, a Manx Shearwater, 12 Red-throated Divers, and a Harbour Porpoise. There were a lot of Common Scoters on the move with most of the 84 going south. Two Barnacle Geese also went south. The most startling sight was a distant Bonxie that powered towards a flying auk, grabbed it and then took it down into the sea, presumably to drown.

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