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Wild in Aberdeen - City and Shire (1 Viewer)

danny_heptinstall

Active member
does anyone have any information on the donmouth Sabine's Gull? It's a lifer for me and if it's likely to be there tommorow I'll get up early before work and look for it
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
does anyone have any information on the donmouth Sabine's Gull? It's a lifer for me and if it's likely to be there tommorow I'll get up early before work and look for it

Hi Danny - welcome to BirdForum! Nice work on the Slav. I don't know too much about the Sabine's Gull other than that what's on Birdguides. As it was flying south with Kittiwakes it's very likely to have gone to roost somewhere around the harbour mouth. Having said that I spent a couple of hours looking and didn't find it. There were large numbers of Kittiwakes north of the harbour, which I couldn't easily see though. It might be worth a look around the harbour mouth and the beach early in the morning before the roosting Kittiwakes depart, perhaps from the Footdee area.
 

danny_heptinstall

Active member
Welcome to Birdforum, Danny. Some good sightings there although I wouldn't recommend posting the Shoveler on ABZ-Rare-Birds ;)

I stand corrected! That'll teach me to make asusmptions about sites based on 3 or 4 visits....

Hi Danny - welcome to BirdForum! Nice work on the Slav. I don't know too much about the Sabine's Gull other than that what's on Birdguides. As it was flying south with Kittiwakes it's very likely to have gone to roost somewhere around the harbour mouth. Having said that I spent a couple of hours looking and didn't find it. There were large numbers of Kittiwakes north of the harbour, which I couldn't easily see though. It might be worth a look around the harbour mouth and the beach early in the morning before the roosting Kittiwakes depart, perhaps from the Footdee area.

Hey Andrew, I subscribe to the free version of bridguides so I get to see the species and the location but absolutely no details so thanks for clarifying things. Looks like my chances tommorow (especially with the winds) will be slim but I'm gonna give it a shot anyway
 

Capercaillie71

Well-known member
I had a fairly bizarre experience today when I flushed a male Black Grouse from an area of rough grassland within the boundary of Aberdeen City. I watched it fly off high over farmland before disappearing from view into Countesswells woods. The nearest regular sites are at least 15km to the west on Hill of Fare and having spoken to others and had a look in a few books it seems my sighting may be the first in the city since the early 20th century.
 

Ben Nevis

Registered User
Supporter
Scotland
I had a fairly bizarre experience today when I flushed a male Black Grouse from an area of rough grassland within the boundary of Aberdeen City. I watched it fly off high over farmland before disappearing from view into Countesswells woods. The nearest regular sites are at least 15km to the west on Hill of Fare and having spoken to others and had a look in a few books it seems my sighting may be the first in the city since the early 20th century.

Maybe those black game birds are getting their own back,by coming looking for you Paul..! ;)

Your correct,that is a bizarre sighting.
 

bombycilla

Well-known member
I had a fairly bizarre experience today when I flushed a male Black Grouse from an area of rough grassland within the boundary of Aberdeen City. I watched it fly off high over farmland before disappearing from view into Countesswells woods. The nearest regular sites are at least 15km to the west on Hill of Fare and having spoken to others and had a look in a few books it seems my sighting may be the first in the city since the early 20th century.

That is almost as nuts as the male Red Grouse displaying at Balnagask Golf Course a few years ago !
 

Capercaillie71

Well-known member
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bombycilla

Well-known member
Yes, and I believe there was once a record of a Ptarmigan on the coast near Cove or somewhere like that.

I picked up my copies of 'The Breeding Birds of North East Scotland' yesterday. It's been a long wait, but a very impressive achievement in the end. EDIT - I've put a short review here: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=211733

I once heard a 'tale' of Capers over Aberdeen Harbour ! :eek!:

Yes, Atlas is good, a few wee errors here and there that should have been picked up in proofing (pie fly) but nothing at all to detract from a worthy publication, and yes an absolute bargain.
 

Joseph N

Lothian Young Birder
Sandhill Crane being reported at Strathbeg on RSPB twitter.

My photos attached. For more information see Rare Bird Info part of the forum. What a bird!

Joseph
 

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jalethbridge

I like sea-watching
Wowsers! As luck would have it I am en-route to Shetland tomorrow, and have a seven hour stop-over in Aberdeen before getting the boat. I've taken the precaution of hiring a car, and if the crane isn't there then I'll do something else, but if it is, how can I get news when up there -> don't have a pager.
Thanks
Jonathan
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Wowsers! As luck would have it I am en-route to Shetland tomorrow, and have a seven hour stop-over in Aberdeen before getting the boat. I've taken the precaution of hiring a car, and if the crane isn't there then I'll do something else, but if it is, how can I get news when up there -> don't have a pager.
Thanks
Jonathan

You could hang round with the BF crew if you like.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=208300
 

Joseph N

Lothian Young Birder
You could hang round with the BF crew if you like.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=208300

Indeed. There'll be 8 of us and it's likely that we'll head straight up for the Sandhill Crane in the morning, meeting at 9 near Aberdeen. If you want to join us Jonathan that would be just fine, but note that we probably won't be there before 10. I should imagine we'll be there for some time. When will you be in the area?

Joseph
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Had rather a good day in northeast Scotland today, in the company of our very own Dantheman. We began by heading, somewhat predictably, to St Combs where we quickly managed to enjoy views of the Sandhill Crane picking about in a stubble field. Sometimes it was concealed below the brow of the hill but eventually it gave very fine views as it wandered amongst the straw bales. Such a beautiful bird and, although I've seen them a few times in America, this was the best view I'd ever had of one. Eventually it took to flight - not sure why, as it had seemed quite happy in the field. As it flew amongst the nearby gulls I was struck by how small it looked for a crane - I guess this must be a bird of the smaller northern form.

In the same area there were a number of Lapland Buntings in amongst the other passerines feeding in the stubble. These only revealed themselves by their calls as they flew and were impossible to see on the deck. I saw three or four but there were probably more than that.

Then it was off to Starnafin where Greenshank and Spotted Redshank were visible from the visitor centre. Thousands of Pink-footed Geese were off in the fields and a few Whooper Swans were on the loch. We stopped off at the Ythan Estuary where we hoped to find the recently reported White-rumped Sandpiper. Despite looking carefully through a large flock of Dunlin at Inches Road there was no sign. That flock did at least contain three Curlew Sandpipers. Nine Ruff and thirteen Black-tailed Godwit were part of a good selection of waders.

The final stop was at Blackdog. We soon found a drake Surf Scoter just offshore and after a bit of searching I picked out the drake Black Scoter. It gave some decent views for a few minutes before flying off south with a small group of Common Scoters. In flight it was quite striking how much bulkier it looks than the Commons. It took a long time to relocate but eventually we saw it again a little to the south of the burn. It was diving regularly but wasn't too far offshore, so gave very decent views when it was up. Also about were small numbers of Velvet Scoters, a Grey Plover, an Arctic Skua, a few Sanderling, a Wheatear and a Common Tern.

Here's Sandy.
 

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daveofficer

Well-known member
I've not posted a report for a while so thought i'd share what's been a very productive dog walking weekend. Saw a wee flock of Goldcrests yesterday in the woods at Inkbottle in Stonehaven. My wife and I took a few moments just to sit and watch them, as they hyperactively flew around the branches of a small tree just a few feet in front of us.

Then today we did a big loop through Dunnottar Woods, down to the harbour, through Cowie and up to the golf course, then finishing with a stroll through Mineralwell Park along the Cowie river.

We got a great view of a Buzzard in the woods, just 10 ft or so above us. Also a large flock of Chaffinch. Moving past the harbour there was the usual large gathering of gulls at the mouth of the Carron. I'm not good on gulls but I don't think there was any unusual ones in there.

The tide was in so we could get some good views at Cowie, without having to clamber over the rocks as i normally do. 1 Redshank, a whole heap of Starling, a nice wee Rock Pipit, solitary Eider floating just offshore, a couple of Cormorants on the furthest out rocks, assorted gulls, and a few Pied Wagtail.

Once on the cliffs we saw a flock of Curlew heading into the field beside the golf course, a Buzzard floating over the field and a large number of corvids.

My biggest treat though was in Mineralwell with some good views of a Dipper, which sadly flew off just as I got into position for a decent photo. Love a Dipper.

Also spotted a Grey Wagtail which I've not seen very often round Stonehaven and some tits and finches flitting through the trees on the bank. Mainly Blue Tits and Chaffinch, with a Robin showing also.

A pretty good weekend, nothing revolutionary but certainly better than sitting in and watching the Hollyoaks omnibus (though many, many things are better than this. Root treatment for instance).
 

Joseph N

Lothian Young Birder
Not posted on here for a long while and feel that this thread has become inactive so will start posting regularly now, hope others do likewise.

A fantastic day's birding today. I didn't get out until the afternoon, starting by looking for the Pallas's Warbler at Rattray Head which has been seen in the last few days, but there was no sign despite extensive searching. However, a pair of Black Redstarts made up for this, the male being particularly obliging, as well as vis mig of loads of thrushes. The place was packed with Redwings, Blackbirds, Fieldfares and the odd Song Thrush, flying out of every bush and scattered widely throughout the fields around the B&B. Several flocks were seen coming in off the sea on a short seawatch too. Oh how I love vis mig when it offers an experience like that.

It was then off to Strathbeg. We were heading along the entrance track to Strathbeg at around 14:30 when I re-found the Rough-legged Buzzard that had been seen briefly on the reserve yesterday with 2 Buzzards, hovering above the ground in front of the wood. Very nice comparisons were had with the Buzzards it was with, appearing longer-winged, more slender and certainly much paler. It was thought to have disappeared yesterday having only been seen the once so it was great to re-find it. However, after 15 minutes of watching it drifted south and out of view. This is third occasion in Aberdeenshire I've seen Rough-legged but the first in many years, with my last at Strathbeg in 2005 - a superb bird. Record shot attached below.

Then an American Golden Plover at the Ythan came in on ABZ Text. We headed down quickly to Ellon, where it was apparently in a field by the dual carriageway just before the Ellon roundabout. After slowly but successfully crossing the dual carriageway and battling against nasty conditions, I managed to see the American Golden Plover. It wasn't exactly an enjoyable experience though - dark clouds meant light was rubbish, very strong winds meant the scope was shaking all over the place, and cars were hurtling past constantly, making it hard to hear what others were saying about where the bird was when lost and making viewing really difficult. I managed reasonable views on two occasions but no prolonged views. Nonetheless though a smart bird and a lifer, so I'm happy. The icing on the cake to a brilliant day, and a thrilling way to end the day watching a rarity by a dual carriageway!

Joseph
 

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