Monday, December 13, 2021

πŸ“– Fetternear ☀️ 5C ~ Wind ↑S @ 10mph ~ 13/12/21

With only 6hrs 44 minutes of daylight up here at this time of year when the sun finally shines after a few dreich and dreary days, it's time to make haste.

Fetternear Bishop's Palace is an archaeological site of what was one of the palaces (or residence) of the medieval bishops of Aberdeen

A pleasant stroll from home around the local Fetternear Estate produced a decent variety of species and although most posed briefly enough for the odd record shot the local Red Squirrels were not playing ball. Probably still annoyed by the loss of at least two dreys during Storm Arwen and who could blame them! 

A couple of Brambling along the paths today.

There are some good feeding stations based in the gardens of the few residential properties around the estate and these are always worth spending extra time scrutinising, thankfully I'm fortunate to know the residents! 

Tree Sparrow ~ A species I'm happy to report are plentiful around the area.

A colony of Tree Sparrows are always a pleasure to watch and while overlooking one feeding station a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were busy hammering in the trees above. BramblingSiskin, Lesser RedpollChaffinch, Greenfinch, Yellowhammer, Coal Tit and Treecreeper all noted, along with a flyover Common Buzzard

Bullfinch ~ A species that seems to thrive locally

Several Bullfinch were busy along some of the ditches adjacent to the footpaths and like most of my travels around Aberdeenshire, there are always Roe Deer on the move.

Two of five Roe Deer enjoying the sunshine

An enjoyable walk overall with Jays busy looking for acorns under the small numbers of Oaks we have here, and of course plenty of Pink-footed Geese passing noisily overhead. 

Redwings enjoying the holly ~ Taken from the kitchen window!

Just a few Fieldfare and Redwing were seen today as it's apparent that there all currently in the village enjoying the bounty of berries around the gardens! I was saving these for the Waxwings πŸ˜‰

Friday, December 10, 2021

πŸ“– Loch of Strathbeg ⛅ 3C ~ Wind ↘NW @ 8mph 10/12/21


First trip out for a while with a drive up to RSPB Loch of Strathbeg, primarily to see if a reported Red-necked Grebe on the 8th was still about. 

Record shot of Red-necked Grebe from the Bay Hide ~ Lock of Strathbeg

As it turns out my luck was in with some good scoped views early afternoon. Although the bird remained distant from the Bay Hide I did manage a few record shots. This is my first since relocating here permanently last year and also a late-year tick. 

Another shot of Red-necked Grebe

100s of Whopper Swans about today as you'd expect, plus literally 1000s of Wigeon and while at the Bay Hide I also managed a couple of distant Scaup. Driving home through the backroads it's clear to see how much devastation the recent storms have reaped on the area. Literally, hundreds of trees felled and lots of flooding around with many fields playing host to the wintering Pink-footed Geese

BUBO Listing
NEW Scottish Life-List Since Relocating Permanently to Aberdeenshire in October 2020

Thursday, December 02, 2021

πŸ“– Inchgarth Reservoir ❄️ 1C ~ Wind N ↓ @ 5mph 02/12/21

My first visit to Inchgarth Reservoir on the north bank of the River Dee in Aberdeen after a report of a Black-throated Diver.

Black-throated Diver

Thankfully the bird hung around for a few record shots in the gloom. I was grateful to Ian Broadbent, the Aberdeenshire county recorder who found the bird and was still on site when I arrived. This is Ian's patch and he tells me that this is the first Black-throated Diver at Inchgarth since 1996. A very nice find and thanks to Ian for getting the word out quickly.

Black-throated Diver ~ Not a particularly common species to the area.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

πŸ“– Peterhead Harbour ⛅ 3C ~ Wind ↘NNW @ 25/30mph 01/12/21

While visiting B&Q today in Peterhead to seek a few items for Storm Arwen repairs (we were without electricity for over 30hrs too during the storm) I dropped down and spent an hour at the Harbour. It's quite a bonus to be able to drive around this busy bustling harbour and watch the fishing fleet come and go, along with a number of supply vessels for the rigs. A great place for 'white-winged Gulls too if there are any boats unloading but I was far too late for that today.

One of two Great Northern Divers sheltering within the harbour.

I was hopeful of finding perhaps a sheltering Little Auk, or if ultra lucky maybe even a Brunnich's Guillemot but it wasn't to be!

Since relocating to Aberdeenshire I still find it strange to see Puffins in the winter.

A good visit though nevertheless with a couple of Great Northern Divers, Puffin and Black Guillemot, the latter not too common to the northeast. Also while here plenty of Shag and the usual Harbour Seals.

Black Guillemot sporting his almost white winter plumage. The red reflection on the water from a nearby fishing boat. 

Shag ~ A common sight around our rocky shores

Another view of Great Northern Diver