Birdwatching in Aberdeen City and Shire

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  • An osprey soars in flight.
    A soaring osprey
  • A guide on a wildlife spotting tour.
    Spotting wildlife with a professional guide

The varied landscapes of Aberdeen City and Shire provide plenty of opportunities for birdwatchers to spot a wide range of species throughout the year.

Inland, the dense forests and wild heather moorland of the spectacular Cairngorm National Park are the natural habitat of magnificent raptors like the osprey as well as the more rare black grouse and capercaillie.

In and around Aberdeen itself, a successful re-introduction programme that began in 2007 means that red kites are once again a common sight in the skies over the city. Webcam footage of the fledging red kites on their nests at Easter Anguston farm is available on the RSPB website and is even broadcast live on large screen in Union Square in the heart of Aberdeen itself.

However, it is along the region's long rocky coastline that the variety and number of species is really evident.

Troup Head, a few miles west of Fraserburgh, is home to Scotland’s only mainland gannet colony. During the summer months,  the high cliffs teem with thousands of gannets, alongside fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and herring gulls. You can also see puffins here, nesting in burrows or in crevices on the steep rockface.

Another seacliff colony that's a mecca for birdwatchers can be found on the spectacular cliffs at Fowlsheugh, just south of Stonehaven. Over 100,000 breeding seabirds such as guillemots, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes and puffins cram onto the rockface throughout the spring and summer. Skylarks, meadow and rock pipits, and linnets also breed elsewhere on the reserve.

At Loch of Strathbeg, situated between Fraserburgh and Peterhead, you can witness one of the most spectacular wildlife displays in Britain when up to 80,000 pink-footed geese arrive from Iceland to roost on the loch each autumn. They share it with other migrant geese species together with wildfowl such as teals, wigeons, gadwalls, mallards, pochards and goldeneyes. At other times of the year, waders including dunlins, ringed plovers, whimbrels, sanderlings and black-tailed godwits plus more occasional visitors such as little egret, spoonbill and avocet can all be seen on and around the loch.

Why not benefit from the expertise of professional guides on an organised trip and benefit from their knowledge of different habitats and species in the region.

Browse our listings to plan your birdwatching trip in Aberdeen City and Shire today.
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12 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. St Cyrus National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    St Cyrus

    The cliffs and dunes of St Cyrus support a distinctive range of plants, including many southern species.

  2. Glen Tanar

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aboyne

    Welcome to Glen Tanar

  3. Mar Lodge Estate

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Braemar

    This large estate is part of the core area of the Cairngorms, internationally recognised as the most important nature conservation landscape in the British Isles.

  4. Spey Bay

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Buckie

    Spey Bay is a popular area of shingle beach and river estuary and is part of the largest vegetated shingle complex in Scotland.

  5. Gight Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pitmedden

    Gight Wood lies on the steep, south facing slopes of the Ythan valley, forming the easternmost part of a series of woodlands and river grasslands.

  6. Forvie National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Ellon

    The beauty of the sand dunes at Forvie National Nature Reserve (NNR) is complemented by the call of eider ducks, wafting across the Ythan estuary.

  7. Glen Tanar

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aboyne

    Glen Tanar provides a great opportunity to explore Scotland's classic Caledonian pine forest in search of its elusive wildlife.

  8. Muir Of Dinnet National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Ballater

    Situated on low-lying ground, Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve (NNR) consists of extensive Birchwood, wetlands and heather moor.

  9. Troup Head

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pennan

    This massive landmark of red cliffs rises to 365 ft and is run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

  10. Loch Muick Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ballater

    Loch Muick Reserve is located 8 miles south west of Ballater in Aberdeenshire, and is part of the Balmoral Estate.

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