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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  1. Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aberdeen

    Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve (LNR) contains extensive areas of gorse scrub, heathland, young coniferous and broadleaved woodland.

  2. 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.

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