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Monday, 27 July 2009 23:14

Birds of Scotland II: east coast – Fowlsheugh and Troup Head

 

1D3_9586PSmap-of-scotlandScotland and generally the whole United Kingdom is a paradise for birdwatchers. Great number of RSPB reserves (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) is represented by cliff colonies of seabirds that can be found along the whole coast of United Kingdom and adjacent islands. The most common and well-known inhabitants of these colonies are Gulls, Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins and other less numbered species.

 

 

 

Fowlsheugh

 

1D3_8880PSRSPB reserve Fowlsheugh is situated at the east coast of Scotland ca. 5 km south of Stonehaven near the village Crawton. This reserve might serve as a kind of type locality of similar places around the coast, the spot where every beginner can start birding by watching IMG_0391PS the most common species. The cliffs of Fowlsheugh host about 130 000 birds in the season – mostly Guillemots (Uria aalge), Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), Razorbills (Alca torda) and ever-present Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) and Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis). Although the locality is not the best for photography, the species resting on the higher levels of cliffs can be quite easily observed.

The reserve is accessible by small road leading to the parking place, from there it takes only 5 minutes by walk to reach the cliffs.

 

 

 

 

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Troup Head

 

1D3_9476PS RSPB reserve Troup Head is one of the only two British (the other is Bempton in England) and the only one Scottish mainland colony of Gannet (Morus bassanus) – the other gannetries are located on the islands. The Troup Head reserve, which host about 150 000 nesting birds in the season IMG_0478PS is located at southeast of Scotland ca. 20 km west of Fraserburgh. Although gannets are in their population the minor species here, it is the real attraction of this spot for most visitors. The reason may be also the fact that Gannets are the most-easily seen birds of this reserve – the other species like Guillemots (Uria aalge), Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), Razorbills (Alca torda), Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) and Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) are mostly hidden in the lover levels of the cliffs. If you are lucky enough, you can also watch few Puffins (Fratercula arctica), the birds that are otherwise quite common in many places in United Kingdom.

 

 

 

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Gannets appeared at Troup Head in 1988 for the first time. At that time four nests were found believed to had been built by birds fled from Bass Rock. Recently about 1500 nesting pairs dwell on the steep cliffs of Troup Head each season.

 

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Related articles:

Birds of Scotland I: Bass Rock – wildlife wonder of the world

Birds of Scotland III: Cliff colonies of North and West coast

Birds of Scotland IV: A few notes from Outer Hebrides

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 08:24
 
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