Fowlsheugh – 29 May 2016

172 – Tree Pipit

Well, following on from my last post, it was Fowlsheugh that I visited next during my current Scottish holiday.

It was a glorious sunny day when I left Forfar to drive the forty or so miles up to Fowlsheugh. Unfortunately, a sea-haar had rolled-in by the time I arrived at the reserve. It was still pleasant and warm, however, despite being a bit foggy.

Tree Pipit

A Tree Pipit with its lunch

As I left the car I could see a number of small birds in the gorse bushes near the car-park. A beautiful Pied Wagtail sitting on a stone wall gave me my first photo-op of the day.

When I had climbed the bank up to the cliffs I was immediately struck by the strong smell of bird-poo – yeuch! It was just like at Bempton Cliffs or the Farne Islands; a smell that I hadn’t experienced for a while, and wasn’t entirely ready to smell again. However, they do say that you have to suffer for your art!

The cliffs at Fowlsheugh were absolutely packed today – not with humans, but seabirds. There were: Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Herring Gulls and Fulmars galore. I also saw a couple of Puffins, which is always a treat.

I also saw both Rock and Tree Pipits, and a Linnet on the top of a gorse bush.

What I hadn’t expected to see was a large group of seals hauled-out on the rocks below me. Next to them were a group of Eider Ducks swimming in the sea. The ducks were so distant, however, that I didn’t even see them until I inspected the photos later on at home.


By the time I got back to the car I had walked 4.54 miles according to the health app on my iPhone, and although tired, I felt really pleased with my photos from the day.

About Alan Gordon

I am a retired teacher and former RAF Musician. I live near Sheffield and enjoy taking photographs of wild birds throughout the UK.
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