Thursday, 17 January 2013

Aberdeenshire and Gelt photography

My blog URL address is changing to in the next few days so you are aware. 

Old timer countryside criminal is made a fool to the nations media for his actions...

The last Basking Shark giving a positive reading is off the coast of Africa after making a direct southerly migration from hebridean waters where it was tagged in the summer.

Another important petition to sign to encourage the home office to keep the national wildlife crime unit. Wildlife warriors needed to sign in numbers again to make a difference. 

A trip to Aberdeenshire with dad for a few days as he was covering a few sites for some media articles. We headed up early on the Thursday with the first port of call was RSPB Foulsheugh with its dramatic coastal cliffs. The rain stopped and a nice rainbow appeared with Fulmars cruising around the cliffs. We headed north for Stonehaven and Dunnottar castle which is just simply spectacular! Again plenty of mini Albatross and a Long-tailed Duck close into the shore.
As we were making tracks back to the car dad was keeping check of the finch flocks and as we took a de-tour to check them out we got a raptor on a post which ended up being a female Peregrine with a male close by. We watched them hunting Jackdaws in unison which was breathtaking. 
Aberdeen harbour produced some Sanderling and a Grey Seal before retreating to our hostel at Rattray head to the north.   

Rattray head lighthouse, dramatic overcast conditions and big seas coming in. Desert Wheatear was showing well on the beach...
Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven. Stunning building remains with Fulmars all around the cliffs...
An early start getting up at dawn to start at the lighthouse at the head to see the Desert Wheatear showing well. I took some shots of the rough sea and dark dramatic overcast clouds. We moved onto RSPB Troup head further up the coast which is famous for its Mainland Gannet colony in particular. Thousands of Gannets were already patrolling the area along with Fulmars as the coast line was very impressive again.

Onto Frazerburgh where we got chippy and watched the Gulls in the harbour looking out for a white wingers but just a curious Grey Seal. We finished with the Pinkie roost at RSPB Strathbeg which was very impressive with large numbers nestling in tight on the loch. Gladiator the film was on the evening in the hostel and surely it goes down as one of the greatest films ever. 

Stunning drake LT Duck in Frazerbrugh habour...
The next morning we headed north up the coast to look for the King Eider that had been reported the day previous. We scanned the rough seas for a couple of hours but no joy with dad possibly catching the back end of the bird before it dived. Plenty of Long-tailed Ducks and a couple of RT Divers. Six close up LT Ducks in Frazerburgh harbour showing v well! 
On route south to Aberdeen we called in at Trump international which has caused controversy in the district. Dad wanted to check out its potential for wildlife. 
Westhill on the evening to stay at Nannys for the night. We headed out for tea with Auntie Iona and Uncle Stuart and a bit of a cock up with where we were meeting and eating as we headed to the holiday inn instead of the premier inn and ended up buying a drink and sitting in there for half an hour before realizing. We didn't even get a clue from the barman saying our booking for booth was not there. Anyway we got the right place at the premier inn and had a good meal and catch up with family. 
Hearing the urban Robins and Blackbirds signing at 4 in the morn is always a different experience for me along with the drunken rabble playing the many people can we wake up with our moronic behaviour?

Great few days....thanks Dad

trying to capture fly-by Fulmars at Troup Head...

River Gelt steaming down after strong rainfall at the end of December...

When we were kids myself and friend james stobart named this pool middle Gelt while swimming in in the summer months
The last few weeks with the dull overcast conditions I have been focusing more on capturing moving water and in particular a local stretch of the river Gelt which has been rewarding along with seeing the hardy Dippers whizzing back and forwards.

High up the old water while listening for owls...

River Eden by junction 43...a favoured stretch I like to cover when visiting the big city...

Gstoz! look out for him at the far end of the west wing on Deal!
To finish things off one of my best mates and top naturalist Gary Storey is on Deal or No Deal every day 4pm on Channel 4. He plays his game on the 28th and he has already been seen plugging the isle of Mull, raving about Golden Eagles and telling Noel Edmonds there is no such thing as a Seagull! Here is his Deal profile with his brilliant interesting fact

Thanks for looking 8-)...remember