jueves, 27 de marzo de 2014

Mouth of Dee River, Aberdeen (2)

*Las entradas sobre Escocia las escribo en inglés

Let's keep on talking about Dee River!!

In the mouth of the river it is located the harbour, and there you can see a really interesting species (not only birds!).

Seal diving in the harbour

Although there were people training for boat racing (it looked like Oxford vs Cambridge), there I could see a lot of gulls, but always the same two species: Great Black-backed (Larus marinus) and Herring Gull (Larus argentatus).


Great Black-backed/Gavión atlántico/Gavinot &  Herring Gull/Gaviota argéntea/Gavià argentat de pota rosa

Great Black-backed/Gavión atlántico/Gavinot

First I thought they could be Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) and Yellow-Legged Gull (Larus michahellis), but it seems it's not usual to see these species such common in Catalonia (L. fuscus is a summer visitor in Scotland, and the other one is a rare species). Then, when I saw the colour of their legs, I realised what species they were indeed: Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus )and  Gull (Larus argentatus)...never seen them before!!

Great Black-backed/Gavión atlántico/Gavinot

1st winter Herring Gull/Gaviota argéntea/Gavià argentat de pota rosa

Further on, I saw the main bird I had been looking for, flying quick river down..an Eider (Somateria mollissima)! I was really excited and though I had been really lucky til I noticed there were dozens and dozens of them around the harbour and offshore! Males, females and juveniles, there were plenty of Eiders, but not as many as Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus)...

My first Eider

Male Eider

Female Eider

Oystercatchers are almost a plague. You can watch them everywhere...in the river, the coast, in parks, golf courses, football fields, in the countryside...and they are really noisy!! But they are interesting to watch as well.




Far away there were also other birds diving: Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), a male Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator), and a Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata).

Red-breasted merganser


Red-throated Loon

Once I left the harbour behind, between two lighthouses, I could see a lot of purple sandpipers and rock pipits, most of which were ringed  with PVC colour rings.

Greyhope bay

Purple Sandpipers

Purple Sandpiper

Rock Pipit
Finally, getting back, a juvenile Mute Swan (Cignus olor) appeared to tell, my first birdwatching day, goodbye.

Mute swan

domingo, 16 de marzo de 2014

Mouth of Dee River, Aberdeen (1)

*Las entradas sobre Escocia las escribo en inglés

Aberdeen, the city where now I live, is between two rivers: River Don, in the North; and River Dee, in the South.

Although I arrived more than two weeks ago, I only could birdwatch last saturday morning, when I went to the mouth of Dee River, where I saw so many interesting bird species which are really hard to see in Catalonia.

The first one I saw, was a Redshank (Tringa totanus), a bird which I hadn't seen yet (this year I mean). Redshanks are resident birds in coastal areas, but in summer we can also find them in the countryside.

Redshank - Archibebe común - Gamba roja vulgar

Redshank - Archibebe común - Gamba roja vulgar

After that, my first great surprise arrived...a group of goosanders!! Goosanders (Mergus merganser) are almost impossible to see in Catalonia, whereas they are residents in Scotland. Curiously, they mingled among mallards (even I was a witness to a struggle between both duck species) and showed nearby. Although if you approached less than 15 meters, they swam away.

Goosander - Serreta grande - Bec de serra gros

Goosander vs mallards - Serreta grande vs azulones - Bec de serra gros vs collverds

Goosander - Serreta grande - Bec de serra gros

More unexpected birds were waiting for me while walking down the river. The next one was a a 1st winter Common Gull (Larus canus) surrounded by some Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) which are winter visitors, birds that I've never seen in Catalonia, and a Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) as well. Further on, I would realise that those were common birds in the area.

Common gull and turnstones - Gaviota cana y vuelvepiedras - Gavina cendrosa i remenarocs

Common gull - Gaviota cana - Gavina cendrosa

Turnstone - Vuelvepiedras - Remenarocs

Turnstones - Vuelvepiedras - Remenarocs

Ringed plover - Chorlitejo grande - Corriol gros

In few days we will see what other birds I saw in the river...cannot miss it!!