Gull Counts

Just a short post because I feel like typing.

On Thursday I decided to do my second complete BirdTrack list of the month on patch. I headed out at about 3 and got back about 5:30 after a reasonably successful count. Highlights of Collared Dove, Stock Dove, Buzzard, and just the lovely appreciation of common birds such as Goldcrests in a Yew, and a Treecreeper actually settling down to roost in a hole it had made in the bark of one of the Coast Redwoods Sequoiadendron sempervirens in the arboretum on campus.

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

One number that particularly stood out on that list (and my first list of the month) was the number of gulls flying over. The gulls I was counting were ones heading back to roost nearer the coast after feeding inland. Mostly Herring Gulls but with a few Common Gulls passing over in wee groups, plus the occasional Black-headed and a single Lesser Black-backed.

I was intrigued as to how many gulls were really flying over, so on Friday I decided to go to the back of my campus where there’s some slightly higher ground, and just count all the gulls that were heading over Craibstone, Brimmond Hill and the south side of Dyce.


I actually missed the start of the movement as I was finishing off my last bit of work for this term. However, I was there in time to see a huge number of gulls heading east. The largest group of Herring Gulls I counted in one view was 54, and 33 for Common Gull.

My end total was 531 Herring Gulls, 64 Common Gulls and Black-headed Gulls. Quite a number! I’ll maybe head out earlier some time in the next week to see how many I can count from when they begin moving. Perhaps doing the count from a higher vantage point (Brimmond Hill) in clearer weather (not raining) with my scope would be better. Plus I might be able to see where all these birds are coming from. Hm, future mini-project in the making I think.

This spot of skywatching also resulted in a Patchwork Challenge tick in the form of 3 drake Mallards that were flushed from some of the wetland that has been accidentally created by the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.


Before starting on the gulls I spotted 3 of the pairs of Oystercatchers nesting on the various buildings around campus. Speaking of Oystercatchers, I’m helping out with a survey of urban nesting Oystercatchers in Aberdeen this year, which is nice! Getting designated a nice big area to cycle about and plot them on a map.

That’s the end of this wee post. Just felt the need to blog.


Gull Counts

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