Local Group Outing to Kirkhill forest, Aberdeen

Sunday 25th February 2024

Kirkhill forest view c/o Tony Hilton

Well what can I say, we did it again well at least on the weather front.

Arriving at the main carpark of the Forest & Land Scotland Kirkhill forest on the outskirts of Aberdeen on the north side of the A96 road, we were welcomed by a beautiful crisp and bright day with virtually no wind.

Conditions were perfect for looking, and listening for woodland birds and even before leaving the carpark we had Yellowhammers, Song thrush, Wren and Redwings. As our group (25) began to set off a shout went out of a passing Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard sitting on a nearby telegraph pole.

Yellowhammer c/o Tony Hilton
Song Thrush – c/o Tony Hilton

Thanks to the frosty start the forest road was fairly dry and firm and after a short walk into the trees we got our first sighting of a female Common crossbill, one of our target species for the day, at the top of a Sitka spruce tree, followed by a pair of Bullfinches hiding in the top of a Larch tree.

We continue along the track into the main block of the forest and many commented on the devastation that has been caused by Arwen and subsequent storms over the last few years to the forest. Much of the windblow has now been cleared but it has left the area with large open areas awaiting restocking.

These open areas will provide great feeding areas for the likes of Meadow pipits and Wagtails.

We made steady progress through varying habitats along the forest road on our way towards the Tappie tower and the top of Kirkhill, pausing along the way to add the usual small woodland birds to our list including Chaffinch, Coal tit and a rather elusive Treecreeper.

Robin c/o Tony Hilton

At the top of the hill, we made the short climb up to the Tappie tower where we had to get a group photograph as the opportunity was too good to miss. As we made our way back down we met Angela heading up the track so I made the short trip back to the tower to get her photo, what a women she is!

Group enjoying the sun c/o Tony Hilton
Angela c/o Tony Hilton

The return trip followed a track along the edge of the forest looking down towards the A96 before turning back into the main block towards the main carpark, I would recommend this route as the opposite way round would have given us a long steep climb which would have been a much harder way to the top.

Well done and thanks to all who came along, I hope you enjoyed it, we ended up with a total of 20 species but the weather and the company more than made up with the low levels of birds on the go, maybe next time you’ll get a Goshawk!!

Thanks to Leader Tony Hilton & for the write-up