Spread your wings and explore wildlife at Countesswells this weekend

8th September 2021

We’re sure a bird’s eye view of Countesswells is something that a lot of our residents would love to see!

Located across 200 hectares in the west of Aberdeen, the green spaces, waterways and parklands at Countesswells have connected Hazlehead Wood with Countesswells Woods and created an integrated landscape

With plenty of green space to share, families of birds have nestled in amongst the neighbourhoods of Countesswells, but none so impressive as the birds of prey which will visit this weekend as part of a family fun day for residents and members of the public.

Owls, hawks, and falcons from Huntly Falconry Centre will be demonstrating their incredible flying skills at Countesswells from 11am – 3pm on Saturday 11th September, with visitors able to enjoy watching half-hour displays at 12pm and 1.30pm.

There will be a range of food and drink stalls selling tasty treats, including Symposium Coffee House, Shona’s Shortbread and Cakes by Alli-baba.  While mum and dad enjoy a coffee and cake, the kids can get creative at the children’s craft stand.

But if the twitchers in your life can’t wait until the weekend, we’ve shared a list below of some other birds that you’re likely to see soaring above the houses at Countesswells.

Song Thrush

With plenty of nature to enjoy on the doorstep, bird song can usually be heard throughout Countesswells, coming from the beaks of blackbirds, thrushes and robins.

With blackbirds and robins well known, song thrushes can be identified by their speckled breast and delightful song. These territorial birds need a patch of land to call home, which will provide enough food for them and their babies. With mealtimes including worms, snails, caterpillars and other minibeasts, the land at Countesswells includes a mixture of plants and vegetation, perfect for these types of insects to thrive.

Magpie

Famous for their love of shiny things and cheeky demeanour – Magpies are just as good pest destroyers as they are at scavenging.  Instantly recognisable for their black-and-white plumage and long tail, when seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers and a green gloss to the tail.

House Martin

Summer may be coming to an end, but it might not be too late to spot a House Martin or Swift, swooping through the air between buildings. Recognised by their glossy blue-black upper parts and pure white under parts, the urban bird has a distinctive white rump with a forked tail.

The bird’s mud nest is usually sited below the eaves of buildings, where they need a good supply of flying insects for food.

Grey Heron

The Heron is a large and distinctive bird with a wingspan of up to 6ft. It’s usually seen near water sources, particularly where it can catch its favourite dinner – fish and frogs!

A grey heron, aptly named Hagan has been spotted exploring the sustainable urban drainage ponds in Countesswells before. Take a walk by the Cults Burn or the SUDs ponds and see if you can spot him!

Red Kites

Red Kites are a magnificently graceful bird of prey, unmistakeable with its reddish tinged brown body, angled wings and forked tail.

It was extinct in England, Ireland and Scotland in the 19th century but has now been successfully reintroduced by RSPB Scotland. Now almost 12 years since their return they are thriving in northern Scotland and can be commonly seen around Aberdeen so keep your eyes peeled!

Let us know if you spot any of the birds above around Countesswells and be sure to tag us in any photos of the wildlife around the town.

Admission to the falconry day is free of charge and no booking is required. The No.4 bus will be running throughout the day, every half an hour, running between Union Square and Countesswells.