• The seabird season starts again!

    Over the summer months the cliffs at Fowlsheugh become home to thousands and thousands of seabirds. Having spent the winter out in the Atlantic the razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and the odd puffin or two have returned to our shores to breed and it’s a sight not to be missed! The colony erupts into a feast for all the senses – there’s no mistaking the smell of a seabird city!

    Our seabirds…

    • 29 Jun 2018
  • Woo hoo! Fowlsheugh's been awarded a Certificate of Excellence!

    We're excited to announce that Fowlsheugh has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor!

    We are really grateful to everyone who takes the time to give us feedback and really pleased to read all your nice comments. We can only take some of the credit as it's the seabird city spectacle and the full sight, sound and smell experience that is responsible for so many people loving the reserve.


    • 9 Jul 2016
  • A surprisingly good year for Fowlsheugh's seabirds

    Derren Fox and Kirsty Nutt describe the seabird breeding season success at both Fowlsheugh and Troup Head and why Scotland's seabirds are still struggling.

    On a day like this, summer feels a long time ago... but it’s nice to think back to those long, bright days when a walk along cliffs in Aberdeenshire was filled with the sounds of calling seabirds. From the kittiwakes repeatedly calling their own names to the strange…

    • 13 Nov 2015
  • June 13th

    Eleven "dancing walkers" (or is that "walking dancers"?) joined Mark on a calm, warm and eventually sunny evening on the cliffs. Before we started I was told that they really, really wanted to see Puffins - so no pressure!!

    We talked about the impact of the winter on the birds - the wreck of Puffins in the early Spring, and whether this would impact breeding numbers significantly. The entrance to…

    • 14 Jun 2013
  • Success yet again!

    Sunshine, if a chilly breeze. 8 participants joined Mark and John on the cliffs (always disappointing to have people booking and then not turning up - there should have been an unlucky 13!). Lots of activity on the cliffs - the lateness of the season noted by the Kittewakes still nest building, and pairs of Guillemots and Razorbills mating. Birds are on eggs, and Amanda (there to chill out on the cliffs after a stressful…

    • 7 Jun 2013
  • Another beautiful evening on the cliffs!

    Last night (Thurs 30th) saw 9 participants join Mark and Amanda in warm sunshine at Fowlsheugh. Kittewakes were finally getting their act together and collecting grass on the cliff tops to remake their nests - a month late!Large numbers created blizzards of white as they wheeled around before re-landing on the grassy tops to collect again.

    After explaining the geology and the importance of these particular cliffs for…

    • 31 May 2013
  • Thursday evening 16th May

    A beautiful evening, with sunshine and no wind! Only two participants - come on out there you know you want to see Puffins, and we did - at least 6 on the cliffs. Lots of eggs in evidence as well - Guillemots covering up, but unfortunately a couple of predated eggs on the cliff top, and we watched a Herring Gull take and eat another egg



    • 18 May 2013
  • First Puffin Walk of 2013 9th May

    Despite the cold, 5 people came on my first Puffin walk of the season - two French Tourists plus an American exchange teacher and her two friends / supporters. All wanted to see Puffins above everything else. Despite the gloomy thoughts following the major wreck of Puffins in the past month, we had brilliant views of up to 20 birds doing things that neither I nor Vicky have seen before - including pulling up beakfuls…

    • 14 May 2013
  • Open For Business & Pick Out A Puffin!

    I had my first trip of the year down to Fowlsheugh on Thursday, despite the absolutely howling wind it was nice to get back on the cliffs again and see the first of the seabirds heading back in to their nest sites.

    We were down for the day with the RSPB Aberdeenshire Local Group, who were helping us get the reserve ready for the season, painting benches and signs, repairing the gateway at the reserve entrance and cutting…

    • 24 Apr 2013
  • Reserve Open As Normal

    After a few days of very hard work, the bridge repairs at Fowlsheugh have been completed and the reserve is now open as normal.

     The wardens have been putting in a lot of hard work, hampered by the weather, the ground conditions and the lack of power at the site to recharge drill batteries etc., It's taken slightly longer than we first thought so thanks for bearing with us while we made the stream crossing safe again…

    • 7 Apr 2013
  • Reserve Closed Until Further Notice

    After the recent storms and high winds there has been quite a significant amount of damage to the steps and one of the footbridges at Fowlsheugh. We're decided to close the reserve until we can repair the damage and make the path safe for visitors again.

    Replacing the footbridge will be quite a major job so the reserve may be closed for a few weeks. It will be open again well in advance of the seabird season so no…

    • 7 Jan 2013
  • WINTER IS COMING (also some waxwings)

    Nice to get out and about in autumn. Bit of a magical mystery tour for us workers yesterday, which involved my being dropped off at Fowlsheugh to do some maintenance work to prepare for winter.

    Yup, like in that famous TV series, WINTER IS COMING. So I wrapped up tight and prepared to face the direwolves. I mean elements.

    I had heard that Fowlsheugh is a pretty impressive piece of coastline. But I hail from North Devon…

    • 9 Nov 2012
  • My last walk of the season

    Despite the weather the walk went ahead with an American couple who had planned specifically to visit after reading about the cliffs in Lonely Planet! They had arrived from the States in the afternoon and driven up from Edinburgh.

    They were not disappointed, The clouds lifted and although it was not sunny the residual mist made for a great spectacle. Lots of Gannets were passing north, lots of auks were on the sea, and…

    • 29 Jun 2012
  • a quiet Sunday afternoon

    Although 12 people had booked for Sunday 24th's afternoon guided walk at Fowlsheugh, only two actually turned up. BUT the rain had stopped, the sun came out and the "private tour" had good views of Puffins in and around their burrows by the cave. Guillemot, Razorbill and Kittewake chicks were in evidence, with fish being brought in. Although the feeling is that the season has not been very good and that a lot of the guillemots…

    • 25 Jun 2012
  • Full colony counting at Fowlsheugh

    Todays blog post from residential volunteer Ben Crossman

    The busy sea bird season is now fully under way with thousands of Guillemots, razorbills, Kittiwakes and fulmar hugging the cliffs. So with the sun shining we made the most of the late May weather in order to carry out a full colony count at Fowlsheugh.

    Counting an entire colony of sea birds was not as daunting as I first thought. The trick is to divide the cliff…

    • 9 Jun 2012
  • "Puffins in the Mist"

    Flaming June!! thick, thick fog put off 3 of the participants to Thursday's walk, but three intrepid tourists elected to come along for a shortened visit to Fowlsheugh. The fog made seeing the birds difficult, but we even managed to see a couple of Puffins, "looming" out of the mist. The eerie scene was accented by the smells and sounds, and Fulmars riding the stiff sea breeze. But when will thye bad weather end?…

    • 8 Jun 2012
  • off-duty

    A trip yesterday, just to see how things are going. I managed a few photos, I am trying for flight shots - have a look!


    • 6 Jun 2012
  • starting grey with a glorious sunset

    A pan-European group attended the walk on Thursday evening. A Swedish couple showed me their photos of Great Grey Owls taken during a recent invasion in Sweden while we waited for the group to assemble - very jealous! A German couple of "returning birdwatchers" - getting back into it after several years and 5 locals met at the gate in a gloomy but not wet evening.

    As we walked along the clouds parted and the…

    • 1 Jun 2012
  • Sunday 27th May

    Warm and sunny again, with lots of people on the cliffs hoping for a sight of a Puffin. Again a full group of 12 were shown the birds on the cliffs, and discussed thye problems affecting sea birds. Puffins were in short supply today, but after a couple of birds launched off the cliffs we were finally treated to a single bird emerging from its burrow to stand in the sun, allowing everyone to have 'scope views. Oohs and…

    • 30 May 2012
  • Finally a warm evening

    Overwhelmed by the turn out on Thursday evening - several people just turned up for the guided walk without booking so we started with 18 people! The birds performed fabulously, the warmth and lack of wind meant that many were close to the top of the cliffs, allowing viewing of Razorbills and Guillemots at distances of a few feet. Puffins were much in evidence as well, and everyone had the opportunity to see them through…

    • 25 May 2012
  • The secret life of seabirds

    This summer at Fowlsheugh, you may well come across a couple of people catching our seabirds.    Don’t be alarmed by this, it’s all part of an important RSPB seabird research project.    The most important thing to say, is that the birds are not harmed in anyway and it will not disturb them from their busy breeding season.  

    Fulmars, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots will be subtly removed from their nest sites…

    • 19 May 2012
  • A wet Thursday night

    The bad weather continues, but I was joined by 5 participants for a wet walk along the cliffs. Lots of Fulmars were present - hanging in the air at the cliff edge showing off their flying skills in the updraught. The breeze was off the sea allowing us all to appreciate the smell of the thousands of birds.

    At least 12 Puffins were seen in the throng, giving great views to all, as they paired up and squabbled in the usual…

    • 18 May 2012
  • Sunday 13th hurricane

    9 participants joined me for a blow along the cliffs on Sunday afternoon. The wind made viewing tricky, but I was able to find a Puffin early on, which took the pressure off (one lady telling me at the start that she really wanted to see one, having never done so - no pressure there then).

    Everone had good views of the breeding species, and the problems facing these birds was discussed with, I hope, answers to all the…

    • 14 May 2012
  • Rained Off

    Despite the heroic efforts of the RSPB staff earlier in the week, in the wind and rain, it was decided that the first Puffin walk of the season last night (10/05) should be cancelled. Strong wind and rain would have made it a miserable evening, I hope that all who had booked will re-book onto a later walk. Every Thursday evening, and second Sunday afternoon starting this Sunday (13/05).


    Hopefully the weather will clear…

    • 11 May 2012
  • A blizzard of kittiwakes and a mystery Gnome-more!

    Well it looked like it was going to be a windy and rainy day and so it was but it turned out to be quite a spectacle. Me, Vicky and Ed arrived there after dropping the truck off in Aberdeen for it to have bit of work done just before 9 and promptly began to play ‘guess the bird name anagram’ to avoid the rain. The strong winds were blowing us and the birds about, not least this Razorbil:

     Once we had run…

    • 8 May 2012