Gannet City - Troup Head

I am sure I posted a blog about the RSPB reserve at Troup Head in Aberdeenshire last summer but now I can’t find it! This means that I can crib a couple of pictures from last summer, the first two, and add a couple from today.
Troup Head is our nearest breeding sea bird colony and is about sixty miles away and, with a nice day forcast, this seemed a good time for a visit. Don’t believe the forcasts; it was grey, drizzely and with a strong, cold breeze off the sea. Never mind.
Whilst we saw many fulmars and guillimots the main purpose for going to Troup is to watch the masses of breeding gannets. It is noisey and smelly with guano hanging like icicles down the cliff faces but very exciting.

Just One of the Cliff Faces

At Times the Air is Full of Gannets

There are always gannets in the air circling around and gliding against the wind. At times large numbers take to the air at one time and the sight is mesmerising. We spent a lot of time huddled down in the grass at the cliff edge just watching them. Photographing individuals is not easy but I spent some time with the camera to my eye, on zoom, and pointing downwards just in front of me. The shutter button was held half down at all times and I fired off a shot whenever a gannet passed the viewfinder. Thank goodness for digital, it would have cost a fortune in film! I have now deleted all but two of the pictures. These are an adult and a juvenile.


In spite of the weather we had a great time and I can recommend a visit to Troup Head to anyone who is in this area.


18 Jun, 2011
jane said:

Fabulous photos Bulbaholic....we planned a trip to Bempton cliffs to see the gannets last weekend but the weather was so bad we cancelled..heavy rain and hail !! Troup Head looks a brilliant haunt for gannets too and well worth a visit as you say. Pic 1 just shows the scale of nesting birds...wonderful...

18 Jun, 2011
eje said:

Wonderful blog,if anybody would like to drive us from Portsmouth and back again we would love the experience.ANY VOLUNTEERS? Eric

18 Jun, 2011
david said:

I could have sworn you did a blog before, too, Bulbaholic. Lovely replacement/refresher blog, though, and great pics of the adult and juvenile gannets. Has poured down non-stop all day here, and very dark. :-(

19 Jun, 2011
bonkersbon said:

Looks a wonderful location Bulbaholic always a treat to observe Gannets and often dont appear phased by our close proximity but as you say they seem to change direction so quickly , panning and zooming is quite a challenge.

Closest been is to Fowlsheugh reserve south of Stonehaven no Gannets at the time but many Guillemots Razorbills Puffins and a great colony of Kittiwakes .The cliffs and aroma sound similar.

Back in the days of film photography and 2 rolls for one decent puffin shot so yes thumbs up to digital.

ha ha Eric volunteer ? we re about halfway between Portsmouth and Troupe head so to pick you up take you there , take you back and return home is a round trip of 1800 miles.

Petrol at £1.40/lt 4.5lt to a gallon = £6.30 a gallon at an average of 30 miles to the gallon 1800 miles would cost £398.00 well at least I d have change for a coffee out of £400 !

Thats a very expensive voluntary rate dont you think lol

19 Jun, 2011
bulbaholic said:

That's one of the problems now, Bonkersbon, the price of fuel. Troup Head is almost on our back door and yet it cost £25 for the two of us to make this trip. Public transport was out of the question because of the time involved in getting buses to Banff and then the ten plus miles walk in each direction :-(

19 Jun, 2011
bonkersbon said:

Thats quite some journey for something that looks so close by on the map Bulbaholic .. one of the penalties I guess for living in such remote beauty.

Think Eric may be waiting a while for volunteers .. in the meantime thanks for taking the trouble to share this with us.

20 Jun, 2011
donna said:

Lovely blog great photos of the ganets Thank you

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