Friday, 3 April 2020

A Disappointment of Dolphins?

So on Wednesday afternoon Gail had the bright idea that, in the hope of gathering some good material for this week's Nature Friday post, we should walk from our home (as per government guidelines) to the mouth of Aberdeen harbour, the favourite location round here for dolphin spotting.

It's quite a long walk today, so I hope you've time to trot along with us.

First of all we go down the hill and under the railway bridge,

Then across the River Dee,

Past the boat clubs, all closed for the duration of course, and along the south side of the river (tidal at this point).

There's plenty of activity at the business end of the harbour - North Sea platforms still need supplies, even if the oil companies are virtually paying to have the oil taken off their hands right now.

We see some traditional Aberdeen businesses too.

Beyond the supply bases and the delightfully whiffy fish processing operations, we finally reach the small beach area at the harbour mouth. But sadly the dolphins seem to be socially distancing themselves out to sea today, so we proceed on to the lighthouse.

A little further along and here we are, overlooking the huge harbour expansion works. This project, to create facilities for cruise ships and for decommissioning oil platforms (an interesting combination...) has been underway for about three years now. Delayed already, the Scottish government has now closed down all construction work because of The Virus so who knows when those cruise passengers will have the opportunity to gasp in admiration at the sight of rusty old oil installations being ripped apart...

I remind Gail that, absent any dolphins, we still need something for Arty, Jakey and Rosy's Nature Friday blog hop. Spring is slow to arrive at windswept headlands jutting out into the North Sea, and the only flowers we can find are these hardy little coltsfoots (coltsfeet?)

Coltsfoot might be a relevant flower for these times. According to Wikipedia, the plant has been used by herbalists to treat respiratory illnesses. However, as your resident Boffin, I feel compelled to point out that there seems to be a lack of scientific evidence for its efficacy in humans, and as it is known to contain toxic compounds too, it's probably best avoided.

For those interested in maps etc., Gail has been having fun with Google Earth and below you can see today's route to the harbour and back, indicated by the red line (a round trip of just over 5 miles).

Happy Nature Friday and STAY SAFE folks!

PS from Gail: I just want to reassure Bertie's readers that in choosing our 'walks from home' I am being careful to select routes where I am confident we will meet few other walkers, and where there is plenty of space to keep the required distance apart. 


  1. Thanks so much for inviting us for a long walk Bertie!!! we have just one hour per day, so ours are now very short. we hope that the constructions and all the stores and the businesses will start as soon as this time is over and we hope there is help for all to carry on ....

  2. That's a beautiful long walk Bertie! Thank you - we really enjoyed keeping you and Gail company. It's so much better than our allowed 50 metres - and that's only if you have a dog!
    We are going to be so unfit by the time this has ended!

    Inca xx

  3. Hari OM
    Bertie lad, this was a pawfect offering for NF in these 'constricted' conditions! The lack of dolphins had little impact as you shared so much else of value.

    Meanwhile here in Edinburgh, it is feeling a tad like winter again today. Hopefully just a flashback! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

    (PS to Gail - thank you for the 'clap out'!)

  4. You have the coolest walks, Bertie! I love the photo of you walking along the river.

  5. Bertie please thank Gail for excellent efforts to continue to walk about Aberdeen sharing your absolutely stunning vistas and business.
    Scottish Salmon sounds quite delish. Oh and
    I wanted to mention how much Aberdeen reminds me of the village where the PBS show, Doc Martin was filmed. However, I think it was in or new Cotswold. The lighthouse oh my! Do I love them.
    Hugs Cecilia

  6. OMD.... dat was a pawsome walk. Mom never takes me on 5 mile walks.... I guess it's because I have shorter legs dan you. Our walkies are shorter. Love da yellow flowers. Wags, Ranger

  7. What a lovely walk you and Gail went on. There was plenty of nature to see with the river, beach and harbor views. Thanks for taking us along on this adventure.

  8. Wow, you're lucky to have such pawesome places ready to walk to! Momma and I just walk around our neighborhood.

  9. What a wonderful walk, and beautiful flowers, we have lots of those around here too. Mama REALLY enjoyed the lighthouse pictures!!
    Rosy, Jakey & Arty

  10. Fabulous walk. Love the cruise ships coming in to look at piles of rusty steel....
    Reminds me of friends who lived in New Jersey who had a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline (at cheap rent). They mused about the New Yorkers paying huge amounts in rent to look at them.

  11. That looks like it was a very long walk, but we enjoyed seeing all that you shared. That coltsfoot is very lovely, bright yellow cheers us on a very dreary and cold day here.

    Woos, Lightning and Timber

  12. We are happy to hear you are being safe on your lovely walks.
    Mabel & Hilda

  13. We know when you are out you are being safe. We are sure Rosy and the boys people will be excited by the lighthouse.

  14. Ah, Bertie, I always enjoy your walks, now perhaps more so (if that's possible)! The lighthouse looked so distant, I was sure your walk was longer than five miles!

  15. Bertie, that is one pawsome walkie you took Gail on! I try to take Ma on long walkies before (before my arthritis that is), and it was a chore I tells ya! Butts if we had wonderful scenery like yours, it sure would have been easier!
    You keeps Gail separated from other peeps, and keeps her well!
    Ruby ♥

  16. We love seeing the map after your went so far!! And your commentary was very interesting...thanks for letting us tag along!

    Kiki and Rosie

  17. Mention Coltsfoot to Trump and he will tout it as a cure for Covid-19 like Trump touts hydroxychloroquine. He only mentioned it after a reporter asked him about it. Oh an now Trump is thinking about not importing that oil and raising our gas prices when unemployment has rocketed just what the 35 million Americans who could lose health insurance amid mass layoffs need.
    Sweet William The Scot