Aberdeen Coastal Path southern section
Walking the path from the south to north the first 5km section of path from Cove to Aberdeen Harbour is a haven for wildlife throughout the year, but especially during the spring and summer months. This off road path is follows the dramatic cliff top, weaving around the sea worn bays and inlets, so children should be carefully supervised at all times in the interest of safety. Cycling is not recommended on the path for safety reasons.
The path is easy to follow and but can be wet and muddy in a few places and there are sections of path which are steep. It is surfaced along most of its length with a crushed stone material.
There is always something to see along the path. There is the ever-changing mood of the North Sea and its associated weather and the myriad of breeding seabirds clinging on the vertical cliffs during the summer months. The colourful springtime wildflowers such as primroses, bluebells and violets give an insight into what the cliff top fields may have looked like before they were 'improved' for agriculture. Later in the spring, the cliffs along the Coastal Path will come alive with seabirds starting to build their precarious nests on the narrowest of ledges. Many of these birds spend most of the year either flying over or swimming at sea only returning to land to breed. Look out for fulmars, which look like gulls but have a very stiff wing-beat and are related to those masters of the oceans, the albatross. On the narrowest of ledges there will be hundreds of razorbills, which look like a black and white puffin but with a smaller more pointed black beak. At the bottom of the cliffs, only just above the sea level, eider ducks gather in small flocks, some may be breeding, others will be young non-breeding birds. Many of these eider ducks will have come a few miles south from their main breeding area at Forvie National Nature Reserve in Aberdeenshire which is host to the biggest breeding flocks in the UK.