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Kindrogan Field Centre

Perthshire Scotland


8 - 15 June 2012

Observers: F. Simpson




Early June saw me heading back to Scotland to work on an undergraduate university field course for a week. The usual location for this is the Field Studies Council's Kindrogan Field Centre near Enochdhu in picturesque Strathardle, Perthshire. The field centre is set in an old Victorian estate with a small area of mixed woodland along the banks of the River Ardle at the foot of Kindrogan Hill, largely cloaked in spruce forestry plantation with smaller areas of larch. Strathardle is dominated by pastoral farmland in the glen and moorland on the higher ground. Further to the west lies Glen Brerachan holding some nice heather moorland and small patches of open birch woodland. This trip report details the birds found mainly around the field centre. Glen Brerachan looks like it would be worth some exploration with raptors, grouse and upland birds a probability for those with more time. Around 80 species were noted.


Kindrogan Trip Reports:  2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 |

Location Guide to LocationsSummary 2005-2018


 View of Strathardle from Creag na Cuinneige  Fraser Simpson





Sketch map of the area



Kindrogan Field Centre & environs, Strathardle, Perthshire                                        Approx. sunrise 0423h, sunset 2210h


Mute Swan  Cygnus olor

Pair not present at Straloch Loch this year.

Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

2 prs at Straloch Loch on 14/6; pr (incubating on raised nest out on the open water among floating vegetation) at Loch Cott (along Cateran Trail between Enochdhu & Kirkmichael) on 12/6.

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Scarce - not much sign of birds around the heronries; Adult regular in River Ardle between the field centre and Kindrogan Bridge. Juvenile flew downstream along River Ardle near Kirkmichael on 12/6. Adult at Straloch Loch on 14/6. Heard calling in Strathardle at 03:33 on 12/6.

Canada Goose  Branta canadensis

Three adults and 3 juveniles at Straloch Loch on 14/6; 10 NW over field centre on 09/6.

Wigeon  Anas penelope

Pair at Straloch on 14/6.

Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos

Small groups of less than 5 regular on River Ardle; b/4 at Straloch on 14/6; juvenile at Kirkmichael on 12/6.

Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula

3mm/1f at Loch Cott on 12/6; male on Straloch on 14/6.

Goosander  Mergus merganser

Male flew east downstream over Brerachan Water near Straloch on 14/6.

Red Grouse  Lagopus scotica

Several birds calling in thick mist on Ben Vrackie around 750-800 metres on 11/6.

Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus

A female over the walled garden on 09/6 was the only one seen.

Buzzard  Buteo buteo

Constant feature in Strathardle; 2 territories between Enochdhu and south-east end of Glen Brerachan. Also noted around Kirkmichael, Kinnaird and Moulin.

Osprey  Pandion haliaetus

One flew east through Strathardle on 12/6.

Kestrel  Falco tinninculus

Male at Loch a Choire on Ben Vrackie on 11/6.

Pheasant  Phasianus colchicus

Fairly common. Advertising 'song' from 03:37 on 12/6, 03:39 on 13/6.

Quail  Coturnix coturnix

Singing male in grazing field on NW side of the field centre on 12/6, from 03:10 until 06:30 at least (previous record from 15/06/10 of a singing male in the same field from 0307h). Another singing male in a field along the Cateran Trail between Enochdhu and Kirkmichael at 14:15h on 12/6.

Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Single juvenile at Wellwood House, Pitlochry on 11/6. An adult at Straloch on 15/6.

Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus

Birds heard regularly in Strathardle. Territorial pairs between West Lodge and Enochdhu (2), Enochdhu and Kirkmichael (3), and Straloch (1). Also heard over Pitlochry.

Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus

Only noted from the train in fields south of Pitlochry near Dalguise on 15/6.

Woodcock  Scolopax rusticola

One roding along the main drive at 03:16 on 13/6.

Curlew  Numenius arquata

One displaying in Strathardle near the field centre at 05:22 on 11/6; displaying bird at the east end of Glen Brerachan 14/6.

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

1 on River Ardle at Kindrogan Bridge on 10/6; pr on Brerachan Water, near Straloch on 14/6.

Black-headed Gull  Larus ridibundus

Regularly flying over Strathardle; 10+ at the Co-Op in Pitlochry on 11/6.

Common Gull  Larus canus

Regularly flying over Strathardle; max count of 49 over Straloch on 13/6.

Feral Pigeon  Columba livia

Noted at Kirkmichael and Pitlochry.

Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus

Fairly common. Singing from 03:55 on 11/6, 04:03 on 12/6, 04:30 on 13/6.

Collared Dove  Sreptopelia decaocto

Pairs noted at Enochdhu and Kirkmichael. Fairly common in Pitlochry.

Cuckoo  Cuculus canorus

Singing males heard at the field centre, Straloch, and Glen Brerachan. Singing from 03:37 on 11/6, 03:53 on 12/6, 03:22 on 13/6.

Tawny Owl  Strix aluco

Male and female heard nightly around the field centre.

Swift  Apus apus

Just one noted at the field centre all week - 1 high overhead at 19:50 on 09/6. Also noted over Kirkmichael and Pitlochry.

Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopus major

Two adults and 2 juveniles between West Lodge and Straloch on 14/6. Noted at Kindrogan Bridge, East Lodge, field centre, clearfell/cemetery on Kindrogan Hill, curling pond, Balnald, Davan, and Cateran Trail to Kirkmichael. One drumming at Straloch on 16/6. Regular at peanut feeders around Kindrogan House. One at peanut feeder at Dalreoch on 12/6. One mobbing a black cat at the field centre by repeated 'dive-bombing' threat. No drumming heard.

Skylark  Alauda arvensis

Singing at the eastern end of Glen Brerachan on 15/6.

Sand Martin  Riparia riparia

Two at Davan on 14/6; min 6 at Straloch Loch on 14/6.

Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Six AONs at the field centre; another nest in walled garden cottage; active from early morning, e.g. 03:11 on 13/6.

House Martin  Delichon urbicum

Single nest at the field centre. Fairly common in Pitlochry and Kirkmichael; max count of 25 at West Lodge on 14/6.

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis

Common in birch woodland in Glen Brerachan and Strathardle. Five singing males around the graveyard clearfell. Often singing within metres of Meadow Pipits in differing adjacent habitats. Two singing males in clear-fell on Moulin-Ben Vrackie trail.

Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis

Common in Glen Brerachan, Straloch, Creag na Cuinneige, and Ben Vrackie. Four singing male in restock on NE side of Kindrogan Hill. At least one pair around trig point on Kindrogan Hill. Several adults with food for young on Ben Vrackie.

Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea

Scarce; single adults noted along the River Ardle.

Pied Wagtail  Motacilla alba

Male regular around The Steading/Coppock Building - female incubating?; adult with juvenile at Moulin Hotel on 11/6, pair with food for young at Straloch on 14/6.

Dipper  Cinclus cinclus

Pair feeding young in the nest under Kindrogan Bridge (second brood); second territory to west of the field centre; adult on River Ardle at Kirkmichael on 14/6.

Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes

Still less common compared with pre-2010. One singing on high slopes of Ben Vrackie at 656 to 675 metres in bare heather/rock on 11/6. Singing at the field centre from 04:01 on 11/6, 04:01 on 12/6, 03:49 on 13/6.

Dunnock  Prunella modularis

Fairly common than usual this year. Singing males at Kindrogan Bridge, Enochdhu, walled garden (2), front lawn, curling pond, Davan (feeding young 14/6), Straloch Loch, Cateran trail between Enochdhu and Kirkmichael, Moulin-Ben Vrackie walk, and in Pitlochry gardens (3 singing mm between Moulin Hotel and Pitlochry Co-Op).

Robin  Erithacus rubecula

Several fledged broods around the field centre. Singing from 03:21 on 11/6, 03:09 on 12/6, 03:04 on 13/6.

Redstart  Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Two singing males in open birch slopes at the east end of Glen Brerachan on 14/6.

Whinchat  Saxicola rubetra

Singing males at the east end of Glen Brerachan on 14/6.

Stonechat  Saxicola torquata

Male on lower slopes of Ben Vrackie on 11/6.

Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe

Singing male at 656 metres on Ben Vrackie on 11/6.

Ring Ouzel  Turdus torquatus

Three singing males (at least 2 paired) on Ben Vrackie on 11/6.

Blackbird  Turdus merula

Common. Singing from 03:36 on 11/6, 03:21 on 12/6, 03:17 on 13/6.

Song Thrush  Turdus philomelus

Common. Singing from 03:31 on 11/6, 02:59 on 12/6, 03:10 on 13/6. Often the only species singing continuously in the hour before sunset and later.

Mistle Thrush  Turdus viscivorus

Fairly common. Fledglings noted at Dalreoch on 12/6, Balnald on 13/6.

Sedge Warbler  Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Singing male present in rushy field east of Straloch Loch on 14/6.

Whitethroat  Sylvia communis

Scarce this year with only a single singing male heard at Kindrogan Bridge/Enochdhu.

Garden Warbler  Sylvia borin

Singing males at the walled garden, front lawn, Kindrogan Bridge. Singing from 04:04 on 11/6, 03:47 on 12/6.

Blackcap  Sylvia atricapilla

Common with 12+ singing mm between Enochdhu-Kindrogan Field Centre-Straloch. Also heard at Kirkmichael, Pitlochry, and Moulin. Singing from 03:43 on 12/6, 03:22 on 13/6.

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix

No birds heard this year.

Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita

No birds heard this year.

Willow Warbler  Phylloscopus trochilus

Common with a minimum of 20 singing mm around the clearfell/re-stock on NE side of Kindrogan Hill; 15+ singing males between Kindrogan Bridge and West Lodge. Also heard at Straloch, along the Catern Trail between Enochdhu and Kirkmichael (8 singing mm), and the start of the Moulin trail to Ben Vrackie. Singing from 03:55 on 11/6, 03:50 on 12/6, 03:38 on 13/6.

Goldcrest  Regulus regulus

Common in both coniferous stands and mixed woodland areas. Four fledged broods along the main drive between field centre and Kindrogan Bridge on 09/6. Singing from 03:46 on 11/6, 03:55 on 12/6, 04:11 on 13/6.

Spotted Flycatcher  Muscicapa striata

Pairs or singles noted at the field centre (3 territories), graveyard in clearfell, Kindrogan Bridge, East Lodge, curling pond, Balnald, Davan, West Lodge, East Lodge and eastern end of Glen Brerachan, Straloch Loch, Kirkmichael. Singing from 04:27 on 11/6, 04:05 on 12/6, 03:59 on 13/6.

Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula hypoleuca

Unpaired male holding territory all week between the oaks in the field centre car park and slope opposite the west car park entrance. A second male was singing further along the main drive towards the curling pond on 14/6.

Long-tailed Tit  Aegithalos caudatus

Brood of 9 at West Lodge on 14/6. Heard on the trail from Moulin-Ben Vrackie woodland trail on 11/6.

Coal Tit  Periparus ater

Common in coniferous zones. Regular at centre feeders, though less so than Blue/Great Tit.

Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus

Common and using several nest boxes present. Regular at feeders.

Great Tit  Parus major

Common. Several fledged broods around the field centre. Regular at feeders.

Treecreeper  Certhia familiaris

Slightly more common than in 2011. A brood of 3 in a Wellingtonia between the centre and East Lodge on 12/6; 4 singing males between the centre and West Lodge on 14/6, one singing along Cateran Trail between Enochdhu and Kirkmichael on 12/6.

Jay  Garrulus glandarius

A pair calling repeatedly on the SE edge of the re-stock on Kindrogan Hill on 10/6.

Magpie  Pica pica

Only seen at Kirkmichael and Pitlochry.  

Jackdaw  Corvus monedula           

10+ prs nesting in chimneys in Kindrogan house and natural sites in the adjacent beech wood. Several fledglings in the beech wood 12/6. Common in Pitlochry and Kirkmichael were fledged young noted.

Rook  Corvus frugilegus

Rookery in Glen Brerachan and common in pasture in the north-western end of Strathardle, e.g. flock of 100+ feeding on 11/6.

Carrion Crow  Corvus corone

Fairly common; broods noted around Straloch.

Raven  Corvus corax

Pair with 3 juveniles regular over Strathardle each day; pair with fledged b/2 on Ben Vrackie on 11/06; pr over Cateran Trail between Enochdhu and Kirkmichael on 12/6.

Starling  Sturnus vulgaris

Not noted at the field centre; flock of 27 juveniles flying SE at speed past Straloch on 14/6 (migration?). More common in Kirkmichael and Pitlochry.

House Sparrow  Passer domesticus

Common in Kirkmichael and Pitlochry; 20+ (inc juveniles) at Moulin Hotel/Inn on 11/6.

Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs

Abundant, though perhaps less so than previous years; song reduced compared with previous visits at this time in June. Adults carrying food for young in the nest - no fledglings seen. Singing from 04:18 on 11/6, 04:02 on 12/6, 03:53 on 13/6.

Greenfinch  Carduelis chloris

Small numbers regular at centre feeders; b/3 at field centre on 14/6.

Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis

Pair daily around the car park; 2 over Kindrogan Bridge on 09/6, 2 singing males between Moulin Hotel and Pitlochry Co-Op on 11/6, pr on Cateran Trail between Enochdhu and Kirkmichael on 12/6.

Siskin  Carduelis spinus

Abundant. Minimum of 40 (including many juveniles as well as displaying males) present around the field centre daily. Small flocks or pairs encountered almost everywhere in the area.

Linnet  Carduelis cannabina

Pairs noted at Enochdhu and Straloch.

Lesser Redpoll  Carduelis cabaret

Two along Moulin-Ben Vrackie woodland trail on 11/6.

Crossbill  Loxia curvirostra

Small numbers overhead daily; max 10 flew south over the walled garden on 10/6; 4 over Davan on 14/6.

Bullfinch  Pyrrhula pyrrhula

More registrations than in any of the previous 10 years. Pairs at car park, walled garden, East Lodge, Davan, Balnald (b/3), West Lodge, curling pond, Moulin-Ben Vrackie woodland trail; Kirkmichael Riverside Walk (2 prs), clearfell/cemetery on Kindrogan Hill.

Reed Bunting  Emberiza schoeniclus

Singing males (paired) in rushy field to east of Straloch Loch on 14/6 and east end of Glen Brerachan on 14/6.

 Glen Brerachan  Fraser Simpson




Kindrogan Field Centre  Fraser Simpson Kindrogan Hill  Fraser Simpson Kindrogan Forest  Fraser Simpson


Kindrogan Trip Reports:  2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 |

Location Guide to LocationsSummary 2005-2018

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