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Kindrogan Field Centre

Perthshire Scotland

   

12 - 19 June 2009

Observers: F. Simpson

 

INTRODUCTION


 

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 85 species were noted.

 

Although it rained much of the time this year, the highlight this year was seeing a Scottish Wildcat on the track between Davan and West Lodge at 0510h on the 17th.

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

 Small cave on Ben Vrackie  2010  Fraser Simpson        Larch  2010  Fraser Simpson

 

 

 

 

Sketch map of the area

 

 

Kindrogan Field Centre & environs, Strathardle, Perthshire


 

Mute Swan  Cygnus olor

Pair with B/2 on Loch Curran on 14/6 (viewed from Kindrogan Hill 2 km distant).

Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

3 prs, inc b/1 on Straloch Loch 16/6.

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Probable second heronry found this year. At the heronry in Strathardle, 2 ads + 4 juvs were observed in an adjacent field on 15/6. Actual nests not visible from the road. One over the curling pond on 13/6. Adult and juvenile at Straloch on 16/6.

Canada Goose  Branta canadensis

6 on Straloch Loch 16/6.

Shelduck  Tadorna tadorna

Pair noted in riverside pool from the train Pitlochry and Dunkeld on 12/6.

Wigeon  Anas penelope

3mm + f on Straloch Loch 16/6.

Teal  Anas crecca

Single male on Loch a choire on 15/6.

Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos

One on Loch Curran on 14/6. 2mm, f + b/1 near Wellwood House, Pitlochry. 3mm and f + b/2 on Straloch Loch 16/6.

Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula

5 prs on Straloch on 16/6.

Goldeneye  Bucephala clangula

Female on Straloch Loch on 16/6.

Goosander  Mergus merganser

Singles seen most days flying up and down Strathardle; pair over Balnald on 18/6. No broods located.

Hen Harrier  Circus cyaneus

Male observed on the walk up Ben Vrackie on 15/6.

Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus

Regular sightings around the field centre.

Buzzard  Buteo buteo

One regular over the field centre and adjacent fields; regularly mobbed by Jackdaw and Carrion Crow. One mobbed by a Kestrel on Ben Vrackie on 15/6. One in Glen Brerachan on 15/6. Five noted between Ceangline and Enochdhu on 16/6 with one carrying a large frog (and mobbed by a Pied Wagtail).

Kestrel  Falco tinninculus

Up to three territories on walk up Ben Vrackie; one mobbing a Raven on 15/6.

Peregrine  Falco peregrinus

Breeding pair located.

Pheasant  Phasianus colchicus

One calling on lower slopes of walk up Ben Vrackie on 15/6. Males heards calling at Straloch Loch, Straloch PS & Enochdhu on 16/6.

Coot  Fulica atra

One on Straloch Loch on 16/6.

Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Two well grown juveniles at Wellwood House in Pitlochry on 15/6. One on Straloch Loch on 16/6.

Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus

Noted flying low over Moulin and Pitlochry on 15/6 - probably nesting in the area. At least 11 present along the River Ardle between West Balnald and the field centre on 16/6.

Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus

Noted on Moulin Moor (from the minibus).

Common Snipe  Gallinago gallingao

One flushed at Loch a choire on 15/6.

Woodcock  Scolopax rusticola

Two birds observed roding along the main drive mosts days at dawn and dusk.

Curlew  Numenius arquata

Displaying birds near the curling pond and Straloch Loch on 16/6.

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

Territorial pair just downstream of Kindrogan Bridge.

Black-headed Gull  Larus ridibundus

17 in a field beside the River Ardle between West Balnald and the field centre on 16/6.

Common Gull  Larus canus

Noted over Moulin and Pitlochry. On 16/6, 52 in a field beside the River Ardle between West Balnald and the field centre; 60 (possibly the same) over Enochdhu; and 27 over West Lodge.

Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus

One with Common/Black-headed Gulls in a field beside the River Ardle between West Balnald and the field centre on 16/6.

Feral Pigeon  Columba livia

Noted in Pitlochry.

Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus

Fairly common.

Collared Dove  Sreptopelia decaocto

Fairly common in Pitlochry. One at Tulloch on 16/6.

Cuckoo  Cuculus canorus

One singing near the curling pond on several mornings. One singing on the lower slopes of the walk up Ben Vrackie on 15/6. Two heard at the eastern end of Glen Brerachan on 16/6.

Tawny Owl  Strix aluco

Male calling from West Lodge on 17/6; male calling from walled garden area between 0000h and 0035h on 18/6.

Swift  Apus apus

Two over the field centre on most days.

Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopus major

Regular at the peanut feeders around the field centre. A male feeding in birch woodland around the curling pond on 13/6. One heard in the woodland around the Ben Vrackie trail car park in Moulin. Male and juvenile at West Balnald on 16/6. Nestlings in Scots Pine at West Lodge on 16/6 - male observed drumming on a metal plate at the top of a telegraph pole. One calling near Tulloch on 16/6 another nearby in a Scots Pine copse at the Bridgend Straloch road end.

Skylark  Alauda arvensis

One singing on the lower slopes of the walk up Ben Vrackie. Several singing males in Glen Fearnach.

Sand Martin  Riparia riparia

4 along Brerachan Water at West Lodge on 16/6; also 2 at Straloch Loch, 2 at small pool in birch woodland in Glen Brerachan.

Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Three pairs nesting in the Steading/Ardle Building. Feeding/nesting birds noted around various habitations in Strathardle on 16/6.

House Martin  Delichon urbicum

Two birds over the field centre on most days. Feeding/nesting birds noted around various habitations in Strathardle on 16/6 with a maximum of 8 at Straloch Loch.

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis

At least 4 displaying mm in the re-stock on Kindrogan Hill, above the field centre. Another singing male on the re-stock SW of the trig point on Kindrogan Hill. Displaying male holding territory in the birch woodland around the curling pond. Displaying male at West Lodge road end on 16/6. Two displaying males on birch woodland in Glen Brerachan (NO 029637) on 16/6. Several displaying males in Glen Fearnach.

Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis

At least three pairs around the trig point on Kindrogan Hill; feeding young in the nest on 14/6. Common in Glen Brerachan on 16/6 with birds song-flighting very close to song-flighting Tree Pipits in adjacent birch woodland. Common in Glen Fearnach.

Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea

Juvenile on the bridge at West Lodge/Brerachan Water on 16/6.

Pied Wagtail  Motacilla alba

Pair nesting in the Steading/Ardle Building. Noted in Moulin and Pitlochry. Pairs or singing mm noted at Davan, Glen Brerachan, Straloch PS, Tulloch and Enochdhu on 16/6.

Dipper  Cinclus cinclus

Ad + juv at Kindrogan Bridge, and another heard on the River Ardle nearer the field centre on 13/6. Juv noted at Kindrogan Bridge and an adult on the River Ardle below the field centre on 16/6.

Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes

Common. Singing males heard up to 800 metres in thick heather/bracken gullies on Ben Vrackie on 15/6.

Dunnock  Prunella modularis

Singing birds located in the re-stock on Kindrogan Hill, Enochdhu, Davan, Straloch Loch, Straloch PS, Tulloch, Moulin, and lower Glen Fearnach.

Robin  Erithacus rubecula

Common. Juveniles noted at various sites.

Redstart  Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Two singing males on birch woodland in Glen Brerachan (NO 029637) on 16/6; singing male in lower Glen Fearnach on 18/6.

Whinchat  Saxicola rubetra

Pair nesting in juncus rush field at the eastern end of Glen Brerachan (NO 031636) - male singing (26 verses or strophes/min) from the edge of birch woodland and telelgraph wire; female collecting food for nestlings.

Stonechat  Saxicola torquata

Pair with 2 juvs on the lower slope of the walk up Ben Vrackie.

Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe

Several birds on the walk up Ben Vrackie on 15/6; two males in lower Glen Fearnach on 18/6.

Ring Ouzel  Turdus torquatus

Singing male in Glen Fearnach on 18/6; male heard in the mist near the usual site on Ben Vrackie.

Blackbird  Turdus merula

Very common. B/2 in walled garden on 14/6; b/3 at Davan on 16/6.

Song Thrush  Turdus philomelus

Common.

Mistle Thrush  Turdus viscivorus

Common in Strathardle and Glen Brerachan. Fledgling at Balnald on 16/6.

Sedge Warbler  Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Singing male in juncus rush field near West Lodge beside Brerachan Water 16/6.

Whitethroat  Sylvia communis

Singing male in nettle/willowherb bed at Kindrogan Bridge all week.

Garden Warbler  Sylvia borin

One singing at Enochdhu on 16/6.

Blackcap  Sylvia atricapilla

Fairly common; around 7 singing males located in Strathardle between Enochdhu and West Lodge.

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix

No singing males heard this year.

Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita

Three singing birds noted at Enochdhu, East Lodge and the field centre.

Willow Warbler  Phylloscopus trochilus

A few singing males noted at various sites with maximum of 4 mm at curling pond on 16/6.

Goldcrest  Regulus regulus

Very common in coniferous forestry. B/5 noted along the River Ardle in the deciduous (alder, hazel, birch, cherry, rowan) riverine strip bordering the conifer plantation.

Spotted Flycatcher  Muscicapa striata

Pairs or singing males noted at the field centre car park, curling pond, Davan, West Lodge, Glen Brerachan, Straloch PS, Woodend, Enochdhu and East Lodge.

Long-tailed Tit  Aegithalos caudatus

Several broods noted.

Coal Tit  Periparus ater

Common in coniferous zones and at peanut feeders around the field centre.

Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus

Common and using several nest boxes present. Pairs nesting in brickwork of walled garden. Fledged brood at East Lodge on 16/6.

Great Tit  Parus major

Common. B/8 at West Balnald on 16/6. Some brief song heard from time to time.

Treecreeper  Certhia familiaris

Common.

Magpie  Pica pica

Only seen at Kirkmichael and Pitlochry.

Jackdaw  Corvus monedula

8+ prs nesting in chimneys in Kindrogan house; observed carrying food on 14/6. Common in Moulin, Pitlochry and Kirkmichael. Bird collecting nest material in Moulin on 15/6. Noted around most habitations in Strathardle on 16/6.

Rook  Corvus frugilegus

Rookery in Glen Brerachan and common in pasture in the north-western end of Strathardle.

Carrion Crow  Corvus corone

Common. B/4 near Straloch PS on 16/6.

Raven  Corvus corax

One on Ben Vrackie mobbed by a Kestrel on 15/6. One over West Balnald on 16/6.

Starling  Sturnus vulgaris

Flock of 27 (mostly juvs) near Straloch PS on 16/6 though adults still carring food to birds in the nest here.

House Sparrow  Passer domesticus

Birds (or their progeny) with white plumage patches still present at Moulin Hotel on 15/6.

Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs

Abundant. Song output much decreased at this point in June, except from unpaired males. Fledglings common.

Greenfinch  Carduelis chloris

Fairly common.

Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis

More common this year. Singing males noted at the field centre, West Balnald, Tulloch, Woodend (2) & Moulin.

Siskin  Carduelis spinus

Fairly common in coniferous and birch woodland. Regular overhead throughout. Song-flighting best observed around the curling pond. A minimum of 15 on feeders at Tulloch on 16/6.

Linnet  Carduelis cannabina

Pair noted at Tulloch on 16/6.; four in old seeding weed field near Woodend on 16/6.

Twite  Carduelis flavirostris

One in the mist near the summit of Ben Vrackie on 15/6.

Lesser Redpoll  Carduelis cabaret

Birds heard at Kindrogan Hill, curling pond & Glen Brerachan.

Crossbill  Loxia curvirostra

Heard from spruce patch near the curling pond on 13/6.

Bullfinch  Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Three at East Lodge on 13/2; pair at Davan and 3 prs at East Lodge on 16/6 (collecting food for young); pr at curling pond on 18/6.

Reed Bunting  Emberiza schoeniclus

Singing males noted in Glen Brerachan (3), Straloch Loch, and Straloch PS.

 

 

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

 

 2010  Fraser Simpson         2010  Fraser Simpson 

All photographs 2008  F. S. Simpson

Fraser's Birding Website  fssbirding.org.uk

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