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Kindrogan Field Centre

Perthshire Scotland

   

6-13 June 2014

Observers: F. Simpson

 

INTRODUCTION


 

This was my twelfth trip on an undergraduate university field course to 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.

 

 

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

 View of Strathardle from Creag na Cuinneige  Fraser Simpson

The north-west end of Strathardle, looking south-east from Creag na Cuinneige. Straloch Loch is in the foreground, Kindrogan Hill on the right (hover over image for further locations)

 

 

 

Sketch map of the area

 

 

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


 

Mute Swan  Cygnus olor


Pr, Straloch Loch, 12/6.

Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis


2 prs, Straloch Loch, 12/6.

3 ads + juv, small lochan near Tullochcurran, Cateran Trail, 11/6.

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea


1, over Kindrogan House, 7/6.

1, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Greylag Goose  Anser anser


12, over Kindrogan Field Centre, 7/6.

2, Straloch Loch, 12/6.

Canada Goose  Branta canadensis


4, Straloch Loch, 12/6.

Wigeon  Anas penelope


Pr, Straloch Loch, 12/6.

Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos


f + b/10, Straloch Loch, 12/6.

Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula


Pr, Straloch Loch, 12/6.

Goosander  Mergus merganser


Pr, over Kindrogan House, 6/6.

f, flew downstream along River Ardle at East Lodge, 7/6.

Pr, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

 

Goosander  Mergus merganser

 Sonogram of female Goosander flight calls

Glen Brerachan, Perthshire, Scotland  56 45' 21.5" N  03 36' 32.9" W  12 June 2014

Calls from a female in flight, circling potential breeding area.

[File name: goosanderLS112106ecut]

    Goosander

 

Red Grouse  Lagopus scotica


1 heard, Loch a'Choire, Ben Vrackie, 9/6.

Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus


f, mobbed by c20 swallows/martins, Enochdhu, 12/6.

Goshawk  Accipiter gentilis


Male, along forest edge in the clear-fell, above the cemetery in Kindrogan Hill, 7/6.

Buzzard  Buteo buteo


Regular over the field centre.

Calling from 04:03h on 9/6.

1, with pale tail base, East Lodge, 7/6.

Golden Eagle  Aquila chrysaetos


Adult, mobbed by two Ravens, Ben Vrackie, 9/6.

Kestrel  Falco tinninculus


Pr + 2 juvs, Straloch, 9/6.

1, lower slopes of Ben Vrackie, 7/6.

Pheasant  Phasianus colchicus


Fairly common in Strathardle and Glen Brerachan.

Calling from 04:03h on 9/6, 03:57h on 11/6.

Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus


Several pairs in Glen Brerachan/west end of Strathardle, including incubating bird.

3 territorial prs, Cateran Trail between Enochdhu and Kirkmichael, 11/6.

2 territorial prs, Ceanghline-Dalnacarn, Glen Brerachan, 04:28h, 12/6.

Woodcock  Scolopax rusticola


Roding, from 21:55 along the main drive at field centre, 10/6.

Curlew  Numenius arquata


3 displaying mm, Ceanghline-Dalnacarn, Glen Brerachan, 04:28h, 12/6.

 

Curlew  Numenius arquata

 Sonogram of Curlew song

Kindrogan Field Centre, Perthshire, Scotland  56 44' 40.5" N  03 38' 25.5" W  12 June 2012

Bubbling song uttered during display flight over heather moorland, with two birds from 20 secs.

[File name: curlewLS112098e]

    Eurasian Curlew

 

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos


Pr, aggitated (chicks nearby?), old bridge at Enochdhu/River Ardle, 11/6.

Pr, Straloch Loch, 12/6.

Pr, Brerachan Water, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Black-headed Gull  Larus ridibundus


Birds regularly flying over Strathardle.

Common Gull  Larus canus


Birds regularly flying over Strathardle.

Feral Pigeon  Columba livia


1, Kindrogan Field Centre, 8/6.

Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus


Fairly common.

Singing from 03:59h on 9/6, 03:50h on 9/6, 04:10h on 11/6.

Collared Dove  Sreptopelia decaocto


4, Moulin, Pitlochry, 9/6.

Singing m, Kirmichael, 11/6.

Cuckoo  Cuculus canorus


Singing m, daily around field centre/cemetery; singing from 05:15h on 11/6.

Singing m, Moulin trail to Ben Vrackie, 9/6.

Tawny Owl  Strix aluco


f, calling at the entrance to Kindgrogan Field Centre, 21:25h, 8/6.

Swift  Apus apus


2, over Kindrogan House at 15:41h, 7/6.

8+, Kirkmichael, 11/6.

Green Woodpecker  Picus viridis


Pr, daily between Kindrogan House and the clearfell around the cemetery.

Yaffling male (second territory?), Enochdhu, 11/6.

Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopus major


Fairly common.

Feeding young in larch tree hole, Balnald, 10/6.

Calling from 04:29h on 9/6.

Skylark  Alauda arvensis


2 singing mm, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Sand Martin  Riparia riparia


2, West Lodge, Brerachan Water, 12/6.

Swallow  Hirundo rustica


Fairly common in Strathardle.

6 AON, The Steading/Coppock Building.

Melanistic adult present all week.

House Martin  Delichon urbicum


Noted around human habitation including Straloch, Enochdhu, Kirkmichael and Pitlochry.

3 AON, Kindrogan House, two at the rear, one at the front.

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis


1 displaying m, curling pond, 7/6.

4 singing mm, clear-fell around cemetery on north-east side of Kindrogan Hill (NO 055625), 11/6.

1 displaying m, West Lodge, 03:58h, 12/6.

 

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis 

Sonogram of Tree Pipit perched song

Kindrogan Field Centre, Perthshire, Scotland  56 44' 45.8" N  03 32' 49.7" W  11 June 2014

Perched song composed of a series of slow trills, the main phrase gradually decreasing in frequency.

Singing from a regenerating clear-fell area of Sitka Spruce on Kindrogan Hill.

[File name: treepipitLS112076ecut]

    Tree Pipit

Sonogram of Tree Pipit flight song

Kindrogan Field Centre, Perthshire, Scotland  56 44' 45.8" N  03 32' 49.7" W  11 June 2014

Flight song during parachuting display composed of a more complicated series of slow and rapid trills and more musical slurred elements delivered in discrete phrases. Noted distinctive downslurred element from 8.1 to 5.7 kHz between 77.1 and 77.9 secs.

Singing from a regenerating clear-fell area of Sitka Spruce on Kindrogan Hill.

[File name: treepipitLS112076ecut]

 

Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis


2-3 prs, around trig point on Kindrogan Hill (NO 047627), 7/6.

Common, Ben Vrackie, 8/6.

Many displaying, Glen Brerachan, 04:08h, 12/6.

Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea


Female, Kindrogan Bridge, River Ardle, Enochdhu, 7/6.

1, Tarvie Burn mouth, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Pied Wagtail  Motacilla alba


Abundant, east end of Glen Brerachan, 6/6.

Pr, nesting in the Steading, Kindrogan Field Centre.

Several pairs, with food for young, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Dipper  Cinclus cinclus


Pr, River Ardle at Kirkmichael, 11/6.

1, confluence of Tarvie Burn/Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes


Fairly common, e.g. 6 singing mm between field centre and West Lodge.

Singing from 03:28h on 9/6, 03:27h on 10/6, 03:38h on 11/6.

2 singing mm, between 650-750m on Ben Vrackie, 9/6.

Dunnock  Prunella modularis


Scarce - most birds in clear-fell forest edge.

2 singing mm, near cemetery, 8/6.

4 singing mm, Cateran Trail between Enochdhu and Kirkmichael, 11/6.

Robin  Erithacus rubecula


Common. Several fledged broods noted.

Singing from 03:11h on 9/6, 03:14h on 10/6, 03:09h on 11/6.

Redstart  Phoenicurus phoenicurus


Singing m, birch wood at east end of Glen Brerachan (NO 030637), 12/6.

Whinchat  Saxicola rubetra


Singing m, west of war memorial, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe


m, Ben Vrackie, 9/6.

Ring Ouzel  Turdus torquatus


Singing m, on triangular rock on skyline at 650m on Ben Vrackie, 9/6.

Blackbird  Turdus merula


Common.

Independent fledgling, curling pond, 10/6.

Singing from 03:26h on 9/6, 03:27h on 10/6, 03:23h on 11/6.

Song Thrush  Turdus philomelus


Common.

Singing from 03:16h on 9/6, 03:16h on 10/6, 03:11h on 11/6.

One heard mimicking female Cuckoo's bubbling call from 03:20h on 9/6.

The same individual was mimicking a Woodcock's "ogg-ogg-ogg" and Oystercatcher calls, 21:05-22:05h, 11/6.

Mistle Thrush  Turdus viscivorus


Several pairs in Strathardle.

Singing m, Balnald, 03:49, 12/6.

Whitethroat  Sylvia communis


Singing m, Cateran Trail near Kirkmichael, 11/6.

Garden Warbler  Sylvia borin


Singing individuals at walled garden, front lawn, curling pond, Ceanghline,

Singing from 03:50h on 10/6.

Blackcap  Sylvia atricapilla


Fairly common.

Singing from 03:38h on 10/6.

Wood Warbler  Phylloscopus sibilatrix


Unpaired singing male in tree-fall area in mossy spruce plantation (with sycamore/beech edge) near Balnald 10-12/6.

Song composition: 84% trills, 16% tew-tew-tew (100 strophes in total in 27.5 mins during light rain).

 

Wood Warbler  Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Sonogram of a Wood Warbler song

Kindrogan, Perthshire, Scotland  56 45' 08.3" N  03 33' 56.7" W  11 June 2014

Two song types: more common trill (84% of songs in this bird), and less common tew-tew-tew (16%).

Common song composed of distinctive accelerating trill, starting with hesitant elements (countable by ear), gradually decreasing in frequency to a rapid finish (uncountable to the ear).

Second song type composed of musical, downslurred elements (at 28 secs in this recording).

Singing from tree-fall area in a spruce plantation bordering sycamore/beech trees.

[File name: woodwarblerLS112062]

    Wood Warbler

 

Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita


Singing male on the trail from Moulin to start of Ben Vrackie trail, 9/6.

Singing m, in large beach on woodland edge near the cemetery, Kindrogan Hill, 11/6.

Willow Warbler  Phylloscopus trochilus


Common.

11 singing mm, between field centre at West Lodge, 10/6.

Singing from 03:57 on 11/6.

Goldcrest  Regulus regulus


Common in forested areas of Kindrogan Hill.

Singing from 03:38h on 9/6, 03:35h on 10/6, 03:29h on 11/6.

Spotted Flycatcher  Muscicapa striata


Singing mm or pairs noted at: track between field centre and curling pond, birches at curling pond, Davan, West Lodge.

Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula hypoleuca


Singing male, from car park oaks from 07:25h on 7/6. Had bred this season according to MJ.

Long-tailed Tit  Aegithalos caudatus


No birds located.

Coal Tit  Periparus ater


Fairly common in coniferous areas in Strathardle and Kindrogan Hill.

Singing from 03:53h on 10/6, 04:11h on 11/6.

Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus


Common.

Using nest boxes and feeders around the field centre.

Great Tit  Parus major


Fairly common.

Using nest boxes and feeders around the field centre.

Singing from 03:49h on 9/6, 04:10h on 11/6.

Treecreeper  Certhia familiaris


Fairly common.

Singing from 04:22h on 9/6.

Jay  Garrulus glandarius


1, calling near cemetery, 7/6.

Magpie  Pica pica


Noted in Kirkmichael & Pitlochry.

Jackdaw  Corvus monedula        


At least 10 prs nesting in chimneys of Kindrogan House and in natural holes and nest-boxes in the adjacent beech wood.

Rook  Corvus frugilegus


Many recently fledged broods in Glen Brerachan.

230+, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Carrion Crow  Corvus corone


A few pairs in the west end of Strathardle.

Advertising call from 04:11h on 10/6, 03:57h on 11/6, 03:43h on 12/6.

Raven  Corvus corax


2, lower slopes of Ben Vrackie, 9/6.

Pr + b/3, peak of Ben Vrackie, 9/6.

Starling  Sturnus vulgaris


A few pairs noted at Straloch, Enochdhu, Kirkmichael and Pitlochry.

Feeding young in larch tree hole, Balnald, 10/6.

House Sparrow  Passer domesticus


Common in Pitlochry, 9/6.

Common in Kirkmichael, 11/6.

Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs


Abundant. Most pairs feeding young in the nest.

Singing from 04:14h on 9/6, 04:03h on 10/6, 04:08h on 11/6.

f, fairly tame/begging for food around the trig point on Kindrogan Hill had obviously become used to picnicing group, 7/6.

Greenfinch  Carduelis chloris


Noted in Pitlochry, 9/6.

Singing male, The Steading, 9/6.

Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis


2, singing mm, in car park oaks, 8/6.

Siskin  Carduelis spinus


Common.

Displaying birds noted in most areas.

Linnet  Carduelis cannabina


Pr, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Lesser Redpoll  Carduelis cabaret


1, over cemetery, 11/6.

1, West Lodge, 12/6.

8 registrations, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

Crossbill  Loxia curvirostra


Heard, at the curling pond, 7/6.

Bullfinch  Pyrrhula pyrrhula


2 prs, daily, feeding on elm seeds on slope opposite field centre entrance.

Pr, on track between East Lodge and Kindrogan House, 7/6.

Reed Bunting  Emberiza schoeniclus


1 singing male, Glen Brerachan, 12/6.

 

 

 

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

 

All photographs 2014  F. S. Simpson

Fraser's Birding Website  fssbirding.org.uk

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