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Kindrogan Field Centre

Perthshire Scotland


11 - 18 June 2010

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. Several species were recorded in much lower numbers this year, probably as a result of the long, hard winter. The highlight this year was seeing two Otters in the River Ardle at 0540h on the 14th.


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Location Guide to LocationsSummary 2005-2018


 View from Ben Vrackie  2010  Fraser Simpson        Strathardle field corner  2010  Fraser Simpson





Sketch map of the area



Kindrogan Field Centre & environs, Strathardle, Perthshire                                        sunrise 0423h, sunset 2210h on 16/6


Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

Two territories at Straloch Loch on 15/6, one pair with b/1.

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Heronry in Strathardle, very close to the A925; singles on the River Ardle most days.

Greylag Goose  Anser anser

One at Straloch Loch on 15/6.

Canada Goose  Branta canadensis

Four on Straloch Loch on 15/6.

Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos

Female with b/4 at Straloch Loch on 15/6; pr on curling pond 15/6 (brood noted here by students on 16/6); one or two males noted along the River Ardle.

Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula

Two males on Straloch Loch on 15/6.

Goosander  Mergus merganser

Male flew upstream at Kindrogan Bridge on 12/6.

Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus

Male seen twice at Kindrogan Bridge, Enochdhu on 12/6, mobbed by Mistle Thrushes.

Buzzard  Buteo buteo

Constant feature in Strathardle; 2-3 pairs between Enochdhu and south-east end of Glen Brerachan.

Osprey  Pandion haliaetus

One flew north over Enochdhu at 1607h on 12/6.

Kestrel  Falco tinninculus

Nesting pair on Ben Vrackie mobbing Ravens on 15/6.

Pheasant  Phasianus colchicus

Fairly common. Advertising call from 0346h on 15/6.

Quail  Coturnix coturnix

Singing male in grazing field on NW side of the field centre, from 0307h on 15/6.

Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Pr with b/5 at Wellwood House, Pitlochry on 14/6.

Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus

Territorial pair along River Ardle at Kindrogan Bridge. Flock of 16 at Straloch on 15/6. Heard over Kirkmichael at midnight on 17/6.

Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus

Only noted from the bus over Mouline Moor.

Woodcock  Scolopax rusticola

One to two roding along the main drive from dusk to dawn.

Curlew  Numenius arquata

Displaying birds at Straloch and east end of Glen Brerachan. Observed in Glen Brerachan (while in transit in the bus).

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

At least one territory on River Ardle between field centre and Enochdhu.

Black-headed Gull  Larus ridibundus

Regularly flying over Strathardle.

Common Gull  Larus canus

Regularly flying over Strathardle.

Herring Gull  Larus argentatus

Several noted over Pitlochry on 14/6 - inland/urban breeding?

Feral Pigeon  Columba livia

Note at Enochdhu, Kirkmichael and Pitlochry.

Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus

Fairly common. Singing from 0400h on 15/6, 0357h on 16/6.

Collared Dove  Sreptopelia decaocto

Pair at Enochdhu on 12/6. Fairly common in Pitlochry.

Cuckoo  Cuculus canorus

Singing males heard at Kindrogan Hill, Straloch, Enochdu and Moulin/Ben Vrackie.

Tawny Owl  Strix aluco

Male, female and juveniles heard along the main track between Enochdhu and the field centre.

Swift  Apus apus

Two birds around the field centre daily; three at 2055h on 15/6. Also noted over Pitlochry.

Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopus major

One drumming in old Scots Pine patch at 0730h on 16/6. Regular at feeders around centre. Singles elsewhere.

Skylark  Alauda arvensis

Singing at the eastern end of Glen Brerachan on 17/6.

Sand Martin  Riparia riparia

Single along Brerachan Water at West Lodge on 14/6.

Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Five AONs at the field centre; 12+ at Straloch on 15/6. Active from early morning, e.g. 0303h on 15/6.

House Martin  Delichon urbicum

Single nest at the field centre. Minimum of 4 at Straloch on 15/6, nesting in cottages here. Fairly common in Pitlochry and Kirkmichael.

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis

Common in birch woodland in Glen Brerachan and Strathardle. B/3 at curling pond birch woodland on 15/6.

Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis

Common in Glen Brerachan and Ben Vrackie. Three displaying males over juncus marsh at east end of Glen Brerachan on 17/6.

Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea

Birds noted on the River Ardle at the field centre, Enochdhu and Kirkmichael.

Pied Wagtail  Motacilla alba

Several birds observed with food for young throughout Strathardle. Pair at field centre on second brood.

Dipper  Cinclus cinclus

Pair feeding young in old nest from previous years below Kindrogan Bridge at Enochdhu.

Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes

Less common than previous years - local population hit by hard winter weather? Singing from 0336h on 15/6 and 0336h on 16/6 - same individual! None heard singing on high slopes of Ben Vrackie for the first time on eight June visits since 2003.

Dunnock  Prunella modularis

Two singing males at Enochdu, one singing male at Davan. Absent elsewhere.

Robin  Erithacus rubecula

Less common than previous years - local population hit by hard winter weather?; B/3 at walled garden each day. Singing from 0303h on 15/6; singing from 0259h on 16/6.

Redstart  Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Two singing males in open birch slopes at the east end of Glen Brerachan on 17/6.

Whinchat  Saxicola rubetra

Singing male on lower slopes of Ben Vrackie on 15/6.

Stonechat  Saxicola torquata

Pair on lower slopes of Ben Vrackie on 14/6.

Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe

Two pairs noted on Ben Vrackie.

Ring Ouzel  Turdus torquatus

Pair at usual site on Ben Vrackie 14/6.

Blackbird  Turdus merula

Common. Singing from 0315h on 15/6, 0314h on 16/6.

Song Thrush  Turdus philomelus

Common. Singing from 0316h on 15/6, 0316h on 16/6. One bird incorporating Oystercatcher mimicry into its song.

Mistle Thrush  Turdus viscivorus

Common. Most still feeding young in the nest. Fledgling at field centre on 13/6

Sedge Warbler  Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Singing male in juncus rush field near West Lodge beside Brerachan Water - this male/territory has been unpaired at this time of year for the last three seasons.

Whitethroat  Sylvia communis

Singing male holding territory at Kindrogan Bridge, Enochdhu.

Garden Warbler  Sylvia borin

Three singing mm located. Singing from 0324h on 16/6.

Blackcap  Sylvia atricapilla

Better numbers than usual: 10+ singing mm.

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix

No singing mm located.

Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita

No singing mm located.

Willow Warbler  Phylloscopus trochilus

Several singing mm around the field centre and more widespread in birch areas. Singing from 0329h on 16/6.

Goldcrest  Regulus regulus

Much less common this year. No territory at our usual 'dawn chorus' site for the first time since monitoring began in 2003. Three singing male heard along the Cateran Trail between Dalreoch and Kirkmichael.

Spotted Flycatcher  Muscicapa striata

Pairs or singles noted at the field centre (3 territories), Enochdhu (2), East Lodge, curling pond, Balnald, Davan, West Lodge and eastern end of Glen Brerachan. Also noted at Moulin. Singing from 0342h on 15/6, 0342h on 16/6.

Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula hypoleuca

No singing mm located.

Long-tailed Tit  Aegithalos caudatus

Flock of 2 ads and 10 juvs at Enochdhu on 14/6; flock of 20+ (mostly juvs) above Moulin on 14/6.

Coal Tit  Periparus ater

Fairly common. Brood near East Lodge on 12/6. Also noted at feeders.

Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus

Common and using several nest boxes present. Pair nesting in brickwork of walled garden. Also noted at feeders.

Great Tit  Parus major

Common. Also noted at feeders. Some brief song noted early morning from 0404h on 15/6, 0402h on 16/6.

Treecreeper  Certhia familiaris

Very scarce this year; singing male heard at West Lodge on 17/6.

Jay  Garrulus glandarius

At least two birds heard above Moulin on wooded lower slopes of Ben Vrackie.

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. Common in Pitlochry and Kirkmichael.

Rook  Corvus frugilegus

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

Carrion Crow  Corvus corone

Common. Calling from 0315h on 15/6.

Raven  Corvus corax

Pair with b/3 on Ben Vrackie on 14/6; 5 over Moulin Moor on 11/6. Regularly heard and up to three seen over Kindrogan Hill.

Starling  Sturnus vulgaris

A few pairs nesting in old woodpeckers holes at West Lodge. Otherwise only noted at Straloch, Kirkmichael and Pitlochry. No fledged juveniles seen - adults still feeding young in the nest.

House Sparrow  Passer domesticus

Common in Pitlochry. No birds with white feather tracts seen at Moulin Hotel this year.

Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs

Abundant. Singing from 0352h on 15/6, 0350h on 16/6. Song output much decreased in second week of June. No fledglings noted - breeding season later than last year.

Greenfinch  Carduelis chloris

A few pairs/singing mm noted in Strathardle and over field centre; 3 juvs at feeders daily.

Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis

Scarce this year: the only birds heard were all on the 17/6 around the field centre with three registrations at 0821h, 1538h and 1945h.

Siskin  Carduelis spinus

Fairly common in coniferous woodland. Dislaying/song-flighting birds over the car park daily. Regular at feeders.

Linnet  Carduelis cannabina

Heard over juncus marsh at east end of Glen Brerachan on 17/6.

Lesser Redpoll  Carduelis cabaret

Heard in east end of Glen Brerachan on 17/6.

Crossbill  Loxia curvirostra

Heard at the curling pond on 12/6. Six over Davan on 17/6.

Bullfinch  Pyrrhula pyrrhula

More common or at least much more registrations than usual this year. Pairs noted at field centre, East Blanald, Davin, East Lodge, Enochdhu, start of Spittal of Glenshee path at Enochdhu, & Moulin.

Reed Bunting  Emberiza schoeniclus

Singing male at Straloch on 15/6 and juncus marsh at east end of Glen Brerachan on 17/6.




Bracken & Moorland  2010  Fraser Simpson Sitka Spruce cones  2010  Fraser Simpson

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