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Birdwatching in Scotland

Birdwatching in Scotland is very common and we are fortunate in Perthshire to see a large variety of birds in a variety of wonderful habitats. Tens of thousands of wildfowl arrive in the late autumn, including Whooper Swan and Pink-Footed Goose and they may be seen in the wetlands near Loch Leven.  Just north of Perth, Hawfinch may be seen in the grounds of Scone Palace and on Kinnoull Hill, just east of Perth, you can spot Peregrine and Raven

By the shores of Loch Leven the Vane Farm, just off the M90 near Kinross lies the RSPB’s premier nature centre. This converted farm steading provides views over the Loch from its observation room, hides and nature trail, with displays and information about the reserve and Loch (a National Nature Reserve managed by Scottish Natural Heritage).

The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes  Visitor Centre at Dunkeld. There you might be lucky enough to see a breeding Osprey from the hide by the loch.

At The Loch of Kinordy RSPB Reserve see breeding waterfowl including the rare black-necked grebe, viewable from bird-watching hides overlooking the loch, as well as ospreys and otters. A little further afield you can visit the Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve in Angus, famous for its estuary bird life, and the new Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick, East Lothian.

50 species spotted in Perthshire

Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Yellowhammer, Siskin, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Long Tail Tit, Goldcrest, House Sparrow, Starling, Skylark, Linnet, Pheasant, Grey Partrige, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, Redwing, Song Thrush, Missel Thrush, Treecreeper, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Willow Warbler, Wood Pigeon, Collard Dove, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Pink-footed Geese, Greylag Geese, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jay, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Tawny Owl, Kestrel, Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk and Great Spotted Woodcock,Tree Sparrow, Kingfisher and Osprey

Here are recommendations taken from Where to Watch Birds in Scotland by Mike Madders and Julia Welstead:

Around Loch Leven find Burleigh Sands, Findatie, Kirkgate Park and the RSPB Loch Leven Nature Reserve. Birdwatching in Scotland sites include Strathearn, River Tay at Perth, Scone Den, the Tay Estuary at Port Allen, Loch of the Lowes, Loch Faskally, Ben Vrackie, Killiecrankie, Linn of Tummel, Rannoch Forest, Rannoch Moor, Stormont Loch and The Hermitage near Dunkeld.

Birdwatching in Scotland


Birdtrack which is a recording project for migration movements and distribution of birds throughout Britain.  The site also provides facilities for you to store and manage your records.

Scottish Seabird Centre located in North Berwick is a great opportunity to see birds in their natural habitat, with remote cameras and boat trips.

Ben Lawers Nature Reserve boasts a few rare birds for the keen twitchers out there.

Argaty Red Kite Centre gives visitors the chance to witness these fantastic birds with a Red Kite feeding station.

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