The diversity of habitats and proximity to the great Highland wilderness of the Cairngorm National Park makes Straloch a great place for birds.  

Part of the Forest of Clunie Special Protection Area, it is home to a variety of upland breeding birds, including hen harrier, short eared owl, merlin, black and red grouse.  Other upland birds include peregrine falcon, buzzard, raven, curlew and wheatear.    

Cuckoos are a big feature of spring when they return to prey on the meadow pippits.  They can often be seen sitting on the telegraph wires along the back drive.

The bird feeders always have a lively population of the usual garden birds, as well as siskins, goldfinch and great spotted woodpecker.  The Millennium Wood in the spring time is alive with the song of visiting warblers, tree pippits and resident song birds.  The tiny goldcrest is in residence all year - more easily heard than seen - as well as green woodpecker, bullfinch and long-tailed tits.

Autumn is a good time for migrant species including fieldfare, redwing and occasionally great flocks of noisy crossbill.  The loch attracts winter visitors such as whooper swan and golden eye.  On the loch all year round are mallard, wigeon, little grebe, Canada geese and grey heron.  Summer sees the return of the oystercatchers, tufted ducks, coot and moorhen.  Kingfisher and osprey visit occasionally to fish.  


Click thumbnails for more images