Birding in Gleneagles, Scotland

When:  July 2015               Weather:  cool, 15-20C

Nikon P900       Leica M240/35 summilux and 21 super elmar

Acknowledgement:  Richard White for bird identification

Gleneagles Hotel and its golf courses (which hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup) is a famous establishment in Scotland.  We were there for a retreat and whilst the others were off golfing and fishing, I explored the woodland adjacent to the Gleneagles Hotel to do some birding…

Gleneagles Hotel...

Gleneagles Hotel…

Gleneagles Hotel

Gleneagles Hotel

Suitably impressive plaque at the entrance

Suitably impressive plaque at the entrance

gorgeous landscaped gardens

gorgeous landscaped gardens

view of the front lawn from my room

view of the front lawn from my room

Checking out birding locations,  I could either walk the gold courses or head for the Glenmor Woodland Walk nearby.  I chose the woodland walk the first day and walked the 2 mile walk around the Queen’s Course the second day.  The woodland walk is a short walk from the hotel and you can access it by an underpass…as you emerge, there are a few new houses there and then the woodland trail starts….you follow the red discs that you see in this picture..

Start of the Glenmor Woodland Walk

Start of the Glenmor Woodland Walk…follow the red discs…

A shy blue tit was darting about the trees..

A shy blue tit was darting about the trees..

This gorgeous blue finch then made an appearance through the foliage...

This gorgeous blue finch then made an appearance through the foliage…

Out of the wooded area, the trees thin out...

Out of the wooded area, the trees thin out…

giving way to open moorland..

giving way to open moorland..

with heather on the ground

with heather on the ground

and a pretty landscape

and a pretty landscape

this pretty little songbird..a song thrush followed me around, cheeping merrily

this pretty little songbird..a song thrush followed me around, cheeping merrily

song thrush

song thrush

I also disturbed what I think was a black grouse..which flew out of the low bushes and flew off before I could take a picture..

I also disturbed what I think was a black grouse..which flew out of the low bushes and flew off before I could take a picture..

the walk is quite a long one, if you do the whole trail it's about 5 miles...and bits of it are very peaty and soft and you can count on getting wet feet...

the walk is quite a long one, if you do the whole trail it’s about 5 miles…and bits of it are very peaty and soft and you can count on getting wet feet…

bridges over peaty areas...help keep you dry

bridges over peaty areas…help keep you dry

swifts were everywhere..

swifts were everywhere..

Starling

Starling

When you conclude the walk…it’s 5 miles and about 3 hours, you end up near the equestrian area and the Gleneagles Arena which is near the hotel…

The next morning, I decided to walk towards the Dormy clubhouse and Centenary course area to have a look for the swans which had cygnets not long ago and then on to the 2 mile hike around the Queen’s Course.

walk towards the clubhouse

walk towards the clubhouse

and there was mama swan with her 4 cygnets in tow..

and there was mama swan with her 4 cygnets in tow..

The woodpigeons are enormous!

The woodpigeons are enormous!

The Centenary Course where the Ryder Cup was held last year..161/2 to 11/1/2 in favour of the Europeans

The Centenary Course where the Ryder Cup was held last year..161/2 to 11/1/2 in favour of the Europeans

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On to the Queen’s course, which was scenic but did not yield many birds….

this gloriously coloured Gold Finch brightened up the day!

this gloriously coloured Gold Finch brightened up the day!

After walking the course, you end up walking along the main road back towards the underpass that leads to the woodland…I decided that there was enough activity at the beginning of the woodland and decided to explore it once more…..this time just as I entered the grassy patch, I noticed a hide-like structure on the right fork and found that there were many bird feeders etc …and it turned out to be the most fruitful area…

bird feeders...

bird feeders…

this gloriously coloured Chaffinch kept flying about actively..

this gloriously coloured Chaffinch kept flying about actively..

another view of the chaffinch

another view of the chaffinch

The female chaffinch was equally active....

The female chaffinch was equally active….

female chaffinch

female chaffinch

Great tit

Great tit

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

and this busy little fellow barely paused long enough for me to take this picture:  A Wren

and this busy little fellow barely paused long enough for me to take this picture: A Wren

Robin

Robin

? juvenile Robin

? juvenile Robin

Dunnock

Dunnock

male blackbird

male blackbird

female blackbird

female blackbird

?juvenile female blackbird

?juvenile female blackbird

and the walk back shows the lovely back side of the hotel..

and the walk back shows the lovely back side of the hotel..

The Gleneagles hotel grounds are magnificent….but a local ramble to birdwatch in the Glenmor Woodland Walk is well worth doing if you don’t golf….

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