Inland Birds

Black grouse

Black grouse

Tetrao tetrix

This is Scotland’s more common woodland grouse species. Males have blue/black plumage, with a distinctive red “eyebrow’ wattle and white down each wing as they fly. They are more conspicuous than the predominantly brown/grey camouflaged hen. Anot...

Crested tit

Crested tit

Parus cristatus

From a distance, this is quite a dull coloured tit with predominantly grey-green upper parts, buff flanks and a white breast. The white cheeks and lack of wing barring identify it at this range. More closely it has a very distinctive black and white c...

Dotterel

Dotterel

Chardrius morinellus

What to look out for A member of the plover family, the dotterel breed in the uplands. Unusually females are more brightly coloured than the males and it is the males who rear the chicks. Upper parts are predominantly grey in adult birds, the breast is...

Red grouse

Red grouse

Lagopus lagopus scoticus

This is the most common grouse, a plump medium sized bird with a short tail, rich chestnut brown plumage and white-feathered legs.  Males can be identified by a red eyebrow wattle which is very apparent when they call during the breeding season. The w...

Scottish crossbill

Scottish crossbill

Loxia scotica

This is a well-built finch with a large head and substantial beak with the distinctive crossed mandibles. They are highly adapted to feeding on seeds taken from native Scots pine cones, breaking into the cones with their strong beaks. They also feed on th...

Lapwing

Lapwing

Vanellus vanellus

At a distance the lapwing looks black and white, on close inspection it has rich greens and shades of red on its back and wings, with an orange vent under its tail. In flight, it looks all black from above and white with black wing ends from underneath...

Capercaillie

Capercaillie

Tetrao urogallus

Scotland’s largest and rarest grouse species; the male is larger and, at a distance is conspicuous as it appears black. When seen more closely there are shades of dark blue on the throat and chest; green on the wings and brown on the back; the tail h...

Chough

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

While its black plumage identifies it as a crow, the chough (pronounced 'chuff') has a red bill and legs unlike any other member of the crow family. It has a restricted westerly distribution in the British Isles and because of its small population siz...

Great spotted woodpecker

Great spotted woodpecker

Dendrocopos major

About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. Its presence is often announced by its...

Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan

Lagopus mutus

The ptarmigan is a plump gamebird, slightly larger than a grey partridge. In summer, is a mixture of grey, brown and black above with white bellies and wings. In winter, it becomes totally white except for its tail and eye-patch, which remain black. It...

Rook

Rook

Corvus frugilegus

Seen in flocks feeding on open ground on farmland, this large bird is a member of the crow (corvid) family and appears black at a distance. When seen close up, it has an area of light bare skin around the base of its beak and deep metallic blue tones t...

Snow bunting

Snow bunting

Plectrophenax nivalis

Snow buntings are large buntings, with striking `snowy' plumages. Males in summer have all white heads and underparts contrasting with a black mantle and wing tips. Females are a more mottled above. In autumn and winter birds develop a sandy/buff wa...