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Capercaille whereabouts (1 Viewer)

TheMoors

Member
Hi there,
I am looking to visit Scotland this year and would really like to see Capercaille. Could anyobne offer advice on the best places to go?
Thank you
 

Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
Due to the risk of disturbance to this Schedule 1 breeder the only site likely to be disclosed are the RSPB early morning Caper watches at Loch Garton during spring
 

thornlv

Well-known member
I'll second that, probably your best bet on responsible level - its worth it as well when it comes off. You may even be just lucky enough in the Abernethy forest, just please respect your distance
 

JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
So what's the problem looking for Capercaillie outside the breeding season, say September/ October time once the young are independent? Not trying to be provocative, just genuinely curious. I've seen them early morning from paths well used by dog walkers, recreational hikers etc in September (going back over ten years now).

Cheers

James
 

andm

Well-known member
I went to loch garton last year in April and saw a male capercaillie twice out of three visits, a bit distant but no problem with a scope, the rspb wardens are very helpful , and scopes are on site, well worth the 4am starts ☺
 

Sandra (Taylor)

Registered User
Supporter
So what's the problem looking for Capercaillie outside the breeding season, say September/ October time once the young are independent? Not trying to be provocative, just genuinely curious. I've seen them early morning from paths well used by dog walkers, recreational hikers etc in September (going back over ten years now).

Cheers

James

We have had great views of them from the car when not really searching - just tootling along. Just keep looking from the car when passing suitable habitat.

... and the RSPB caper watch is great fun!
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I remember finding a fresh dead male on the road just outside Carrbridge, the distressed female was still attending him, a sad memory for my fist Caper......


Andy
 

Ben Nevis

Registered User
Supporter
Scotland
So what's the problem looking for Capercaillie outside the breeding season, say September/ October time once the young are independent? Not trying to be provocative, just genuinely curious. I've seen them early morning from paths well used by dog walkers, recreational hikers etc in September (going back over ten years now).

Cheers

James

Numbers have crashed In the last 10 years,since you have seen them last.Nothing at all to stop you from looking for them outwith March to August,I would think.
 

Ian Hay

Well-known member
So what's the problem looking for Capercaillie outside the breeding season, say September/ October time once the young are independent? Not trying to be provocative, just genuinely curious. I've seen them early morning from paths well used by dog walkers, recreational hikers etc in September (going back over ten years now).

Cheers

James

James

In my opinion their is no real problem looking for them responsibly outwith the breeding season. However you will need to do a lot of walking and views are likely to be of a large bird smashing though the branches away from you.

However if you find a rouge male, which are active from late august, please only tell the RSPB, Forestry commission etc and do not put on the web.

During the leking season if you find a friendly female call the RSPB asap and hopefully she will be moved to a safe wood with other Capercaillie.

If you have great photo you want to share please make sure there are no identifying features in the background, people will go to amazing lengths to find such birds. If news gets out others will visit at the wrong time of the year.

Hope this is some use



Ian
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Caught this by accident. No intention to heat up any debate, but I understood from reading quite a lot of stuff on Capercaillie last spring that the breeding season (with specific reference to Schedule 1 breeding protection) is taken to run from 1 April. Has there been an official pronouncement on this, or for that matter a change?

For people ambling about the woods in March, with the specific intention of avoiding the Capercaillie breeding season, this could potentially matter.

Cheers

John
 

gordon hamlett

Well-known member
RSPB advice on looking for Capers can be found here https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverand...ticles/watchingbirds/grouse/capercaillie.aspx

Last year wasn't great at the Loch Garten Caper Watch - their range seems to be contracting dramatically - but it still remains your best chance of seeing one and the only site I would recommend in spring. If you do visit other woods looking for your own birds, please do no stray from the paths.

HTH

Gordon Hamlett author of the Best Birdwatching Sites in the Scottish Highlands
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
Caught this by accident. No intention to heat up any debate, but I understood from reading quite a lot of stuff on Capercaillie last spring that the breeding season (with specific reference to Schedule 1 breeding protection) is taken to run from 1 April. Has there been an official pronouncement on this, or for that matter a change?

For people ambling about the woods in March, with the specific intention of avoiding the Capercaillie breeding season, this could potentially matter.

Cheers

John

The official guidance for land managers to avoid disturbance runs from 1st March. I expect this should apply to birders also. (Though the guidance to stay away until 9am is just nonsense. Observations in Europe have shown Caper matings to take place well in to the middle of the day at the lek site, it all depends on which days attract most females to the lek). As far as I know there is no exact date specified by law defining their breeding season, it just comes under Schedule One protection which specifies disturbance of nests and in this case leks.

Forestry operations and known recreational activites etc should be avoided within 1km of known lek sites between 1 March and 31 May. Note 1. The lek site itself should not be damaged. If necessary, seek expert advice on the extent of a lek site. Deer control work is acceptable within 1km of leks during this period. However, stalkers must stay at least 500m from lek sites between 4am and 9am.

http://www.capercaillie-life.info/htm/bap/disturbance.php
 
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JWN Andrewes

Poor Judge of Pasta.
Thank you all, some interesting and informative responses. I dug the notebook out and it was September 2003 near Grantown, 3 male and 1 female all from well maintained and used trails (several people heading in as we headed out) although by the sound of things they'd be almost impossible at this site now. Also the area was hooching with Mistle Thrushes, over 50 noted. I do like how dipping into old notebooks brings back unexpected memories.

Thanks again

James
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
The regular five year count is taking taking place this winter to estimate the current population size. Fingers crossed. As stated below I think the only option other than a chance encounter from the road (which isn't impossible) is visiting the RSPB Watch. I don't think anybody should be actively searching for Caper during the breeding season at present, just leave them in peace.
 
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Farnboro John

Well-known member
The official guidance for land managers to avoid disturbance runs from 1st March. I expect this should apply to birders also. (Though the guidance to stay away until 9am is just nonsense. Observations in Europe have shown Caper matings to take place well in to the middle of the day at the lek site, it all depends on which days attract most females to the lek). As far as I know there is no exact date specified by law defining their breeding season, it just comes under Schedule One protection which specifies disturbance of nests and in this case leks.

Forestry operations and known recreational activites etc should be avoided within 1km of known lek sites between 1 March and 31 May. Note 1. The lek site itself should not be damaged. If necessary, seek expert advice on the extent of a lek site. Deer control work is acceptable within 1km of leks during this period. However, stalkers must stay at least 500m from lek sites between 4am and 9am.

http://www.capercaillie-life.info/htm/bap/disturbance.php

Thanks for that. Best to have it clearly and publicly stated.

Cheers

John
 

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