Published in support of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for black grouse

Information for Birdwatchers

Watching lekking black grouse through an early morning mist and listening to their curious bubbling song is an experience that, once witnessed, is never forgotten. However, these birds need all the help they can get, so as birdwatchers it is vital that we take our responsibilities seriously and take care to avoid harming these wonderful but scarce birds.

Leading birdwatching magazines and conservation organisations have teamed up to produce a Code of Conduct for those who want to share in the magic of watching black grouse (and capercaillie). It sets out good practice that should be followed if you want to have a good chance of seeing the birds, while ensuring that they are not disturbed. Please take the time to read the code of conduct before going out into the field. It can also be downloaded, so you can print it off and take it with you.

Work is also underway to develop several viewing schemes around Britain, to enable you to see black grouse lekking.

If you would like to be more involved with black grouse monitoring, there may be opportunities through the regional Black Grouse Recovery Projects. In addition, there are Black Grouse Study Groups in Perthshire, Central Scotland and Strathspey, which organise annual lek counts.