Birdwatching around Loch Lomond

Our Loch Lomond birdwatching guide

Loch Lomond is a hot spot for wildlife and nature. In the water and on the land, there are plenty of fascinating creatures to spot, such as red squirrels, red deer, pine marten, beavers, otters and dolphins. But look to the skies and there’s so much more to discover! This area provides habitat to nearly 200 species of birds. Loch Lomond is the perfect location for a birdwatching holiday.

Where to go birdwatching

There are many great vantage points around Loch Lomond. So be sure to take a pair of binoculars with you wherever you go, while exploring Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Near us at Loch Lomond Waterfront, you could climb to the top of Conic Hill, visit RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond Nature Reserve or take a boat out to Inchcailloch Island. You can also see a wide variety of birds of prey at the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre.

What you might see

Here are just a few of our favourite species to look out for. You can get a full checklist here.


Ospreys visit Loch Lomond from April to October. These stunning birds of prey feed solely on fish, and can usually be found near water. Balmaha, our closest village, is a popular place to spot them.

Osprey flying with a fish in its claws
 Ospreys eat medium-sized fish such as salmon and trout

White-tailed eagle

Last spring, white-tailed eagles (sea eagles), were seen at Loch Lomond for the first time in over a hundred years! They are the largest birds of prey in the UK with a wingspan of up to 240 cm.

A sea eagle or white-tailed eagle flying over water
The white-tailed eagle has returned to Loch Lomond after a century

Golden eagle

Golden eagles are difficult to spot, but they do fly high above the mountains in the national park, so look out for these enormous birds of prey. They have a brown body a and golden brown head and neck.

Golden eagle in Scotland with beak open
The golden eagle is a skilled hunter with exceptionally good eye sight.

Barn owl

Look out for barn owls with their distinctive heart-shaped faces at dusk and dawn, in woodland and grassland, as they hunt for small mammals. Although you’re more likely to hear their shrieks in the night.

A barn owl perched on a tree stump
Still days at dusk or dawn are best for spotting barn owls in the wild.

Common kingfisher

Watch out for kingfishers on the hunt for fish, waiting on branches hanging over the water. These bright and beautiful birds are a treat to see, even if it’s just a flash of blue as they dart in and out of the water.

Blue and orange bird, the Common Kingfisher
Kingfishers wait patiently by rivers while hunting for fish

Black grouse

Black grouse are known for their spectacular mating ritual, where competing males dance, display and fight. This happens in spring and autumn at first light. Look for them in moorland and upland glens.

Black grouse displaying at the lek
The male grouse display against each other at the lek.

White-fronted goose

Around 200 of these rare white-fronted geese come to Loch Lomond each winter. from Greenland. Spot them on the marshes of the Loch Lomond Nature Reserve from September to March.

Three white-fronted geese in Scotland
White-fronted geese travel to Scotland from Greenland each winter.

Mute swan

The mute swan can be found in Scotland all year round, and is the largest swan species in the UK. As their name suggests, they don’t have a loud call. They have orange beaks and are commonly found on shallow lochs, ponds and rivers.

A mute swan in shallow waters
You can spot mute swans all year round in Scotland.

Whooper swan

Whooper swans migrate to Scotland from Iceland for the winter. Distinguishable from mute swans as they are smaller in size, have yellow beaks with a black tip, and make a loud, low-pitched whooping sound.

Close up of a whooper swan in the snow
The whopper swan, also known as the common swan, comes to Scotland for the winter

Great-spotted woodpecker

Even if you don’t see a great-spotted woodpecker, you might hear one drumming into a branch above, looking for insects and larvae to eat. Listen out in woodland areas for their unique sound.

Great spotted woodpecker drumming at a branch
The distinctive woodpecker has a pale breast, black and white spotted wings and a bright red rump.

White-throated dipper

White-throated dippers are sweet little stout and short-tailed birds, which dip up and down on rocks in rivers and burns. They are easy to spot all year round.

Dipper perched on a rock in a stream
Look for little dippers perched on rocks and stones in rivers.

Northern lapwing

Found in farmland and wetland the northern lapwing is easy to recognise, due to its feathery crest and black and white markings. Up close, their backs have a purple-green metallic shimmer to them.

A northern lapwing in Scotland
The lapwing is a wader bird, found in farmland and wetlands with short vegetation.

Wood warbler

The wood warbler comes from Africa to Scotland for the summer. From April to August, you may hear this little yellow bird’s two distinctive calls, which are both very different.

A yellow wood warbler perched on a branch
Wood warblers are bright yellow, quick and elusive little birds.

We’d love to see what birdlife you spot during your stay with us at Loch Lomond Waterfront. Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and share your wildlife pictures with us.

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