RSPB
Print page

Highland Black Grouse

Mornings all year round

  • Staff on hand to help
  • Parking
Black grouse displaying at lek at dawn

Image: Chris Gomersall

At around sunrise throughout most of the year, us male black grouse gather at traditional display sites to shake our tail feathers, in the hope of impressing the ladies.

Known as lekking, it’s natures equivalent to a dance floor on a Saturday night, (we do not lek during the mid summer period as we are moulting and not looking our best).

Our friends at CairnGorm Mountain, the RSPB and Forestry Commission Scotland have set up special viewing events so that you can watch us do our thing, without disturbing us.

There is a viewing butt in the Coire na Ciste car park on the CairnGorm Mountain road, grid ref: NH998073 (shown on the map), where viewing is provided with interpretation. Guides are available on certain dates, see events at the bottom of the page for details.

When can you see us?

You can visit the Coire na Ciste viewing butt for free at any time, but remember you need to be there around sunrise to get the best views.

At certain times they will have a guide at the Coire na Ciste site who will be able to tell you more about us, the environment we live in and what is being done for our conservation. On days when there is a RSPB guide present (see events below for dates), there is a suggested donation of £5.

On these days, weather permitting, you will also be able to join a guided walk on CairnGorm Mountain where you may be able to see other members of the grouse family, an alternative lower level walk may replace the mountain walk during the ski season and bad weather.

Guided walks are available on CairnGorm Mountain when conditions allow. Booking is essential. For more information and to book on a guided walk please visit cairngormmountain.org

How to find us

Coire na Ciste car park on the CairnGorm Mountain road

For location details of events at Corrimony please see the events listed below.

What should I bring?

Even in the spring it can be quite chilly first thing in the morning so please ensure you wrap up warm.

If you intend going on one of the guided walks, please ensure you are properly equipped for walking in the hills, walking boots and waterproofs are essential.

Still got some questions?

Telephone: Still got some questions? For more information: Telephone 01463 715000
E-mail: nsro@rspb.org.uk

This date is brought to you with help from the Famous Grouse, in partnership with the Forestry Commission Scotland and CairnGorm Mountain.

How you can help

Help us improve our Date with Nature pages. Take our quick survey.

Take survey

Nearby attractions

Find out more