Straloch is known for its wildflowers and proudly boasts three SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) designated for heathland flora. These are carefully managed according to a strict grazing regime. We also have several wildflower conservation meadows.
June and July are particularly good months to visit when the wild orchids are in flower. Straloch is lucky enough to have four varieties of orchid: Fragrant, Small White, Heath Spotted and Northern Marsh. You will also find a wonderful range of typical heathland and wetland plants at this time of year, including the locally rare Greater Sundew which traps insects with its sticky tentacles, Intermediate Wintergreen and Autumn Gentian. Free guided walks are available during the flowering season.
Common Rock Rose is profuse and we are an important site for the locally rare Northern Brown Argus butterfly. Other butterflies and moths include the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Common Blue and Chimney Sweeper moth.
The diverse range of habitats makes Straloch a great place for bird watching. Part of the Forest of Clunie Special Protection Area, our hill is home to a variety of upland breeding birds, including Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Merlin, Black and Red Grouse, Peregrine Falcon, Buzzard, Raven, Curlew and Wheatear. Cuckoos are a big feature of spring. The Millennium Wood is alive with the songs of visiting migrants including Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Redstart. The tiny Goldcrest is in residence all year as well as Bullfinch and Green Woodpecker.
Autumn sees great flocks of Fieldfares and occasionally Crossbills. The bird feeders at the holiday houses attract Siskins, Goldfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker, as well as the usual garden birds. The loch has Wigeon, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen and Little grebe. In winter we have visitors such as Goldeneye and Whooper Swans. The sound of the Oyster Catchers heralds the arrival of Spring. Grey Heron nest on the island. On the river you might see Dippers, Sand Martins, Red-breasted Merganser and the occasional Kingfisher.
Straloch a hind forest, meaning that Red deer hinds are resident all year. Roe deer can often be seen grazing near the holiday houses in the early morning or at dusk. In the Autumn the stags arrive for the annual rutt. From late September to the end of October you can hear the primeval sound of the stags roaring all around, right from your door step. You can often see them too, high up on the ridge behind the houses, looking after their harem and seeing off any interlopers.
We also have Red squirrels which can be seen on the feeder most days. Other more elusive animals on the place include pine marten and otter; these are difficult to spot but can be identified from their signs.