Winter Watch in the Park
19th January, 2021
Winter at Dalkeith Country Park is a little different this year, but the Winter Watch wildlife and nature remain as intriguing as ever. So, if you’re lucky enough to live locally, pull on your boots and bobble hat and head out for a walk in the Park. Keeping your eyes and ears open!
Winter Watch at Dalkeith Country Park
1. Don’t forget to look up
Winter is the perfect time to spot wildlife at Dalkeith. When the trees are bare, birds and squirrels can be easily spotted. Don’t forget to look up during your walk ~ there’s a whole lot going on in the trees above your head. Our waymarked trails will help you explore the Park.
2. Screaming foxes are nothing to worry about!
During the winter, foxes will usually have a 3-6 day mating period, and they like to let everyone know about it! Their call is quite often described as a howl or a scream and it’s not unusual to hear their mating call in the Park at this time of year.
3. Follow a footprint trail
A fresh fall of snow or heavy frost not only looks magical, but helps identify the wildlife that make Dalkeith Country Park their home. The Woodland Trust have pulled together some fantastic images to help you identify wintery animal tracks.
4. Keep your ears open
Tawny Owls are usually at their loudest during December but if you keep an ear out this month, you may still hear their classic ‘’Twit twoo’’. Usually it’s heard earlier in the morning as they are nocturnal creatures.
5. Chattering squirrels
We have a lot of grey squirrels in the Park and they make many different noises. Listen for the ‘’kut, kut, kut’’ sound they make when warning of danger or their gleeful whine and chatter as they scramble around the trees.
6. Colour explosion
So, it’s cold out there, but wow, the colours. Not on the trees and plants, but in the sky! There have been some amazing sunsets and sunrises this winter. The Park is open 7am – 6pm daily so you can enjoy the early morning or evening skies this time of year.
7. Ruffle your feathers
Winter is nesting season for Mallard ducks, so their plumage is usually at its very best. It’s the male duck that displays the dark green head, purple-brown breast and yellow bill. Look out for them proudly displaying their colourful feathers.
8. Everyone’s winter favourite
One of the most common birds to see in winter is the Robin and they are often spotted throughout the Park. You can usually hear them singing, not just for joy, but to mark their territory. Their little red breasts will always brighten up a cold winter’s day.
With current restrictions on travel and social mixing, not everyone is able to visit the Park at the moment. Please stay local and follow our latest Covid guidance. And if you can’t pay us a visit just now, keep your ears and eyes open around you. You’ll be amazed what wildlife can be found in urban areas, local parks, and your own back garden.