Winter at Dalkeith Country Park

Winter at Dalkeith Country Park brings plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventures and new discoveries as we see the Park rest and restore for the new year ahead. The cool winter months provide a whole new picture of the Park, ready to be explored by our visitors. So, pull on your boots and bobble hat and head out to see what you can find. Keep your eyes and ears open for the ever intriguing nature and wildlife that call Dalkeith Country Park home.

Fox at Dalkeith Country Park

It can be noisy...

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.


It's time for 'twit twoo's'

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.


Stop for the sunsets

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 – 7pm daily so you can enjoy the early morning or evening skies this time of year.


Perfect plumage!

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.

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