Where and when to spot winter wildlife

The cool winter months provide a whole new picture of The Park, ready to be explored by our visitors. Here’s what to keep your eyes and ears open for during your winter visit to Dalkeith Country Park.

Roe Deer at Dalkeith Country Park


Special winter visitors have arrived at Dalkeith Country Park. If you are not yet familiar with this feathered friend, let us introduce you to the Curlew. Most commonly found along the coast in large numbers, the Curlew tends to move inland over winter to forage for food.

We have recently been lucky enough to play host to a salon – large gathering of curlews – at The Park. They can be found early in the day foraging in the fields along the Green Trail.

If you would like to learn more about the Curlew, head to the Scottish Wildlife Trust for plenty of fun facts.

Grey Squirrels

Waiting and ready to greet you upon your arrival at The Park are our resident grey squirrels. Whilst these little creatures may not be at the top of many a winter wildlife watch list, they are full of character and real joy to take in.

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.

Where and when to spot grey squirrels you ask? Simply set foot in Dalkeith Country Park and you are more than likely to stumble across these tree-climbing nut buriers.

Jay at Dalkeith Country Park


Our keen bird watchers will know just how hard it is to spot these colourful members of the crow family. Jays tend to be shy woodland birds that don’t like to stray far from cover. However, these beautiful birds are feeling very comfortable at Dalkeith Country Park and can more often than not be spotted on your way in to The Park from the King’s Gate entrance.

Park Ranger Kieran tells us “A Jays primary food source is acorns, during the autumn a single Jay may plant as many as 7,500 acorns. This hording is to provide the Jay with a food source throughout the year but many acorns germinate and become seedlings.” Find out more from Kieran here.

Roe Deer in frosty field

Roe Deer

Last but by no means least on our winter wildlife watch list are Roe Deer. These charming creatures are spread far and wide across the estate but particularly enjoy spending time amongst the wooded areas.

We recommend heading along the Red Trail. Walk quietly through the woods and you have a chance of encountering a roe deer. If you spot it from a distance it may stand and observe you for a short while before moving off.

Take a roe by surprise and it will bound away with its white rump flashing!

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