In Focus

 

 Winter


The colder months bring with them some seasonal visitors to the Seven Lochs. Every winter Hogganfield Loch hosts an extended family of Icelandic whooper swan. These fantastic birds breed in the shadow of Iceland's volcanoes, but in October / November fly the 1000km back to Scotland to escape the harsh winter weather. Hogganfield Loch is one of the few places in the UK where you can get really close views of these beautiful birds. Look for a striking yellow and black beak - very different to the orange beak of the resident mute swan - and listen for their loud 'honking' call.

  

Other winter wildlife to look out for are the park's roe deer. With the trees now bare of leaves it's easier to see these graceful animals as they feed in the woodlands and surrounding fields. Good places to see them are around Todd's Well woodland and at Bishop Loch local nature reserve. The bright red berries of hawthorn, rowan and holly trees are a welcome splash of colour at this time of year. They also provide essential winter food for birds, including some like redwing and fieldfare that have flown to Scotland from Scandinavia and Russia to enjoy our (relatively!) warmer winter weather. 

         

With food scare the winter is a great time to attract birds (and other wildlife) into your garden. There's plenty of advice on what and when to feed garden birds on the RSPB website, and to find out how to make a speedy bird cake click here!

Tweet @sevenlochs to let us know what you’ve seen out and about in the park and if you have any photographs send them in and we could add them to our wildlife gallery.