Published June 20, 2022
Burrowhead Holiday Village boasts not only a breathtaking landscape along the South West Coast of Scotland but also a diverse fauna, from the land to the skies. In an upcoming series of articles, we will take you on a journey into the lives of the wildlife that share the countryside with you at Burrowhead.
Get a glimpse of the animals’ habits, and explore their worlds to understand how we can all share the land and protect the different species that visit us here. Plus, learn some of the dos and don’ts when one of Burrowhead’s wild friends comes to say hello. Check out these quick introductions to the various wildlife at Burrowhead.
The roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is a small deer with reddish and grey-brown fur. It is also called European roe, western roe deer, and roebuck for male roe deers. These creatures are found throughout Scotland and have been seen increasingly around towns and cities. Roe deers are the most common type of deer that you will see at Burrowhead.
Note that roebucks are territorial and are generally solitary. So, when you see a roe deer in Burrowhead, be careful not to disturb or approach them. Some roe deers form groups and most are accompanied by baby deers throughout the year.
The fallow deer (Dama dama) is one of the friendly animals that you may see in the local area. They often wander in wooded areas. However, they can be a hazard on the road, especially at night. Fallow deers in Scotland are fewer than in England and Wales and usually inhabit broadleaf woodlands, coniferous woodlands, and open agricultural areas.
This medium-sized deer grows up to 1.8m in length and varies in colours and patterns. Most fallow deers have a pale brown coat with white spots, just like Bambi. Some species sport a very dark coat with little to no white spots, while others have nearly white fur. Keep in mind that some fallow deers change fur colour depending on the season, making them easier or harder to spot.
During the breeding season in autumn, expect to hear loud grunting noises as male fallow deers make loud belches to declare their territory. The fawns are usually born from June to July after a gestation period of 234 days. Take note that the mother usually leaves the fawn alone to graze. So, when you see a baby deer on its own, avoid touching it and leave it alone as the mother is nearby.
Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) are known for their midair dive of up to 200 mph, making them the fastest animal on Earth. These birds grow at a length of 40-54cm with a wingspan of 1m and weigh 670-1,100g. When you go birdwatching, you can spot peregrine falcons in Scotland thanks to their distinctive blue-grey back, black head, and barred white underparts.
Despite being large birds, they are swift and agile, making them great hunters in midair. They often feed on smaller birds, small mammals, amphibians, and large insects. Catching the peregrine falcon in action when hunting midair is always a spectacle for birdwatchers.
These high-speed birds can be found throughout the region, but they often breed on rocky cliffs and inland crags. Some peregrine falcons have also made unusual nesting sites on tall city structures. If you want to catch peregrine falcons at Burrowhead Holiday Village, they are found all year round, especially during the breeding season (April-July).
Burrowhead’s wildlife also includes one of Britain’s iconic creatures, the badger (Meles meles). Badgers are widespread, having over 350,000 badgers living in the UK, with 10 per cent of them found in Scotland. These shy and nocturnal animals live in groups inside underground setts or burrows.
If you want to look for badgers in Scotland, your best bet is to check for badger paths outside the woodlands. These paths are usually 20 cm wide and lead towards their feeding grounds. Some paths might also include badger footprints which consist of long claw marks, five toe pads, and a wide rear pad. Note that badgers build setts in slopes for better drainage.
When looking for badgers, be careful not to disturb them. Bear in mind that the law protects badgers and their setts. So, disturbing them and their burrows is illegal. Unfortunately, badgers continue to face threats, such as habitat loss and disturbance, baiting, and being killed on the road. Scottish Badgers are the only charity in Scotland dedicated to protecting and conserving badgers. The organisation holds the annual Scottish Badger Week every May.
Visitors at Burrowhead can also spot hares from their windows. They can also be seen on the heughs near the sea. Scotland’s native mountain hare (Lepus timidus) features a white winter coat and is often found on high ground. Meanwhile, brown hares sport a russet brown coat and usually reside in arable land. Overall, hares in Scotland are widely spread, with mountain hares dominating upland areas.
Hares like to graze on vegetation and nibble bark from bushes. They can also be seen taking shelter inside a ‘form’, a shallow depression in the ground or grass. Brown hares are mostly visible in early spring during the breeding season. Meanwhile, the best time to see mountain hares is also in spring, when the snow has melted and the rabbits still retain their white coats.
If you go to Burrowhead during spring, you might see brown hares boxing in the area. When you see two hares fighting, it means that the female is warding off the advances of a male hare. It is best not to interfere as it is part of their way of life.
When you visit Burrowhead Holiday Village in summer, expect to see plenty of frogs on the roads and near the area. You can also see occasional newts appear here and there. They are usually brown or grey and have smooth skin and long back legs with dark bands.
Frogs usually breed in ponds during spring and spend the rest of the year on woodlands, hedgerows, gardens, grasslands and drylands. However, the best time to see frogs in Scotland is from February to October if you are a frog enthusiast.
Explore a Different Wildlife Experience
The local area in Burrowhead Holiday Village is teeming with life! Homeowners and visitors are sure to enjoy the diverse wildlife that Scotland has to offer. Become closer to nature and encounter a different holiday experience when you rent a luxury lodge or caravan or become a holiday homeowner. Visit Burrowhead by arranging a tour today!