No matter what time of year it is, Knockdow House enjoys some incredible wildlife. Amongst the grounds you’ll be lucky enough to see a wide variety of wildlife, including common species of bird – such as chaffinch, blackbird or robin – as well as red deer, red stags and hinds.
Knockdow House is situated in Dunoon, on the Cowal peninsula in southern Argyll and Bute, which is a region of Scotland renowned for its brilliant wildlife. This is the home of a wide range of birds, animals and sea life, including Scotland’s ‘Big 5’, the red squirrel, the red deer, the common seal, the otter and the golden eagle.
Birdlife in Argyll
Argyll and The Isles are home to some of the most incredible wild animals and birds.
One sight in particular that attracts visitors to Argyll is the arrival of thousands of white-fronted and barnacle geese during autumn. In spring, wading birds – including snipe, redshanks, curlews and lapwings – are found among the shorelines and mudflats, wading to forage for food in the mud or sand. Each winter, flocks of geese make their way to the region in impressive numbers from Greenland, Svalbard and Iceland.
For serious birdwatchers, you can head to the wild sea cliffs and open moorland to spot some birds of prey, including the beautiful golden eagles that can be found soaring above the cliff. These huge, elusive birds are simply magnificent, and if you are lucky enough you might catch a glimpse of one in flight.
As you can see, there’s something for birdwatchers all year round in Argyll.
Argyll is lucky enough to enjoy a healthy population of red squirrels, despite them now being a near threatened species in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (due to the introduction of grey squirrels from the USA).
The Cowal Peninsula in particular is home to countless red squirrels amongst its woodlands and forests. A stone’s throw away from Knockdow House, near Dunoon, is Benmore Botanic Gardens, where you’ll no doubt spot plenty of them scurrying up and down the giant Redwood trees.
If you want to see somecommon seals (also known as harbor seals) then take a walk along Argyll’s coastline where you should be lucky enough to spot them basking on the rocks or swimming in the sea. On the west coast of Bute is Scalpsie Bay, home of a large colony of Common and Grey seals.
Otters can also be spotted playing in the water, particularly at dawn or dusk, and they are a common sighting along Loch Lomond and Cowal Way.
Whether you want to explore the region of Argyll or simply walk amongst the grounds of Knockdow House, there’ll be no shortage of unforgettable wildlife to see.