Photos courtesy of Owen McGuigan and Angela Oliver
On the shore of the Firth of Clyde, located to the south of the park, the mudflats of the Inner Clyde estuary are internationally important and are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and RAMSAR site. Large varieties of worms, shellfish and many types of fish are present here and are a vital food resource for a wide range of birds, particularly in winter and during migration when spectacular numbers of birds are present. The largest numbers occur in autumn and winter when the migratory species such as geese, wigeon and teal arrive.
When looking over the shore line, look out for water birds like the cormorant and the red-breasted merganser. Waders are present and include, redshank, oystercatchers and curlew. Eider ducks, goldeneye and little grebes can be seen near the Leven mouth and look out for the dipper on the River Leven.
When touring the park why not try and identify other bird species such as the blackbird, jackdaw, tree creeper, wood pigeon, blue tit, great tit, greenfinch, chaffinch, chiffchaff, goldfinch, and song thrush? Lucky visitors might even see
the heron on the Clyde or at the Arboretum. During spring time it’s especially delightful to listen to the bird song and activity from birds during the nesting season. From time to time visitors might even see rabbits hopping around the grass and grey squirrels climbing the trees.
During the spring and summer seasons an array of colourful wild flowers grow within the wild flower meadow, thus creating a great habitat for a variety of beautiful butterflies, as well as bees and other pollinators. The community orchard is also vibrant during this time with a variety of fruit trees growing providing apples, plums and pears.