There are lots of different animals that you can find in the forest.
With so much moss and leaflitter covering the forest floor this makes it the perfect home for lots of smaller animals. Some of these are more common like field voles and wood mice and you might see them darting across the path. Sometimes if you're really lucky you might see a stoat or a weasel out exploring. These hunt the mice and voles but they have to feed their families too. Hedgehogs are much rarer but they are there. They are nocturnal (they sleep all day and explore at night) but sometimes they can still be seen during the day. Red foxes are the largest predator we have on the island but unlike the foxes you get in the city these ones are a lot more shy.
We have lots of Roe deer in the forest and it’s pretty easy to identify their tracks if you find them. Here are some guides with information on Roe deer and Red deer. If you're quiet moving through the forest you might even spot a deer! The smaller deer you will see in the forest are Roe deer and the much bigger ones are Red deer. Red deer are Scotland's largest native land mammal! They are shy so they won't stick around for long when they spot you! Sometimes if Roe deer are startled they will even let our a bark sound!
The community forest is also home to a multitude of bird species from tiny goldcrests to big buzzards. The best way to see many of the birds is to find a nice spot and to sit and take in the woodland around you. You might start to notice a lone treecreeper making its way silently up a tree apart from the occasional high pitch chirp. Or maybe even a family of long-tailed tits moving across the woodland, stopping by at every other tree to make sure no one has been left behind. If you want to learn more about the woodland birds you can follow our Birds in the Woods Trail in Balnakailly Woodland! Following this trail you'll see painted cut-outs of some of the birds the forest is home to and at each one there is a QR code that will give you more facts as well as letting you hear what the bird sounds like! And before you go out don't forget to download out Birds in the Woods Checklist or pick up a copy at Bute Discovery Centre.
Remember to always be respectful of the wildlife as the woodland is their home.
If you want to find out more about wildlife on the island of Bute you can visit Bute Museum or check out their website here.