There is a surprisingly wide variety of animal life around
Rabbits are the one thing you cannot miss. We used to
live near the place that Watership Down was based upon
and we saw a handful of rabbits, although there would
have been many more at other times of the day. Rattray
Head is overrun with literally thousands of them and you
will see at least dozens if not hundreds every day of
the year. Approaching our home along the lane, especially
at dawn or dusk, you will see hoardes of wildebunnies crossing
the road in front of you as they must get to their own
home before the danger arrives. Care must be taken walking
the dunes as it is all too easy to twist an ankle in the
August 2010 - Rather like a Scottish Watership Down, we are still surrounded
by the thousands of rabbits that inhabit the fields and dunes.
Springtime is the most fun of course with all the teeny tiny
fluff bundles hopping around.
We’ve always enjoyed the occasional evening just watching bats
swooping around our home and hostel. Now a ‘bat’ guest has
indicated they are probably brown long-eared and pipistrelles
and are actually living somewhere in our roofspace.
Roe deer live in nearby Rattray Woods and are regularly
seen in the open fields or crossing the lane heading to
the Loch of Strathbeg for fresh water.
Badgers are occasionally seen around St Mary's chapel
waddling along the lane ahead of the car before turning
off through a gap into the fields.
There is a fox den in the dunes and we sometimes see a
fox patrolling the area around our home. On one occasion
Bill, our cat, was sitting by a rabbit hole waiting for
lunch to come out, but unknown to Bill the fox was approaching
from behind. All of a sudden the hunter became the hunted
and we saw Bill running at full speed with the fox chasing
him close behind. Thankfully he made it to the safety of
Sometimes we see stoats crossing the lane between the fields,
then there are all the usual small creatures like frogs,
caterpillars, lizards, and grasshoppers.