14 Apr 2016
A couple of sunny days and suddenly it feels like spring has arrived here at Haddo...
After being alternately cooped up in the office and busy running events last week, it was fantastic to go for a long walk round on Monday and do a proper, full survey of the spring wildlife out in the park.
With a bit of sun and a slight increase in temperature, the park can seem to change almost overnight. We saw the first Sand Martins on Saturday and on Monday there were at least 2 Chiffchaff (which have made it here all the way from Africa) singing from the treetops in Craigie Wood, 4 Grey Wagtails dashing in yellow flashes around the lake and my first Osprey of the year perched up in a tall tree.
The Dipper on the Kelly Burn seemed were particularly happy to be out and about as well even posing long enough and close enough for a rare good photograph.
Many of the ducks and geese on the lake have now disappeared, heading off to quieter spots to start nesting. There are some nests in the woods and around the lake as well so we'd ask you to keep dogs on leads or at heel around the lake from now until June to prevent them accidentally destroying any nests or scaring off the nesting birds.
The wildflowers seem to have suddenly blossomed as well. A walk around the outside of the terrace gardens turns up a gorgeous spread of Cowslip and Primroses, if you're very alert you might also spot a small patch of Snake's-head Fritillary with their purple and white checkerboard petals. These are probably garden bulbs which has escaped into the park rather than true wild flowers but they're still incredibly beautiful and one of my favourite flowers. Down by the Scots Mile the white Wood Anemones and yellow Celandine are truly wild and also stunning, especially close up.
If you'd like to know more about the wild flowers at Haddo then we've still got a couple of spaces on our Spring Wildlife Wander on Sunday morning. You can find full detals on the events page or drop us an email at email@example.com
Inside the visitor centre, we've turned up the temperature in the fish tank and our little salmon, now large enough to be officially called fry, are much more active and easy to see. We've started feeding them this week as well and some of the bolder ones are coming right to the top of the tank to chase down bits of food.
Don't forget we've hosting the Great British Dog Walk tomorrow, starting from the Pheasantry. Online advance entry has now closed but you can sign up on the day if you'd still like to come along. Full details available at greatbritishdogwalk.org