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Wildlife at Cabin Wood

The young woodland provides a buffer to fragments of ancient woodland, creating an extended habitat for wildlife such as badgers.

Look out for fallow and red deer which live in the parklands on the other side of the Killymoon River and are often seen crossing the shallow parts into Cabin Wood. And wander near the rivers at dusk and you are likely to see Daubenton’s bats darting through the air hunting for insects. In spring and summer, there is an abundance of butterflies such as green-veined whites, speckled woods and orange-tips.

Birds

Along the river, watch out for flashes of the shimmering blue and green plumage of the kingfisher, as well as the dumpy, white-breasted dipper perched on mid-channel boulders, their domed nests built under bridges or in overhanging tree trunks. In the woods, listen for the screaming call of the jay and look for the flash of white on its rump as it flits through the trees. In the autumn you can often get a better view of jays as they bury acorns to feed on later in the winter. You may also spot barn owls, kestrels, stonechats and, in the spring, grey wagtails.

River dwellers

The Killymoon and Ballinderry Rivers are home to Atlantic salmon, otter, and white-clawed crayfish, a freshwater crustacean listed as a globally endangered species. The presence of stoneflies and mayflies, which are intolerant of pollution, is an indication of the high water quality in these rivers. You may be lucky and spot an otter, but it’s more likely you’ll come across evidence of their presence, such as their spraints (droppings) or tracks through the grass leading to a mud ‘slide’ into the river.