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Wildlife at Glen Finglas

Red squirrels are abundant and can sometimes even be seen at the Glen Finglas Visitor Gateway car park. Other mammals include fox, badger, red and roe deer, otter, field vole and pine marten.

The site is home to the black grouse, which is declining in Scotland. Glen Finglas supports up to about 20 male birds and during the breeding season they gather to attract females at sites called leks, where there are some impressive competitive displays. The population is monitored by Trust staff.

Other bird species recorded on the estate include woodcock, green woodpecker, greater-spotted woodpecker, tree creeper, nuthatch, dipper, cuckoo, common linnet, lesser redpoll, redstart, red-throated diver, snipe, curlew, skylark, pied and spotted flycatcher, song thrush, tree pipit, meadow pipit, twite, great tit, swallow, willow and wood warbler, red grouse, raven, Canada goose. Birds of prey include golden eagle, buzzard, peregrine falcon, red kite, osprey, hen harrier and merlin.

Red squirrel at Glen Finglas (Photo: WTML/John Bridges)

The money spider, previously unrecorded in Scotland, was discovered on the site in 2006. Other invertebrates include four-spot orb-weaver spider, leaf hopper and eyed ladybird, and many ground beetle species, such as the violet ground beetle and violet oil beetle.

Butterfly and moth species include the ringlet, green hairstreak, pearl-bordered fritillary, peacock, beautiful golden Y, shaded pug moth and slender-striped rufous moth. You will also find cranefly, dragonfly and damselfly.

Hardy, red Luing cattle and blackface sheep are reared and managed on the site by the Trust. These cattle cause minimal damage to the young trees and their hooves are perfect for breaking up ground, allowing seeds to take root. They also help maintain healthy ground flora by grazing on coarse grasses and trampling bracken to keep them in check.

Rivers on the site contain brown trout.