Cowal is a peninsula in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland. Like Knockdow House, the region is steeped in history, tradition and culture.
If it’s wildlife you’re after, this is certainly the ideal place to explore. Cowal is the home of a wide range of birds and animals, including deer, squirrels, seals and even the golden eagle.
There are also plenty of brilliant walks in the region, offering the perfect opportunity for some wildlife spotting. Here are some of the many animals you may find on your explorations, and where to spot them:
Birds of Prey
There are many iconic birds of prey to spot in Cowal, however they are notoriously difficult to find. These include the golden eagle, the second largest bird of prey in the UK, who live in moorland and mountain environments and hunt medium-sized mammals and birds, including grouse and rabbits.
If you head to the northern Scottish islands you certainly stand a chance of spotting a golden eagle. Aside from golden eagles, the region is also home to Osprey, red kites and white tailed eagles.
Scotland’s Majestic Wildcat
A remarkable sight is the Scottish Wildcat, which is Britain’s only wild feline. With just 100 to 300 of them left in the wild, they’re not the easiest animals to spot, and live in extremely remote locations. They’re renowned for their superb vision, hearing and balance, making them one of the most formidable predators in the region.
Pine martens are from the same family as weasels and otters, and have a number of similarities. They can be spotted throughout Scotland, and are easy to identify thanks to the pale yellow marking on their chest. They love eating fruit, insects, birds, eggs and small rodents.
No visit to Cowal is complete without spotting an exquisite red deer. With its compelling antlers, they are easy to spot and can be found throughout Scotland’s forests and open mountains. Many can stand as tall as 4ft at the shoulder, making them Britain’s largest wild animal.
While the population of the red squirrel has dwindled massively across the rest of the UK, Scotland still maintains an excellent population of them. Head to the woodland and forests where they can be spotted all year round.
Mountain hares are native to Scotland but can be found elsewhere in the UK as well. In the warmer months, their coat is greyish-brown in colour. During the winter, it turns white, enabling them to blend in with the snow and ice of the Scottish Highlands. They are beautiful creatures and incredibly quick on their feet.
Without question, Cowal and the surrounding region are home to some of the most superb wildlife.
Knockdow House has hundreds of years of history and has been exquisitely preserved to retain to original heritage. While the property is no longer open to the public, there is plenty to see and do in the nearby town of Dunoon, and further afield in Argyll.