Hogganfield Park is just two miles from the centre
of Glasgow, and is close to one of Scotland's biggest housing estates.
seems an unlikely setting to find interesting nature but this is one of the best
urban wildlife spots in the country.
Park - mecca for winter birds and mammals|
was once a conventional city park with tea rooms, a pitch and putt and a boating
But in the last 15 years the park has been transformed into a nature
reserve and now it's teeming with great things to see from the run of the mill
to some real exotica.
Today Hogganfield is Glasgow's most important location
for migrant and wintering waterbirds.
One of the main attractions of the park is Hogganfield
Loch which is excellent for bird watching.
A wide range of birds visit
the loch, and more than 100 different species have been recorded at the site.
a great place for bird watching in winter because
most of the birds are used
to the presence of people so you can see them at close quarters.
and you'll see some interesting birds including Goldeneye, with a bright yellow
eye and distinctive white patch on its cheek, Whooper Swans from Iceland, Tufted
Duck and Teal.
Dozens of people come to Hogganfield to feed the ducks on
the loch that was once a boating lake.
It's also the winter home of one
of our most elegant wildfowl - the Goosander.
The male birds are white with
greenish-black heads and striking red beaks whilst the females are mainly grey
with a brown neck and head.
Goosander means 'diving goose' which is a bit
confusing because these birds are members of the Sawbill family and are actually
These are not the kind of bird you'd normally find in a city park
- generally they're found on upland rivers and large lakes, especially in the
North of England, Scotland and Wales.
But in winter they prefer a bit of
shelter as well as a nature haven with plentiful food.
is a hotspot for feeding ducks, small fish come to feed on the scraps - and the
Goosanders in tum feast on the fish.
Visitors to the park can see the Goosanders
preening themselves to keep their waterproof coat in top condition before diving
down for a couple of minutes to find food.
winter the park is also home to a very elusive little bird - the Jack Snipe which
lives away from the main trawl.
Ninety per cent of the UK's birds are found
in Scotland - and Hogganfield Park in the centre of Glasgow is a real hotspot
The Jack Snipe prides itself on being a master of camouflage
- these secretive birds are perfectly suited to life in the park's marsh areas.
hunker down in the grass and are so well disguised and confident in their abilities
to deceive passers-by that you can almost stand on them before they'll fly off.
meadows and damp areas in grazed fields are perfect Jack Snipe territory.
are birds that you are normally associated with the wastelands of Scandinavia
and Russia, so it's a real thrill to see them in a city centre park in Glasgow.
whole of Hogganfield Park has been turned over to wildlife and there is a range
of habitats including grasslands which boast 100 flowering species in the summer.
woodlands are full of native Scottish trees including Oak trees which support
a vast array of insect species.
In complete contrast visitors can also explore
the park's marsh and shallow pond areas which are home to numerous Frogs and Dragonflies.
woodlands and marshes both support populations of Skylark and Water Voles.