Christmas Critters at the Castle

Stained glass image of St Andrew
St Andrew’s Day
23rd November 2016
Star on stairs at Dunnottar Castle
3 things you may have missed at the Castle
5th January 2017
Show all
Robin at bird feeder in the snow

Dunnottar Castle is lucky to be home to many species of birds, but among the best is the UK’s favourite bird – the robin!

The robin is, for many, a symbol that Christmas is here, and at the moment several pairs can be seen chirping and flitting between trees at the car park and in the Castle itself.   These feathery friends are around all year, but are most visible now when they are defending their Winter territories and hunting for food.

Last year we had a robin in the Castle with an injured foot that we named “Rocky”.  He followed us around the Castle looking for food.  This year there are many of the Christmas critters to try and get photos of.

Robins are often found on Christmas cards and provide a welcome splash of colour on a Winter’s day.  They are naturally inquisitive and will come over to see what you are doing, especially if there could be food in it for them.  When Brian, our maintenance man, is out digging in the earth, they often stand right next to his feet waiting for the worms. If you’re really lucky, they might even feed from your hand!

Robin on the ground amongst grassIn British folklore, robins were held to be a special bird that should never be harmed. It is said that robins got their red breast as it was touched by the blood of Christ as he hung on the Cross.  In Scottish Gaelic, the robin is called the brù-dhearg, which translates to “red belly”.

Why not come to Dunnottar and see how many robins you can find?  Share your photographs with us on our Facebook page – we love to see these cheeky wee chaps! The cheerful birds can be tricky to get a photo of though, always flying away at the last minute – I know from experience!Robin on a log at the Castle

These are a couple of the photos I’ve managed to take – it’d be great to see your photographs too.

Have fun trying to catch them posing!

Jo-Anna Bean