Geese in the lake at Bainland

What wildlife can you see?

Our 45-acre estate on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds is home to an abundance of wildlife and we are keen to share our passion for protecting their environment with our guests. Our wildlife visitors include more than 8 different species of birds, up to 10 types of mammals and a plethora of insects and invertebrates too. We know that encountering any critter in their natural habitat is an incredibly exciting experience, and that is why we make it such a big part of our life at Bainland.

Our duty of care includes working with local Lincolnshire wildlife experts on habitat management and protection – as well as ensuring our guests enjoy safely spotting our discreet and not so discreet visitors and residents!

So whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or just keen to see what you can spot, here is a list of our common and uncommon creatures to look out for during your stay at Bainland Lodge Retreats, and some fun facts to enjoy along the way.

Nocturnal and quite shy, Lincolnshire has a very strong population of badgers. They have impressive hearing and sense of smell so they might be tricky to spot – but their famed black and white stripes are a delight to see once you do. They can sometimes be seen criss-crossing our pathways after dark.

Fun fact: Badgers are the UK’s largest land carnivore!

Some areas of Bainland have been intentionally constructed with bats in mind – with roosting slats built into the walls of some of the buildings. See if you can spot these special ‘bat hotels’. Bats especially love Bainland as we are surrounded by established woodland which is a great source of food given the numbers of insects there. Generally quite easy to see at dusk, bats have adapted to living alongside humans for a while and are harmless (but like most wildlife, prefer to avoid us!).

Fun fact: Bats are the only true flying mammals in the world and can fly at speeds of 60 miles per hour (or even more)!

A rare treat, the cuckoo arrives in the UK from April onwards and leaves by late June. They offer the ultimate sound of spring with their distinctive ‘cuck-oo’ call that gives this bird its common name. You are more likely to hear them than see them but you can look out for their distinctive pointed wings and graduated tail. Luckily, Bainland is treated to the sound of the cuckoo bird every year – so listen carefully and you are almost certain to hear one or more during your stay.

Fun fact: Cuckoos do not raise their own young, instead they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds tricking them into thinking the cuckoo chick is their own!

We are lucky enough to have Roe, Muntjac, Fallow, Sika, Chinese Water and even Red Deer in Lincolnshire. These shy and beautiful creatures are amongst our favourite to spot. They are mainly nocturnal but with peaks of activity in the morning or at dusk. Our guests often see them at the edge of their gardens.

Fun fact: Male deer (Bucks) grow antlers every year which fall off in the winter and female deer (Does) cannot grow antlers!

Bainland offers the perfect nesting area for ducks, what with the abundance of vegetation and healthy waterside areas dotted around the site. There are a host of species of ducks to look out for and we they often have ducklings too. Just remember that while ducks are very serene, they can spook easily so be sure to admire from afar and not make any loud noises.

Fun fact: Female ducks pick their favourite male ducks to mate with based on dancing ability!

‘Rural’ foxes tend to be healthier than their town cousins and they are often welcome visitors because they help to control vermin. They can be seen all year round but usually you will hear them in winter yapping in the middle of the night. Don’t be alarmed though – they seldom cause any problems.

Fun fact: Foxes are a member of the dog family and a male fox is called a Dog, while the female is called a Vixen!

A firm favourite of our guests are the famous Canada & Greylag Geese, and their goslings. Lucky for us we have just about the right numbers of these distinctive birds with their black head and white throat patch that they still give our guests a thrill. So much so that we have created our very own Canada Goose soft-toy mascot! Bertie the Bainland Goose can be purchased from our onsite farm shop, The Stores.

Fun fact: Geese are extremely loyal and mourn if they lose a mating partner or their eggs!

Green Woodpeckers
Quite vocal and one of the largest of the three woodpecker breeds in the UK, they can often be seen in the grassy areas of Bainland searching for ants. You may also hear the tapping of the Greater and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers too!

Fun fact: Compared to other woodpeckers, green woodpeckers don’t actually peck that much wood and have relatively weak beaks – which is why they’re usually in the grass!

Although rare, we do have our share of these unique mammals at Bainland. They typically emerge from hibernation in April and are active until about October but can also be seen

outside of these months too. These nocturnal mammals can often be observed after dark hunting for worms or ground insects.

Fun fact: Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant!

Incredible stealthy and nocturnal creatures, you will hear tawney and long eared owls, as well as spotting some barn and little owls. The best time to see them is at dawn or dusk – so keep an eye and ear out!

Fun fact: Owls have three eyelids – one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy!

Young rabbits are in abundance at Bainland and are active in most areas digging up the mole hills – much to the dismay of the ground care team! These familiar furry friends often nibble at shrubs or trees, but the foxes and badgers help to keep their numbers in check, so they don’t end up becoming a destructive pest.

Fun fact: Rabbits purr like cats when they’re content and relaxed!

Red Kite
Thanks to the Red Kite programme at Harewood House in Yorkshire, these wonderful rare birds can now be seen at Bainland. We even have a few nesting here. Red Kites are large birds with forked tails often found overhead in pairs and multiples.

Fun fact: Red Kites only weigh around 1kg and have a wingspan of up to 170cm!

Slow Worms
Shy and rare, slow worms (legless lizards) are one of our favourite invertebrates. Due to Woodhall Spa’s sandy soil, we are lucky enough to have quite a few and you can generally find them under old fallen trees or garden waste. They are a great species to go on the search for!

Fun fact: Slow worms can eat up to 20 slugs in just a couple of minutes!

Completely harmless and quite rare, grass snakes and adders can sometimes be found at Bainland in the green. If you do come across one, they tend to avoid humans and if left alone, prefer to go somewhere quieter. With that being said, make sure to still keep an eye out for these unique serpents.

Fun fact: Grass snakes are the UK’s only egg-laying snake, and the adder is the smallest snake species found in the UK!

Swallows, Swifts, and Martins
Be sure to look up and try to spot some of the beautiful silhouettes darting and diving throughout the sky – and hopefully spot some Sand Martins too. Swallows, Swifts, and Martin numbers tend to increase as Spring becomes Summer.

Fun fact: Unlike swallows and martins, swifts are almost never seen perching and spend majority of their lives flying (even when they sleep, eat, and drink)!

If you have a keen eyesight and sit quietly, these discreet, brown coloured birds can often be spotted clinging closely to the trunks of trees around Bainland in search for their next meal (insects). They have a long-curved beak and are slightly slimmer than the sparrow.

Fun fact: Treecreepers are also called a tree mouse due to the way they creep up trees in a mouse-like manner!

There’s plenty more wildlife to look out for at Bainland including Mink, Stoat, Weasel, and Voles, which aren’t as common, but do pay us a visit occasionally.

How to interact with Bainland’s wildlife responsibly

As exciting as it is coming across these incredible creatures, we ask guests not to feed any of the wildlife because human food can sometimes be dangerous to them, making them ill or malnourished, or sometimes even make them aggressive (and keep coming back for more!). Don’t worry, Bainland has an abundant supply of natural food with all essential nutrients to keep the wildlife healthy all year round.

Please also mind your food and be sure to dispose of any scraps properly – make sure you don’t leave any bread, biscuits, crumbs or any other open food laying around as this can encourage vermin.

In the unlikely event that wildlife or bigger animals approach you of their own free will, please don’t try and touch them. Instead, stay calm and don’t make any loud noises to frighten them. They’re just as curious about you as you are about them.

We would love to know what you have spotted during your stay at Bainland Lodge Retreats. Do share your photos with us and make sure to let us know if you see any unusual critters not on this list![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_wp_posts number=”6″ show_date=”1″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”cs-21″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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