Finding wildlife in Scotland

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Watch this video and see some of Scotland's remarkable wildlife, from timourous red squirrels to playful dolphins.
Great Scottish wildlife

See some of Scotland's remarkable wildlife, from timourous red squirrels to playful dolphins.

  • Dolphins breach the surface of the water with Codonas Amusement Park in the background
    Dolphins off the coast of Aberdeen - Image © Ian Hay (www.creativewildlife.co.uk)
  • A golden eagle.
    A golden eagle
  • Close up shot of puffins on the Pentland Skerries
    Puffins on the Pentland Skerries
  • A close up of a red kite soaring high above Bellymack Hill Farm in Dumfries & Galloway
    A red kite soaring high above Bellymack Hill Farm in Dumfries & Galloway
  • Seals in Loch Flodabay, Isle of Harris
    Seals in Loch Flodabay, Isle of Harris

Whether on a mountain or hill, in a glen, forest or along the shoreline, there’s a wealth of wildlife experiences to be had in Scotland. With such an array of diverse animals, including some of the most rare and endangered species on the British Isles, Scotland promises unforgettable encounters with wildlife.

Scotland’s regions vary greatly and it’s this diversity that attracts many different species to make Scotland their home. Along thousands of miles of coastline, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals and otters in quiet inlets, beaches and sea lochs.

Often spotted off the coast of Scotland’s many islands, orca and minke whales make an appearance in sight of the shore or if not, draw up close next to boats on wildlife cruises.  On just such a cruise, there are few natural sights more impressive than watching tens of thousands of seabirds congregating on sheer sea cliffs from below.

In dense forests, you may have to seek the helping hand of a knowledgeable, professional guide to find elusive mammals like pine martens. Birdlife is truly abundant across the rugged Scottish landscapes from wild fowl in wetland reserves to waders at the coast. In some cases, you'll have to crane your neck skywards to catch a glimpse of some of Scotland's majestic hunters; from ospreys to red kites and golden eagles to sea eagles.

With each new season brings a new incomparable sight, from red deer stags locking antlers in the annual autumnal rut or the arrival of pink-footed geese in the winter, migrating from the colder tundra landscapes of Greenland and Iceland.

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  1. Five Sisters Zoo

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    West Calder

    The role of Five Sisters Zoo is to support the welfare of all our animals and to encourage educational and fun days out for all ages - so for a day out with a difference come along and meet our fascinating collection!

  2. North Hill Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Papa Westray

    Welcome to North Hill Nature Reserve.

  3. Glen Nant

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Taynuilt

    Glen Nant is a nature reserve located 3 miles south of Taynuilt, in Argyll, on the B845.

  4. RSPB Mersehead Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dalbeattie

    Situated on the scenic north shore of the Solway coast, RSPB Mersehead Reserve is an extensive wetland and saltmarsh area and haven for breeding waders, wintering waterfowl and year-round bird and wildlife-watching.

  5. The Mousa Boat

    Type

    Historic Sites

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Welcome to The Mousa Boat

  6. Ocean Explorer Centre

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    Oban

    Welcome to the new Ocean Explorer Centre! Let us take you on a journey of discovery into the sea to explore why author Arthur C Clark once said: 'How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.'

  7. Seaxplore

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Ballachulish

    SeaXplore : Xplore the wonderful Coast and Wildlife of the Highlands.

  8. Seabirds-and-Seals

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Shetland

    Shetland's award winning wildlife adventure cruises around Noss National Nature Reserve and Bressay depart seven days a week from Victoria Pier Slipway, Lerwick at 10am and 2pm.

  9. Mull Wildlife Tours

    Type

    Coach Tour

    Gradings

    Craignure & South Mull

    Come for a great day out with a fully licensed and insured wildlife operator, and joint founder member of The Isle of Mull Bird Club.

  10. West Island Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Bute

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