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.

  • 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. Dawn Star Boat Trips

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Kirkwall

  2. Galloway Kite Trail

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    The trail is a great way to explore scenic, inner Galloway while looking for the spectacular red kite, a bird of prey reintroduced here since 2001. A 24 mile circular road trip, open all year round (plus 14 mile summer trail in Galloway Forest Park).

  3. Carstramon Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Gatehouse-of-Fleet

    This ancient deciduous woodland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a treasure trove of natural wonders.

  4. Cumbernauld Glen

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cumbernauld

    This reserve’s ancient woodland is a haven for wildlife and, in early summer, there are vast carpets of bluebells.

  5. Birsay Moors Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Birsay

    In the summer, hen harriers, short-eared owls and Arctic skuas nest on the moorland of this RSPB nature reserve.

  6. Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Innerleithen

    Visit Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve for fantastic walking and wildlife spotting opportunities.

  7. Gradings

    Ullapool

    Corrieshalloch Gorge and Falls Of Measach are a spectacular mile-long gorge and waterfall.

  8. British School Of Falconry At Gleneagles

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Auchterarder

    Originally opened in 1982 as the first dedicated falconry school in the world, the facility is now based at Gleneagles in Perthshire.

  9. World Horse Welfare's Belwade Farm

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kincardine O'Neil

    Join one of our guided tours and learn all about World Horse Welfare's work at Belwade Farm.

  10. Gradings

    Orkney

    Orkney Aspects' tours are different to those offered by many other companies, as each tour is planned around what you wish to experience in Orkney.

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