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. Keen Of Hamar

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Resembling a lunar landscape, explore this remarkable nature reserve on Unst, home to some of the rarest plants in Britain.

  2. Hoy Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hoy

    Welcome to Hoy Nature Reserve.

  3. Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Findhorn

    Wild and scenic tours of the Moray Firth coastline and it's abundant wildlife- just bring your sense of adventure!

  4. Macduff Marine Aquarium

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Banff

    On the beautiful Moray Firth coast, this fascinating aquarium features hundreds of local sea creatures from the rocky shores to the kelp reefs and beyond.

  5. Shetland Wildlife

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Founded in 1993, we are the No.1 choice for birding, mammal, botanical, photographic & walking holidays in Shetland. We are also the only award-winning eco-tourism holiday business resident in Shetland. Visit us online at www.shetlandwildlife.co.uk

  6. Cragbank Woods

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hawick

    Cragbank Woods boast a beautiful mix of native trees that cloak the steep gorge slopes.

  7. 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.

  8. Glen Nevis Visitor Centre (ionad Nibheis)

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Fort William

    The Glen Nevis Visitor Centre is situated 1.5 miles along the Glen Nevis road from the Nevis bridge mini-roundabout.

  9. Montrose Basin Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Montrose

    Montrose Basin is the enclosed estuary of the South Esk River. The reserve includes a 4-star visitor centre along with four remote bird hides.

  10. Gradings

    Aviemore and the Cairngorms

    Welcome to Slainte Scotland - Aviemore and the Cairngorms

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