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. RSPB Scotland Troup Head nature reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pennan

    This massive landmark of red cliffs rises to 365 ft and is run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

  2. Gradings

    Portree

    Welcome aboard the MV Stardust for an unforgettable experience with our 1-2 hour trips. See Skye from the sea, fabulous views and unbelievable wildlife.

  3. Mountain Freedom

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Cuillins & central Skye

    Welcome to Mountain Freedom. Guided adventure - Walking and hiking for all abilities, wild camping and backpacking trips. photographic, wildlife and historical themed walks. Scrambling and rock climbing. We are based on the Isle of Skye.

  4. Scottish Beaver Trial

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Lochgilphead

    The Scottish Beaver Trial has been responsible for reintroducing beavers 400 years after being hunted to extinction.

  5. St Kilda National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Outer Hebrides

    Remote, spectacular, and a designated World Heritage Site, the St Kilda National Nature Reserve archipelago lies 41 miles west of Benbecula.

  6. Tour Orkney

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Kirkwall

    Welcome to Tour Orkney,operated from Kirkwall, providing archaeological, historical and natural history tours throughout Orkney.

  7. Black Isle Wildlife And Country Park

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks, Zoos & Farms

    Gradings

    • 2 Wildlife Experience
    2 Wildlife Experience

    North Kessock

    Meet the animals at the Black Isle Wildlife and Country Park.

  8. Corrie Fee National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Glen Clova

    This breathtaking landscape is a haven for scarce arctic-alpine plants, birds and animals.

  9. Ardnadam Heritage Trail

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Dunoon

    Excellent walk including a climb to the Dunan viewpoint, approximately 2 miles long.

  10. Scottish Owl Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks, Zoos & Farms

    Gradings

    Whitburn

    Discover one of the largest collections of owls in the world from the giant Siberian Eagle Owl to the tiny Pygmy Owl. With awesome flying displays, a giant chute and an interactive education area, it's a great day out for all the family.

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