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. 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.

  2. Gradings

    Banff

    This five miles long walk stretches from the Whitehills Harbour to Banff Harbour and follows a lovely coastal path renowned for its seabirds and seals.

  3. Velvet Hall Alpacas

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Activity Centre
    3 Activity Centre

    Innerleithen

    Welcome to Velvet Hall Alpacas

  4. Gradings

    Glasgow City Centre

    McKinlay Kidd offers award-winning, tailor-made holidays and short breaks across Scotland.

  5. Mill Dam Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shapinsay

    Welcome to Mill Dam Nature Reserve.

  6. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Lochwinnoch

    Easily access to Great walking country plus wildlife watching of Hen Harriers by CCTV.

  7. Seadrift Centre

    Type

    Exhibitions

    Gradings

    Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area

    Nestled on Dunnet Bay, the Seadrift Centre is the perfect place to discover and learn about the local wildlife of the Highlands.

  8. Staffa National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Mull

    Staffa is an island found 10 km west of the Isle of Mull.

  9. Deep Sea World

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    North Queensferry

    Come face to face with one of Europe's largest collections of sharks in one of the world's longest underwater tunnels at Deep Sea World, Scotland's National Aquarium.

  10. Anstruther Pleasure Cruises Ltd

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Anstruther

    Passenger boat trip to the Isle of May

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