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. Rouken Glen Park

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Giffnock

    Rouken Glen Park, at 143 acres, is one of the largest parks in Scotland and in the top 10 most visited.

  3. Odin Tours of Orkney

    Type

    Tour Operators

    Gradings

    Stromness

    Welcome to Odin Tours of Orkney

  4. Skyehi Mountain Guiding

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Skye & Lochalsh

    Climb in the foot steps of the early pioneers Collie, Mackenzie, Nicholson and Bell. Step onto the Cioch via Collies route and marvel at the views.

  5. Bennachie Visitor Centre

    Type

    Historic Sites

    Gradings

    Inverurie

    Welcome to the Bennachie Centre, we hope you enjoy your visit. Hear tales of giants, learn more about the forest and the hill or just enjoy a welcome cup of tea.

  6. Go to St Kilda

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • 5 Tour
    5 Tour

    Uig

    Welcome to Go to St Kilda - Day trips to St Kilda from Skye.

  7. Craignish Cruises

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Ardfern

    Craignish Cruises offer guided Corryvreckan Whirlpool, wildlife, and whale watching boat trips on the purpose built 12 meter catamaran Sea Leopard 11

  8. Gordon Grant Marine

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Isle of Iona

  9. Formartine & Buchan Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Fraserburgh

    Designated as one of Scotland’s Great Trail, this popular with walkers and cyclist path is an exciting long-distance route.

  10. Loch Muick Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ballater

    Loch Muick Reserve is located 8 miles south west of Ballater in Aberdeenshire, and is part of the Balmoral Estate.

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