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 Crook of Baldoon Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Wigtown

    One of RSPB's newest reserves, with a superb view accross the Cree Estuary to the Galloway Hills. The return of geese and waders in winter really brings the merse and coast to life. Breeding skylark and lapwing are common in summer.

  2. Glasdrum Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    East Lochaber

    Glasdrum Wood is a wild woodland on the shores of Loch Creran.

  3. Gradings

    Anstruther

    Welcome to Isle of May Boat Trips a thrilling fast boat excursion to and around the Isle Of May at the mouth of the Firth of Forth to view stunning scenery, seals, seabirds (including the puffins) and dolphins if we are lucky.

  4. Abernethy

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Grantown on Spey

    Abernethy Forest is a remnant of the Caledonian Forest in Strathspey.

  5. Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Oban

    Seafari Adventures, Oban's original VisitScotland 4* Wildlife Experience. Visit the Gulf of Corryvreckan (World's Third Largest Whirlpool). Porpoise, Dolphins, Whales, Eagles, Seals, Otter. Full commentary. Also day tours to Colonsay, Iona and Staffa

  6. Wildlfe and Nature @ Castle Kennedy Gardens

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Stranraer

    Castle Kennedy Gardens near Stranraer create the perfect habitat for a fascinating range of species who find perfect sanctuary in the 75 acres of woodland, lochs and gardens

  7. Loch a’ Mhuilinn

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area

    The most northern remnant of native oak woodland in Britain survives on this reserve.

  8. Wild Highland Tours

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Acharacle

    Welcome to Wild Highland Tours

  9. Big Sky Scotland

    Type

    Food & Drink Tour

    Gradings

    Freuchie

    From history tours to playing a round of golf at St Andrews, Big Sky Scotland’s luxury Scottish experiences are built around you.

  10. Rassal Ashwood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Kishorn

    Rassal Ashwood is a woodland which grows on a rare outcrop of limestone in Wester Ross.

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