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. Gradings

    Kirkwall

    Take a tour of Orkney with a specialist qualified Orkney Guide - our members include archaeologists, farmers, folklorists, historians, marine biologists, storytellers, teachers and more. Whatever your interests we have a guide for you!

  2. Canna

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Fort William & Lochaber

    The most westerly of the Small Isles, Canna is 5 miles long and 1.25 miles wide.

  3. C-N-Do Dumfries & Galloway

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Dumfries and Surrounding Area

    Whether it’s sweeping coasts, mighty mountains, rolling hills or magical forests, C-N-Do offer many fine walks and hiking trips in this delightful corner of Scotland.

  4. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Greenock

    Do one of the top 50 walks in Scotland - the circular 11km walk is reasonably level, with panoramic views of the Clyde. Start at Drumfrochar Station and then stop half way at the Visitor Centre for coffee and see the exhibition.

  5. RSPB Wood of Cree Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    For a woodland walk, it's great place to visit. In spring & summer, the wood fills with a carpet of bluebells, other flowers and birdsong while red squirrels are busy in the trees. Visit the otter platform, where you may luckily see one in the river.

  6. Claish Moss Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ardnamurchan

    Claish Moss is one of the best examples in Britain of a raised bog that has evolved over the last 8,000 years.

  7. Bird of Prey Trail

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    The Trossachs

    Covering several top wildlife watching areas, the Bird of Prey Trail in the Trossachs is a great destination for wildlife watching and outdoor pursuits.

  8. Noss National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Noss National Nature Reserve is a spectacular island reserve which is home to vast colonies of nesting seabirds.

  9. John Muir Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Haddington

    The John Muir Way offers 215 km of walking, as well as many opportunities to savour some magnificent views and to see Scotland's natural and cultural heritage.

  10. Gradings

    Fochabers

    Quarrelwood commands a hilltop position overlooking Elgin, the Moray Firth and the surrounding countryside.

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