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. Loch Of Kinnordy Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Kirriemuir

    This shallow loch is situated in a natural basin surrounded by farmland and attracts all types of wildlife.

  2. 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.

  3. Dumbarnie Links

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Elie

    Dumbarnie Links Reserve is an area of dune grassland in the centre of Largo Bay on the south coast of Fife.

  4. Gradings

    South Mainland

    Welcome to Sumburgh Head Lighthouse Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve

  5. Explore Orkney

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Finstown

    Enjoy the wonders of holidays in Orkney with these all-inclusive structured day trips. Uncover fascinating tombs, learn about the Vikings and explore Neolithic sites.

  6. 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.

  7. Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Buckie

    Gemini Explorer offers boat cruises around the stunning Moray Firth passing the picturesque towns and variety of wildlife.

  8. Westraak Tours

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Westray

    Westraak Tours offer guided tours on the beautiful island of Westray.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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