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. Copinsay Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Orkney

    The RSPB nature reserve of Copinsay has a vast seabird colony that includes guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins and razorbills.

  2. Gradings

    Dunvegan

    Take an exhilarating 25 minute boat trip to see the seal colony and observe these playful sea mammals at close quarters.

  3. Gradings

    Pitlochry

    Get off the beaten track and explore the brethtaking scenery of Atholl Estates on a 4x4 tour.

  4. Unicorn Tours

    Type

    Tour Operators

    Gradings

    Alloa

    50+ spectacular personalised, flexible small group adventure tours & routes all over Scotland, including off-the beaten track to many of the best and most stunning locations. You find our available dates on our website facebook link.

  5. RSPB Scotland Forsinard Flows nature reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area

    RSPB Scotland nature reserve at Forsinard in the Flow Country ~ wildlife trails and guided walks with birds, animals and flowers in these extensive peatlands.

  6. Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks, Zoos & Farms

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Stirling

    Set in 120 acres of beautiful woodland, Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park offers one of the best value family days out and is currently the only place in Scotland to see elephants and giraffes. A fun filled day for all ages.

  7. Brightwater Scotland

    Type

    Tour Operators

    Gradings

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Brightwater Scotland presents a collection of quality holidays that celebrate the very best that Scotland has to offer. The wonderful islands that lie off our coast feature strongly, as well as garden holidays and special interest tours.

  8. Glen Donich Forest Walk

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Lochgoilhead

    Two mile forest walk from the village, with the option of continuing on hill paths to Coilessan Glen or Glen Croe.

  9. Forvie National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Ellon

    The beauty of the sand dunes at Forvie National Nature Reserve (NNR) is complemented by the call of eider ducks, wafting across the Ythan estuary.

  10. Dolphin Space Programme

    Type

    Coach Tour

    Gradings

    Moray Firth

    Hoping to see the famous Moray Firth dolphins or other marine wildlife like seals, porpoises, whales and seabirds? Look no further.

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