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. Skye Serpentarium Reptile World

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Broadford

    Skye Serpentarium Reptile World is an award-winning reptile exhibition and breeding centre.

  2. Gradings

    Orkney

    Orkney Aspects' tours are different to those offered by many other companies, as each tour is planned around what you wish to experience in Orkney.

  3. Tentsmuir Point

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cupar

    This large area of sand dunes and beach at the mouth of the Tay estuary forms an important roosting and feeding area for huge gatherings of seaducks, waders and wildfowl.

  4. Mountains Animal Sanctuary

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Kirriemuir

    Visit the largest re-homing and adoption centre for horses, ponies and donkeys in Scotland, set in beautiful surroundings.

  5. Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Barcaldine

  6. John Muir Trust, Isle Of Skye

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Broadford

    The John Muir Trust’s care for three estates on Skye: Torrin, Strathaird and Sconser.

  7. RSPB Orkney Office

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Stromness

    Welcome to RSPB Orkney Office.

  8. Cragbank Woods

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Hawick

    Cragbank Woods boast a beautiful mix of native trees that cloak the steep gorge slopes.

  9. British School Of Falconry At Gleneagles

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Auchterarder

    Originally opened in 1982 as the first dedicated falconry school in the world, the facility is now based at Gleneagles in Perthshire.

  10. 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.

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