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. Kilmun Arboretum

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Dunoon

    Kilmun Aboretum is a woodland circuit which is part of Argyll Forest Park near Dunoon in Argyll.

  2. 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.

  3. Flanders Moss

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Doune

    The UK’s largest raised bog to remain in a near-natural state lies between the villages of Thornhill and Kippen in the Care of Stirling.

  4. Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    East Lochaber

    Creag Meagaidh at 1,128 m high is a Scottish Munro (a mountain over 3,000 ft or 914 m in height).

  5. 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.

  6. The Flows

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Melvich

    The Flows is a peat bog and National Nature Reserve managed by the RSPB.

  7. Highland Wildlife Park

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kincraig

    Experience Scottish wildlife and see endangered animals of the world's mountain and tundra regions in the spectacular setting of the Highland Wildlife Park.

  8. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Lochwinnoch

    Easily access to Great walking country plus wildlife watching of Hen Harriers by CCTV.

  9. Western Isles Wildlife

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    North Uist

    Western Isles Wildlife run specialist trips to see birds, otters, flora or general wildlife excursions throughout Uist and Benbecula on a daily basis. We also provide longer all-inclusive trips throughout the islands

  10. Basking Shark Scotland

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    South Queensferry

    Welcome to Basking Shark Scotland

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