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. RSPB Ken-Dee Marshes

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    A peaceful site with plenty to see at any time of year and a real treat for nature lovers.Look out for rare Greenland white-fronted geese in winter or take a stroll to our hides for a close hand views of red squirrels, ducks and other birds.

  2. Clyde Valley Woodlands

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Carluke

    Clyde Valley Woodlands is a National Nature Reserve composed of six separate sites, each unique and together representing the finest examples of ancient woodland in this area.

  3. Pease Dean

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cockburnspath

    This nature reserve is one of the few areas where native woodland can be found. It comprises of two parts, Pease Burn and Tower Burn.

  4. Appin Boat Tours

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Bathgate

    Welcome to Appin Boat Tours

  5. Gradings

    Anstruther

    Welcome to Isle of May Boat Trips a thrilling fast boat excursion to and around the Isle Of May at the mouth of the Firth of Forth to view stunning scenery, seals, seabirds (including the puffins) and dolphins if we are lucky.

  6. 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

  7. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    North Ronaldsay

    Welcome to North Ronaldsay Lighthouse and Visitor Centre - the oldest intact lighthouse in Scotland.

  8. 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).

  9. Shetland Wildlife

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Founded in 1993, we are the No.1 choice for birding, mammal, botanical, photographic & walking holidays in Shetland. Choose from over 40 wildlife-filled holidays. Day tours plus bespoke packages also arranged.

  10. Gradings

    Glasgow City Centre

    McKinlay Kidd offers award-winning, tailor-made holidays and short breaks across Scotland.

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