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. 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.

  3. RSPB Mull of Galloway Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Stranraer

    Find out about the local birds and wildlife at the Mull of Galloway RSPB Reserve which is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

  4. Lochaber Geopark

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Fort William & Lochaber

    Welcome to the Lochaber Geopark, home to some of the most breath-taking and awe-inspiring scenery in the world.

  5. Cree Valley Community Woodlands

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    The Cree Valley Community Woodlands restoration project covers almost 600 hectares in at least ten identifiable areas of woodland across Dumfries & Galloway.

  6. Scottish Beaver Trial

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Lochgilphead

    The Scottish Beaver Trial has been responsible for reintroducing beavers 400 years after being hunted to extinction.

  7. Explorer

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Gardenstown

    Sightseeing trips to RSPB Troup Head Nature Reserve. Fishing trips also available.

  8. Loch Ardinning

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Killearn

    Located a mile from the town of Strathblane in Stirlingshire, Loch Ardinning supports a 142 hectare wildlife reserve.

  9. WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Glencaple

    This spectacular 1,400 acre wild reserve of the Wildlife & Wetlands Trust is situated on the north Solway Coast.

  10. Gight Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pitmedden

    Gight Wood lies on the steep, south facing slopes of the Ythan valley, forming the easternmost part of a series of woodlands and river grasslands.

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