Finding wildlife in Dundee & Angus

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  • A man uses binoculars to look out over Montrose Basin Visitor Centre
    Montrose Basin Visitor Centre

From the inspiring landscapes of the Angus Glens to the region’s glorious coastline, Dundee & Angus provides shelter to some of Scotland’s most important native and migrant species. Visit nature reserves or any of the region's various trails and hides to spot a range of spectacular wildlife including ospreys, pink-footed geese and rare red squirrels, as well as dolphins and seals.

With such a diverse number of habitats and landscapes, it is little wonder that a broad range of species make Dundee & Angus their home, both those native to Scotland and those that migrate. Visitors can expect to experience some wonderful wildlife sightings all year round across the region.

Seabirds, waders and migrant species

The best chance to spot some of the region’s abundant birdlife is by visiting a nature reserve, and one of the most rated is the Montrose Basin Visitor Centre. A tidal basin of fresh, brackish and salt water with mud and salt marshes, the reserve is an important spot for seabirds, waders and migrant birds to breed, feed and roost.

Just offshore at picturesque St Cyrus, a few miles noth of Montrose, little terns congregate in summer as do massive flocks of eider duck during winter.

Also on the Angus coast, you'll find a fascinating array of birds, animals and plants along the Seaton Cliffs Nature Trail, Arbroath, which is part of the Angus Coastal Trail. Fulmars, puffins, eider and Actic skuas can all be found here at different times of the year.

Raptors

Further inland, the Loch of Kinnordy RSPB Reserve and the Loch of Lintrathen National Nature Reserve near Kirriemuir are tranquil wetlands with hides to get close enough to see otters, wildfowl and woodpeckers, and if you're really fortunate, ospreys fishing on the lochs.

The Corrie Fee National Nature Reserve, a harsh, rocky mountain environment set in the spectacular Angus Glens, provides a dramatic backdrop to red deers rutting in autumn or catching sight of birds of prey, such as peregrines and buzzards, in the summer.

The RSPB has also run the successful East of Scotland Sea Eagles project which saw the reintroduction of 86 birds to the region over the past three decades. Each bird is micro-chipped so that their progress and development can be monitored. Look out for its long yellow beak and distinctive black, brown, white and grey colouring.

Sealife

Carrying more water than the Thames and Severn rivers combined, the Tay attracts a healthy population of bottlenose dolphins. As well as watching for the dolphins leaping and diving quite close to the shore, look out for the seals and seabirds. Seals are often spotted basking on the sand banks under the Tay Bridge.

You can also look out for sealife around the coast of Angus. Bottlenose dolphins have recently been sighted around the coast at Montrose, but you may also be able to see grey and harbour seals, puffins, fulmars, porpoises and minke whales. Take a look at Marine Life Angus, where you can find the best spots around the coast to see wildlife, and even report your own sighting if you do catch a glimpse of any Angus sealife.

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