Birdwatching in Fife

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  • Two people photographing the wildlife on the Isle of May
    People admiring the wildlife on the Isle of May
  • People birdwatching on the May Princess around the cliffs of the Isle of May
    Look out for birds on the May Princess as it sails around the cliffs of the Isle of May
  • A duck and four ducklings on the River Leven.
    Duck and four ducklings
  • Swan in flight
    Swan in flight
  • A white-tailed eagle hunting over a loch.
    A white-tailed eagle hunting in the wild

Given its location and its diverse habitats, Fife draws many different species of migratory and resident breeding birds to its shores. In more recent years, impressive sea eagles have been reintroduced to the area 200 years after the last breeding pairs lived in the wild. Perhaps even for that reason alone, Fife is an important region to visit and take up your binoculars.

Seabirds

Lying in the mouth of the Firth of Forth, the Isle of May is a nature reserve of national importance. With a long history coloured with tales of Vikings and smugglers, visitors can charter boats out to the island from Anstruther, from April to September aboard the May Princess, to see the one of the most significant seabird and puffin colonies on the east coast. Gathering on the cliff faces from April to July, the distinctive and comical puffins are joined by thousands of Arctic terns and guillemots.

Wildfowl

Be sure to visit Bankhead Moss which offers a truly unique experience as one of the rarest habitats in Scotland. The bog is home to many rare flowers and the tranquil wet fields, scrapes and pools provide shelter to wading birds.

Nestled at the eastern-most tip of Fife, the small nook of Fife Ness Muir nature reserve is an excellent spot for birdwatching, attracting nearly 150 species of both migratory and breeding birdlife to its scrub and grassland. Trails and strategically placed seating ensures whichever season you visit in, you’ll be sure to enjoy observing without disturbing the birds.

Birds of prey

The region is currently the release site of the East Scotland Sea Eagle project, a partnership between the RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland to reintroduce to the species to the region. The total number of sea eagles released into the wild in Fife thanks to the project has reached 86 and aims to restore substantial numbers of these magnificent raptors to their former haunts in central and eastern Scotland. Keep your eyes peeled near lowland wetlands, firths and Fife’s coastal areas to spot one in flight.

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7 results, currently showing 1 to 7
  1. Anstruther Pleasure Cruises Ltd

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Anstruther

    Passenger boat trip to the Isle of May

  2. Kilminning Coast

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Crail

    Kilminning Coast Wildlife Reserve, near the Fife village of Crail, consists of a strip of coastland that attracts plenty of birdlife.

  3. Isle of May

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Anstruther

    Anchored on the edge of the Firth of Forth, the Isle of May is a magical mix of seabirds, seals and smugglers.

  4. 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.

  5. Bankhead Moss

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    The Howe of Fife

    Bankhead Moss is a small raised bog near St Andrews and is one of the last surviving peatlands in the area.

  6. Dumbarnie Links

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Elie

    Dumbarnie Links Reserve is an area of dune grassland in the centre of Largo Bay on the south coast of Fife.

  7. Fleecefaulds Meadow

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cupar

    Fleecefaulds Meadow Wildlife Reserve is an area of flower-rich grassland, rich fen and lowland scrub near the village of Ceres.

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