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.

  • Dolphins breach the surface of the water with Codonas Amusement Park in the background
    Dolphins off the coast of Aberdeen - Image © Ian Hay (www.creativewildlife.co.uk)
  • 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. Scottish Wildlife Trust Headquarters

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Manages over 125 Wildlife reserves throughout Scotland.

  2. Calum's Plockton Seal Trips

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Plockton

    Calum Mackenzie and the crew of the 'Sula Mhor' welcome you to Plockton, 'jewel of the Highlands', and home of Scotland's finest seal trips.

  3. Contours Walking Holidays

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Scotland

    Self-guided walking holidays and short breaks throughout Scotland.

  4. The Nadurra Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Acharacle

    The Nàdurra Centre provides an introduction to the natural environment of Ardnamurchan, the most westerly part of the British mainland.

  5. Wild Tours Scotland Limited

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Welcome to Wild Tours Scotland Limited - join us for a tour of the Wilder side of life. Wild Tours Scotland (WTS) is a company focused on the wild aspects of Scotland and run one day wildlife tours. See www.wildtours.org for details.

  6. Ben Mor Coigach

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Achiltibuie

    Ben Mor Coigach is a Scottish Wildlife Trust nature reserve.

  7. Cairnsmore of Fleet

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    Cairnsmore may be one of the wildest places in southwest Scotland but it is surprisingly accessible and is a paradise for walkers.

  8. Gradings

    Galashiels

    Stow of Wedale Geocache trail takes you on a treasure hunt around this small village in the heart of the Scottish Borders. Explore the village and uncover all the hidden stories and remember to claim your prize. Fun for all ages.

  9. Loch Druidibeg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Lochmaddy

    Uncover stunning scenery and wonderful wildlife at Loch Druidibeg, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on South Uist.

  10. St Andrews Aquarium

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    St Andrews

    St Andrews Aquarium is an underwater world of adventure with amphibians, fish and seals alongside reptiles, arachnids, seals, penguins, baby alligators and even meerkats!

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