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 Scotland Mersehead nature reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dalbeattie

    Situated on the scenic north shore of the Solway coast, RSPB Scotland Mersehead is an extensive wetland and saltmarsh area and haven for breeding waders, wintering waterfowl and year-round bird and wildlife-watching.

  2. Gradings

    Kippford

    Explore the quiet roads, and beautiful scenery of Scotland in a stylish 1960's convertible!

  3. Shian Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    East Lochaber

    Shian Wood is an ancient semi-natural woodland typical of the Atlantic coast of Scotland

  4. Formartine & Buchan Way

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Fraserburgh

    Designated as one of Scotland’s Great Trail, this popular with walkers and cyclist path is an exciting long-distance route.

  5. Applegarthtown Wildlife Sanctuary

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 2 Wildlife Experience
    2 Wildlife Experience

    Lockerbie

    Applegarthtown, with its wetland habitat, is internationally recognised for its highly successful artificial sand martin nesting banks.

  6. Craigower

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pitlochry

    Craigower is a 4.5 hectare hilltop with open heathland and scattered Scots pines. It is a locally important site for butterflies.

  7. 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.

  8. Corrie Fee National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Glen Clova

    This breathtaking landscape is a haven for scarce arctic-alpine plants, birds and animals.

  9. Isle Of Eigg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Small Isles - Eigg, Rhum, Muck, Canna

    A lush island lying of the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, Eigg is sometimes described as ‘the emerald of the Inner Hebrides’.

  10. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    North Ronaldsay

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

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