Look out for birds on the May Princess as it sails around the cliffs of the Isle of May
Duck and four ducklings
Swan in flight
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.
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.
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.