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. Loch Leven RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kinross

    Loch Leven RSPB is part of Loch Leven National Nature Reserve. The loch is famous for its connections to Mary Queen of Scots and as Scotland’s largest lowland freshwater loch.

  2. Loch Leven Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Kinross

    Loch Leven National Nature Reserve features a large expanse of open water which is the ideal home for a variety of birds.

  3. Hebrides Cruises

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Oban

    Welcome to Hebrides Cruises

  4. Great Orkney Tours

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    Tankerness

    You want to see Orkney but don’t want to be lost in a crowd of other tourists: then a personal tour is just what you’re looking for

  5. Deeside Safaris

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Logie Coldstone

    This family-run provider with many years of experience offers guided hiking and walking holidays in Scotland and specializes in outdoor activities.

  6. Donmouth Local Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aberdeen

    Donmouth Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is a beach site found in Old Aberdeen.

  7. Craigellachie National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aviemore

    Craigellachie is a National Nature Reserve near Aviemore.

  8. Rum

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Fort William & Lochaber

    Rum is an island of rugged mountains setting a dramatic stage for spectacular wildlife and archaeology.

  9. Shian Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    East Lochaber

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

  10. Ecoventures

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Cromarty

    Experience the thrill aboard high speed, offshore RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) and share firsthand the unique scenery, wildlife and history of the Moray Firth.

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