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. Montrose Basin Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Montrose

    Montrose Basin is the enclosed estuary of the South Esk River. The reserve includes a 4-star visitor centre along with four remote bird hides.

  2. RSPB Ken-Dee Marshes

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    A peaceful site with plenty to see at any time of year and a real treat for nature lovers.Look out for rare Greenland white-fronted geese in winter or take a stroll to our hides for a close hand views of red squirrels, ducks and other birds.

  3. Gradings

    Fochabers

    Quarrelwood commands a hilltop position overlooking Elgin, the Moray Firth and the surrounding countryside.

  4. North Hill Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Papa Westray

    Welcome to North Hill Nature Reserve.

  5. Forvie National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Wildlife Experience
    3 Wildlife Experience

    Ellon

    The beauty of the sand dunes at Forvie National Nature Reserve (NNR) is complemented by the call of eider ducks, wafting across the Ythan estuary.

  6. Macduff Marine Aquarium

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Banff

    On the beautiful Moray Firth coast, this fascinating aquarium features hundreds of local sea creatures from the rocky shores to the kelp reefs and beyond.

  7. Basking Shark Scotland

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    South Queensferry

    Welcome to Basking Shark Scotland

  8. Gradings

    Lerwick

    Above water and underwater, get the best of both worlds! Join a Shetlander and a Biologist on a wildlife boat tour around Bressay & Noss to see seals, seabirds, scenery and spectacular underwater sea life. History, culture, geology, nature and more!

  9. Loch Of The Lowes Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dunkeld

    Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve covers 98 hectares near Dunkeld. The star attraction is a pair of breeding ospreys who nest here over the summer.

  10. Islay Sea Adventure

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Islay

    Welcome to Islay Sea Adventure a MUST DO whilst visiting the beautiful Isle of Islay Islay's only boat trips! Book now! Amazing wildlife and fantastic fishing!

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