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. Isle of May

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Anstruther

    Anchored on the edge of the Firth of Forth, the Isle of May is a magical mix of seabirds, seals and smugglers.

  2. Appin Boat Tours

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Bathgate

    Welcome to Appin Boat Tours

  3. Muir Of Dinnet National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Ballater

    Situated on low-lying ground, Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve (NNR) consists of extensive Birchwood, wetlands and heather moor.

  4. C-N-Do Argyll & Stirling

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Stirling

    Independent and guided walking holidays, tours and courses to suit most aspirations from trail walking to mountain bagging.

  5. British School Of Falconry At Gleneagles

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Auchterarder

    Originally opened in 1982 as the first dedicated falconry school in the world, the facility is now based at Gleneagles in Perthshire.

  6. Cree Valley Community Woodlands

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    The Cree Valley Community Woodlands restoration project covers almost 600 hectares in at least ten identifiable areas of woodland across Dumfries & Galloway.

  7. WWT Caerlaverock, The Granary Coffee Shop

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Glencaple

    Welcome to WWT Caerlaverock, The Granary Coffee Shop

  8. Kintail Ranger Service

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Gradings

    Lochalsh area

    The National Trust for Scotland rangers based at Kintail offer guided mountain walks and sea kayaking from their beautiful west coast location in the Highlands.

  9. Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aberdeen

    Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve (LNR) contains extensive areas of gorse scrub, heathland, young coniferous and broadleaved woodland.

  10. Ocean Explorer Centre

    Type

    Marine Life Centres

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Oban

    Welcome to the new Ocean Explorer Centre! Let us take you on a journey of discovery into the sea to explore why author Arthur C Clark once said: 'How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.'

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