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.

  • Dolphins breach the surface of the water with Codonas Amusement Park in the background
    Dolphins off the coast of Aberdeen - Image © Ian Hay (www.creativewildlife.co.uk)
  • 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. Glen Donich Forest Walk

    Type

    Wildlife & Nature walks

    Gradings

    Lochgoilhead

    Two mile forest walk from the village, with the option of continuing on hill paths to Coilessan Glen or Glen Croe.

  2. 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.

  3. Edinburgh Zoo

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Edinburgh

    EDINBURGH ZOO The wildest visitor attraction in Scotland, this leading Zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and beautiful animals from around the world.

  4. Bankhead Moss

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    The Howe of Fife

    Bankhead Moss is a small raised bog near St Andrews and is one of the last surviving peatlands in the area.

  5. Wild Highland Tours

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Acharacle

    Welcome to Wild Highland Tours

  6. The Mousa Boat

    Type

    Historic Sites

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Welcome to The Mousa Boat

  7. Forvie National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    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.

  8. Gradings

    Aviemore and the Cairngorms

    Wilderness Scotland is a 5 Star, award-winning adventure travel and ecotourism company specialising in walking holidays in the Highlands and Islands.

  9. Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    New Abbey

    Caerlaverock is a National Nature Reserve with great birdwatching and walking opportunities.

  10. Wild Walk Scotland

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Gradings

    Glasgow

    SCENIC SCOTTISH GUIDED MOUNTAIN WALKS SMALL GROUP WALKS - Join a Small Group Walk Easy, Moderate and more Challenging Mountain Walks and Hikes. Transport from Glasgow

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