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. Birsay Moors Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Birsay

    In the summer, hen harriers, short-eared owls and Arctic skuas nest on the moorland of this RSPB nature reserve.

  2. Burg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Mull

    Located on the Isle of Mull, the exposed location of Burg is open to the full force of the Atlantic weather.

  3. Mull Of Galloway Lighthouse

    Type

    Historic Buildings & Homes

    Gradings

    Drummore

    Climb the 114 steps of Scotland’s most southerly lighthouse for some of the best view s in south west Scotland, and explore the lighthouse exhibition.

  4. St Kilda National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Outer Hebrides

    Remote, spectacular, and a designated World Heritage Site, the St Kilda National Nature Reserve archipelago lies 41 miles west of Benbecula.

  5. Grampian & Cairngorms Wildlife Services

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Ellon

    Welcome to Grampian & Cairngorms Wildlife Services.

  6. Spirit of Adventure

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • Awaiting Grading
    Awaiting Grading

    Kyle of Lochalsh

    Join us on a fully guided wildlife adventure , set amongst the most spectacular scenery in Britain. Binoculars provided. Toilets and refreshments available. Sea Eagles, Puffins, Whales, Dolphin and Seals all live and visit our local area.

  7. RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Lochwinnoch

    This wetland reserve is ideal for all the family as the trails, birdwatching hides and visitor centre are all easily accessible.

  8. Noss National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Noss National Nature Reserve is a spectacular island reserve which is home to vast colonies of nesting seabirds.

  9. Gradings

    Ullapool

    Corrieshalloch Gorge and Falls Of Measach are a spectacular mile-long gorge and waterfall.

  10. Donmouth Local Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aberdeen

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

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