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 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.

  2. Gradings

    • Awaiting Grading
    Awaiting Grading

    Lewis

    Welcome to Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (The Galson Estate Trust)

  3. Craigellachie National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aviemore

    Craigellachie is a National Nature Reserve near Aviemore.

  4. Loch a’ Mhuilinn

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area

    The most northern remnant of native oak woodland in Britain survives on this reserve.

  5. Brodgar Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Harray

    This RSPB nature reserve beside the iconic Ring of Brodgar draws curlews, lapwings, redshanks, oystercatchers and various other birdlife.

  6. Cottascarth & Rendall Moss Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Rendall

    Welcome to Cottascarth & Rendall Moss Nature Reserve.

  7. Skye Guides Ltd

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Cuillins & central Skye

    Expert local guiding and instruction is available for all mountaineering pursuits: Skye scrambles, Skye Munros, Cuillin Ridge Traverse, Rock Climbing, Scrambling, Abseiling, Ice climbing, Alpine training courses. All safety equipment is provided.

  8. RSPB Loch Gruinart Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Bridgend

    Loch Gruinart Reserve and Visitor Centre is open all year round with beautiful trails and hides. Guided walks Apr-Oct. See website for details of our events. Great for corncrake, chough, deer, breeding waders, & wintering geese

  9. Contours Walking Holidays

    Type

    Hiking Tour

    Gradings

    Scotland

    Self-guided walking holidays and short breaks throughout Scotland.

  10. Bird of Prey Trail

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    The Trossachs

    Covering several top wildlife watching areas, the Bird of Prey Trail in the Trossachs is a great destination for wildlife watching and outdoor pursuits.

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