Where To See Wildlife In Scotland
Published: Mon May 10
From the iconic Highland Cow grazing in the open pastures to the majestic Bottlenose Dolphin playfully swimming up the Moray Firth, the wildlife in Scotland has so much to offer. Explore the rugged Highland terrain and meet the locals along the way as Happy Tours fills you in on where to see wildlife in Scotland.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - City Life Habitat
People often believe that living in a city environment means you lose out on experiencing the joys of Scottish animals and discovering different species of wildlife in Scotland. We are here to tell you that is not the case. While we are familiar with the city’s very own birds of prey like pigeons and seagulls who stalk our sandwiches and the odd fox that parades through the street. Scottish animals come in all shapes and sizes.
Look out for the wide variety of smaller bird species that inhabit your city parks and garden bird baths like the Crested Tit and the Scottish Crossbill. The Crossbill may look like other members of its family, however, it has a distinctive crossover bill and eye-catching red feathers. It is also the only bird species that can be found solely in the UK. While strolling through the park or waiting to board your very own private Highland tour, keep your eyes peeled for this pride of Scottish wildlife.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - Scottish Wildcat
Many people may not realize that their domestic cat could have Scottish Wildcat genes in their DNA. The Scottish Wildcat has distinct grey, black and brown markings which are what we recognize in domestic cats as being a Tabby cat. However, the Scottish Wildcat has white rings and a black tip at the end of their tails and is naturally more muscular than our domestic cats.
Although our beloved Scottish Wildcat is classed as critically endangered due to loss of natural habitat and cross-breeding with domestic cats, they roam the north and east woodlands of the Scottish Highlands. They are incredibly timid and sightings are rare but that is more reason to keep your eyes peeled for these hidden beauties lurking at the edge of the Highland forests.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - The Hills of Scotland
When out in the moorlands, the wildlife in Scotland never fails to amaze. Roe deer and Red deer have lived throughout the hills and glens of Scotland’s natural habitats for around 10,000 years. During the breeding season, there are incredible displays of rutting amongst the stags to assert their dominance.
At Happy Tours, our customer’s safety is a top priority and so we recommend keeping a distance when these displays are happening as the stags may feel threatened. Don’t be worried though, we will always guide you on which marked trails and pathways to take to avoid any potentially dangerous Highland wildlife and still get the most out of your experience. But which wild locals are you just dying to see? Why not check out our tour of the Isle of Skye? We are certain the idyllic mountain scenery will provide you with plenty of animal watching opportunities.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - Beneath the Bushes
Speaking of potentially dangerous Scottish wildlife, you may hear hissing and screeches from within the forest bed. Chances are it will be a Pine Marten or another member of the mustelid family. Though a Pine Marten’s screech may sound threatening please do not be frightened, they are not actually a danger towards humans unless being handled.
A Pine Marten’s natural habitat is in woodland areas and forest beds where they forage on small mammals like voles, mice, and rats. They also enjoy bird eggs and if they are quick enough then they will attempt to catch small birds or rabbits. As an omnivore, they can survive on berries and fruit during the summer and autumn seasons.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - Birds of Prey
Wildlife in Scotland is so versatile that it is not only land animals that are worth discovering. While out exploring all the Scottish Highlands has to offer, look up and see if any birds of prey are out on a hunt. Some of the top predators within the Highland’s wildlife are the Golden Eagle, Osprey, and the Red Kite.
The Golden Eagle is the number one predator of their natural habitat in Scotland. They can be found in grasslands, moors, and the great glens that spread across the north and west of Scotland. Golden Eagles have been known to hunt small deer and other large birds however their main food source is rabbits and hares. Be sure to keep an eye out for these large predators on one of our private tours from Invergordon Port.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - Welcoming Back the Locals
It is thanks to the combined skills of the Scottish RSPB and the Scottish National Heritage that Red Kites are slowly gaining numbers again after becoming almost extinct in the early 19th century. This stunning bird is a native inhabitant of the Scottish Highlands and is proof of the beauty and strength needed to withstand the hardy Highland terrain.
Red Kites are easily distinguished by their tails which fan out into a deep V shape. These birds of prey tend to hunt small mammals such as mice, rabbits, and voles. Since they are scavenger birds they will also feed on leftovers from another predator’s hunt. Red Kites usually nest around Easter time up in the tallest branches and it takes thirty days for their eggs to hatch.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - Scottish Waters
Our landscapes would not be so photo-worthy without our lochs and firths bringing all walks, flippers, and fins of life through them. Scottish waters are bursting with life beneath the surface. Waters like Loch Ness are so desirable that many species of fish like the Atlantic Salmon will swim thousands of miles to lay their eggs in the Loch’s gravel-covered bed. They can be found spawning their eggs during the harsh winter months between November and January. If you fancy looking for the world-famous loch local then get in touch and we can arrange your very own private Highland tour in our luxury 8 seater minibus. Only the best for our Nessie.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - Scotland's Coastlines
If you take a trip in our 8 seater Happy Tours bus, up the coasts of Scotland during the summer months, you may see one of the most popular inhabitants of Scotland welcoming their young. The Grey Seal is adored by many for its loveable facial features and sheer size of blubber that they so delicately drag along the sand.
Much like their cousin the Harbour Seal, many Grey Seals chose the Scottish coastlines to have their pups. These pups are vital to their survival; Grey Seals and their relatives will only have one pup a year. Luckily for visitors to the Scottish Highlands, the Grey Seal trusts us to observe their young (from a distance!) A male seal will not provide parental care for its young but will defend the females and pups from predators and other males, so it’s a good idea to give these marine mammals the space they deserve.
Where To See Wildlife In Scotland - Moray Firth Locals
While you take in the views cascading across the open Scottish waters be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some mischievous locals. Throughout the year there are many sightings of pods of Bottlenose Dolphins that choose the Moray Firth as their stage. These dolphins have been visitors around the Scottish Highlands for decades and enjoy showing their calves off to excited visitors. If you’re up for visiting some of the Highland’s beautiful coastal areas, why not check out our Dunrobin Castle and Glenmorangie distillery tour?
Come Join Us!
Don’t forget to book a tour of these Highland wildlife natural habitats with Happy Tours. We would be thrilled to guide you across our incredible countryside terrain. Hopefully, you will be greeted by many species of wildlife in Scotland when you venture out with us. For booking information please get in touch at email@example.com or give us a call on +44(0)7828 154 683.