More and more visitors to Scotland come to see our wildlife as well as scenery.
Gannets sizzle into the water near the Bass Rock east of Edinburgh. Ospreys catch fish and nest at Loch Garten and at the Loch of the Lowes .White tailed eagles are on the Isle of Mull and a visit can be combined with a trip to Columba’s Iona abbey. Other raptors are the Golden Eagle, Red kite, and the peregrine falcon.
Capercailzie and blackcock are two fascinating species, sadly reducing in numbers.
Huge flocks of geese winter in the Western Islands, in the South West and on the east coast. Many many species of seabirds breed round the coast of the mainland as well as on the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.
Whales, Porpoises and Dolphins cruise around our coastline.
At Vane Farm, beside Loch Leven, 40 minutes from Edinburgh, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a major reserve with excellent viewing facilities. There are hides near the Loch and the smaller water areas to see the vast numbers of geese, ducks, waders etc. Back at the base, there is a viewing area with binoculars and telescopes and snack meals are available.
The Bass Rock, quite near to Edinburgh is a major nesting site for Gannets and in North Berwick TV facilities allow viewing on the rock itself (and it is exciting to see them dive into the sea at high speed.
At North Berwick there is a sea bird centre overlooking the beach and with remote controlled cameras on the Bass Rock through which you can see Gannets, Puffins, guillemote, razorbills etc.
Ospreys have returned to Scotland and good observation points have been made at Boat of Garten, near Aviemore and at Loch of the Lowes.
The small population of white-tailed eagle in Britain is found only in the highlands and islands of the west of Scotland. Scottish white-tailed eagles prefer sheltered lochs or sea lochs rather than exposed coastal sites.
Badgers, foxes, deer (four types), pine marten, polecat, wildcat, weasel, stoat, hare (mountain and common), otters, red and grey squirrel, hedgehogs and many species of mice and voles.