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7 wildlife spots

Gannets flying
Gannets flying above St Abb’s Head
Looking for an adventure? Here are 7 great places for spotting wildlife. Join the National Trust for Scotland today and you’ll be able to explore these places and many more.

1. St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve

St Abb’s Headis a coastal haven, home to thousands of seabirds, including guillemots, kittiwakes and razorbills. Head inland to the Mire Loch in search of swans, ducks, damselflies and butterflies, and learn more about the wildlife, geology and history at the Nature Centre.

Seabirds at St Abb’s Head NNR

2. Balmacara Estate

Balmacara is a valuable part of Scotland’s natural heritage and is home to a wide array of wildlife species and charming Highland coos. For a chance to spot seals, seabirds and perhaps otters, whales and dolphins, popular boat trips are available from Kyle of Lochalsh and Plockton.

Highland cows graze on some short grass in front of a white croft house, with a hill behind.
The Highland coos of Balmacara

3. Ben Lomond

Pull on your walking boots and enjoy the spectacular views around Ben Lomond, which include a rich variety of local wildlife: pine martens, ptarmigan, ravens, meadow pipits, adders, common spotted orchids and more.

A meadow pipit at Ben Lomond

4. Inverewe

TheInverewe estate is a species-rich habitat that offers plenty to see. It’s home to Scotland’s ‘Big 5’: red squirrel, red deer, golden eagle, otter and harbour seal. Our wildlife hide provides the perfect vantage point over Loch Ewe, where coastal birds, seals and otters can be seen.

An otter at Inverewe

5. Killiecrankie

Your trip to Killiecrankiestarts at the visitor centre, where you can learn more about the geology, wildlife and history of the area. Be sure to look out for leaping salmon at the falls beneath Soldier’s Leap, and spot the iconic wildlife, including red squirrels, woodpeckers and pine marten.

A red squirrel in Killiecrankie

6. Mar Lodge Estate National Nature Reserve

The breathtaking Mar Lodge Estate is a wonderland for Scottish wildlife. On the moors, red grouse, meadow pipit and skylark are active, while tree creepers, willow warblers, stonechat and great tits are at home in the woods. Fortunate birdwatchers may spot a golden eagle soaring high above. But perhaps the most spectacular display comes in autumn when red deer stags start to rut – their roaring and clashing battles echo across the glens.

A red deer stag at Mar Lodge Estate

7. Staffa National Nature Reserve

The beautiful island of Staffais famous for its wonderful bird life, as well as its iconic hexagonal rock columns. Enjoy a puffin-spotting picnic on the top of the island; see the fulmar, shag and black guillemots nesting here; and keep your eyes open for whales, dolphins or basking sharks!

A puffin on Staffa

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