Scottish Field’s guide to the best places to enjoy the best of the country’s wildlife continues.
We bring you 10 more places to go and see some of the fantastic creatures we have – at land, at sea and in the air – and where we recommend to see them.
31. Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick – Gannet
Get up close and personal with seabird colonies in the Firth of Forth without ever getting your feet wet. The high-definition cameras in the seabird centre offer stunning views of the gannets on Bass Rock, the puffins on the Isle of May and scores of other seabird species on the islands of the Forth.
32. Pressmennan Wood, East Lothian – Little Grebe
Little grebes – or dabchicks – are really cute water birds that dive down below the surface of lochs in search of food. Pressmennan has a circular wooded walk for stretching your legs and a treasure hunt fo
33. Storehouse of Foulis, Ross-shire – Harbour Seal
At low tide, watch the seals haul themselves out of the Cromarty Firth. Then head for the Storehouse for amazing soup and scones.
34. Birnie and Gaddon Lochs, Fife – Tree Creeper
Birnie and Gaddon used to be sand and gravel pits but have since been flooded and turned into local nature reserves, cared for by Fife Council’s former rangers service the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust. As well as ducks and geese on the water, tree creepers skulk up and down the trees in the surrounding woodland.
35. Poolewe, Wester Ross – Heron
Herons can be spotted on many stretches of coastline or along rivers and lochs, but Poolewe has such a special view over Loch Ewe. With their long legs and necks, these prehistoric looking birds couldn’t be mistaken for anything else.
36. Rum, Inner Hebrides – Red deer
The island of Rum has been home to a project to monitor red deer since 1953. The work was made famous after featuring on the BBC’s Springwatch programmes. Seeing red deer on a beach instead of a hillside takes some getting used to.
37. Highland Safaris, Aberfeldy – Black Grouse
Donald Riddell and his team at Highland Safaris are based at Dull near Aberfeldy and offer superb Land Rover tours of the surrounding countryside. One of the highlights is a dawn safari, which takes guests up into the hills to see black grouse lekking. A lek is when the male birds come together to show off their feathers and fight over the females.
38. Loch Leven, Kinross-shire – Whooper Swan
Once called Vane Farm, this RSPB reserve is now part of the wider Loch Leven National Nature Reserve. The views of the ducks and geese on the lochs are fantastic, and in winter the reserve plays host to about 6% of Scotland’s whooper swans. The scones in the visitor centre are delicious too.
39. Broughty Castle, Dundee – Harbour Porpoise
An impressive backdrop for an impressive sight as you watch porpoises jumping up into the bow wave in front of ships entering and leaving the Firth of Tay. If the castle is open then head up onto the grass ramparts for the best view, or stand on the quayside beyond the castle walls.
40. Caerlaverock Wetland Centre, Dumfriesshire – Natterjack Toad
A 1,400 acre wild reserve on the north Solway coast. The centre is famous for its great flocks ov over-wintering geese and swans. It is also home to ospreys, barn owls, bats, badgers and the rare natterjack toad. This reserve is at the northwest edge of the toad’s European range and is one of the very few places that this endangered toad can be seen in Scotland.