Scotland's Big 5 - Discover Scotland's Wildlife

Scotland's Big 5 - Discover Scotland's Wildlife

Scotland's Big 5

2013 was Visit Scotalnd's year of nature in conjunction with SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage). To promote the year of nature the advertising campaign Scotland's Big 5 was developed.

The Big 5 are Scotland's most amazing animals - who are they

The Whiskered Diver - AKA- The Otter (do Bhran)
The Roaring Monarch - AKA - The Red Deer (fiadh ruadh)
The High Flyer - AKA - The Golden Eagle (iolair bhuidhe)
The Tufted Acrobat - AKA - The Red Squirrel (feorag ruadh)
The Curious Seadog - AKA - The Harbour Seal (ron calaidh)

On the SNH website it shows you were in Scotland you can see the BIG 5 plus gives a great PDF fact information brochure on each of the above. What it does not tell you are there are very few places that can boast to being able to see all 5. However within the small radius of Ardnamurchan and Moidart, this is possible. If you need a helping hand there are local activity companies like Loch Shiel Cruises or Ardnamurchan Charters who specialise in wildlife safaris on Loch Shiel or Loch Sunart.

Where as well as the chance of Eagles both golden and white tailed on Loch Shiel you may see Peregrine, Sparrow Hawk, Kestrel, Osprey and Hen Harrier, aswell as Black and Red throated Divers. Ducks on the Loch are Red- breasted Merganser, Mallard, Goldeneye and Tufted. Plus Red Deer on the hills and glens that surround the Loch . On Loch Sunart there is the chance of Eagles both golden and white tailed, otters, seals plus many other birds. If you take the day trip pass the Ardnamurchan point out to Small Isles or Cairns of Coll there is the opportunity to see Minke whales and Basking Sharks - at the right time of year.

Or take a drive out to Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide on the edge of Loch Sunart 5 miles west of Strontian. Looking out to Garbh Eilean (rough island) and the smaller island Eilean a Chuilinn - home to a heronry you will hopefully see Heron's and common seals. If in luck you may see a rarer and less frequent visitor, in an eagle (both golden and white tail have been seen from here) or a otter. There is a whiteboard for visitor sightings to be listed. See for more details.

For the less active wildlife watcher, sometime all you need to do is sit in the comfort of Garmoran Square and enjoy the wildlife through the amazing floor to ceiling windows. With the occasional red squirrel coming in for some nuts, the Red Deer in the field in front, buzzards flying over, geese and curlew in the moss to the front of Garmoran, and the cheeky pinemartin, who have been known to come in and eat all the spring bulbs!

For 2014 the year of Homecoming - we hope to welcome the BIG 5 and all their friends back.

Please always remember to watch wildlife responsibly -

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