Moidart, Ardnamucrhan and surrounding Lochaber area is one of the most geological and biological diverse regions in Scotland, supporting a rich fauna and flora. The climate here affects not only the habitat but also its residents. All the creatures have to be hardy and resourceful and use every bit of shelter and cover.
Along the rocky shores of Loch Sunart and Loch Moidart provides the idea environment for Otters. The rock pool found on these shores make a great place to explore and find crabs and sea anemone. These waters are also home to the common and grey seal, further out to sea basking sharks, minke whale and orca can be seen. Along with bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise. These Lochs are fed by rivers and burns upland and the salt water from the Atlantic Ocean.
Woodland and sea coast are alive with songbird. In the woodlands redstarts, woodpeckers, wren, willow warblers are few of the birds you might see. Heron’s, Oystercatchers, Curlews and Black – throated divers can often be seen at the water’s edge.
Then there are the raptors, the Golden and Sea Eagles are the ones everyone wants to see. More common is the buzzard that can often be seen sitting on telegraph or fence poles. Ospreys have recently been sighted on Loch Shiel.
A visit to Moidart and Ardnamurchan is not complete without a sighting of the red deer, or the roar of the rut in the autumn months. Other land animals that can be found are wildcats, pine marten, red squirrel, pisistrelle bats and badgers. Plus sheep tend to roam wildly at the side of the road and in certain areas like Kingairloch feral goats can be seen.
Also rich in insect life from the emperor moth, golden ringed dragonflies and chequered skipper butterfly.
The Garbh Eilean wildlife hide at Ardery is a great spot to see seals, nesting seabirds and a heronry and very occasional eagles and otters.
The Big 5
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)
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.
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!