Scotland has majestic glens and waterfalls, award-winning landscapes, cost-free activities, and world-famous tourist destinations, including UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here are our top suggestions for birding locations in Scotland, where you may see both migratory and native birds over glittering lochs, wind-battered cliffs, and lush woodlands.
1. Gretna Green
Gretna Green is a community located around 90 miles south of Glasgow in the Dumfries and Galloway county region. A phenomenon known as the “Starling murmuration” occurs around night, drawing hundreds of thousands of starlings to the parish.
2. Isle of Rum
The largest of the Small Isles, which are dispersed along the west coast, is Rum. Additionally, it is a Special Protection Area for endangered bird species like kittiwakes, red-throated divers, and merlins. Also, it is the location of Scotland’s reintroduction of white-tailed sea eagles.
3. Sumburgh Head
The southernmost point of the Shetland Mainland is where you can find Sumburgh Head. You can see birds like oystercatchers, house sparrows, wrens, wheatears, and starlings, in addition to puffins and other seabirds.
4. Scottish Seabird Centre
The Scottish Seabird Centre describes itself as “a conservation and education charity with a 5-star visitor centre in the beautiful coastal town of North Berwick.” Puffins, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes, and shags are among the species they offer.
5. Ailsa Craig
The island of Ailsa Craig, often known as “Paddy’s Milestone,” is located around midway between Glasgow and Belfast in the Atlantic. The third-largest Gannet colony in all of Britain is claimed to be there, along with Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Shag, Gulls, Black Guillemot, and Puffin.
6. Scottish Owl Centre
About midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, in Polkemmet Country Park in Whitburn, is where you can find the Scottish Owl Centre. According to Visit Scotland, the “Scottish Owl Centre houses over 100 owls from around the world.”
7. Loch Garten Nature Reserve
This preserve is ancient, wild, and immeasurably special – a place so extraordinary that it can feel like another country. Additionally, they claim that over thirty different kinds of wading birds have been spotted on the property.
8. Cairngorms National Park
The largest national park in the UK is the Cairngorms, which is located close to Aviemore in the Highlands. Grey Herons, Kingfishers, Goldeneyes, Oystercatchers, Slavonian Grebes, and Tufted Ducks are just a few of the stunning birds you can see here.
9. Isle of May
On Scotland’s east coast, at the entrance to the Firth of Forth, is where you may find this national nature reserve. According to the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, the “island supports over 17,000 pairs of Guillemot, 2,700 pairs of Razorbill, and 6500 pairs of Kittiwake.”
Northeastern Scotland’s Kincardineshire is home to the Fowlsheugh coastline nature reserve. For the continued existence of seabird colonies, such as those of guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, etc., the cliffs provide an appropriate habitat.
11. Baron’s Haugh
Motherwell’s Baron’s Haugh Nature Reserve offers breathtaking vistas of the Clyde as well as lovely woodland and grassland ecosystems. Birds, including the Common Kingfisher, Sedge Warbler, Water Rail, Goosander, and Little Grebe, can be found here.