Both Cairngorms National Park and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs offer fantastic opportunities to witness Scotland’s wildlife.
Red Deer herds can often be found on the slopes of Ben Vorlich within the northern end of Loch Lomond. Up in the Cairngorms the red deer herds roam extensively across higher moorland. Smaller Roe deer can also be spotted here and on lower hills all year round.
Golden Eagles are rare with just a few breeding pairs but can be spotted amongst the crags and higher peaks around Loch Lomond. In the Cairngorms, Golden Eagle numbers are on the rise and one of 8 Special Protection Areas in the UK is now in place within the national park.
Osprey migrate each year from Africa back to the UK to breed, usually returning to the same nests! A few pairs return to one of the islands in the middle of Loch Lomond. Visit the Lodge Forest Visitor centre in Aberfoyle to see live camera feeds and a nearby hide to view the nests. Loch Garten Osprey Centre in the Cairngorms has been home to returning Ospreys since 1959 and also offers live nest cams. The Rothiemurchus estate also offers Osprey spotting hides. If you re willing to head there in the early morning you can often see them fishing.
Osprey fishing in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Spotted in the Rothiemurchus estate.
Reindeer might not be the first creature that springs to mind in Scotland. However, a free-roaming reindeer herd 150 strong have been living in the Cairngorms since 1952. Strangely enough you can also visit the tiny island of Inchconnachan in the middle of Loch Lomond to find wallabies. These marsupials were brought to the island by its owner, Lady Colquhoun in the 1940s.
Red Squirrels, one of Scotland’s most popular animals, can be spotted throughout the Cairngorms. Invasive grey Squirrels (which have been reducing native red numbers) have not made it north into the Scottish Highlands. So you can expect to see a mixture of grey and red squirrels in the southern half of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs national park.