The Ultimate Guide To Wildlife Watching In Highland Perthshire


Thousands of wildlife enthusiasts head to Scotland each year for a chance to get up close and personal with an amazing array of wildlife native to the country.

Highland Perthshire in particular is a haven for wildlife and provides great opportunities to see the natural world at its best. It is proud to be home to a range of species including the mountain hare, red deer, golden eagles and red squirrels.

At Highland Safaris our staff have a passion for nature and the outdoors, and we are always more than happy to offer advice on where to spot wildlife and when.

The best time of year for wildlife watching in Highland Perthshire

There is an abundance of wonderful wildlife to spot all year round in Highland Perthshire. Although, spring is when the landscape sees a resurgence with species emerging from their winter hibernation and birds migrating back to the area from warmer climates. Head to Ben Lawers, one of Scotland’s most accessible Munros, on a fresh spring morning for the best opportunity to see the rare black grouse’s famous lekking. This impressive show of courtship by the male birds sees them perform energetic displays in a bid to win a mate and is a must-see for any bird watchers.

Wildlife thrives during the summer months when most species are at peak activity. This is also the best time of year to spot the shy beaver. Spend an evening at the Loch of Lowes where you might just be able to spot these usually nocturnal large rodents swimming and snacking.

The deer rut has become symbolic of autumn in Scotland where males compete to attract a potential mate. Head to Highland Safaris for the Red Deer Encounter where we will welcome you for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up and close to these magnificent animals.

Winter in Highland Perthshire is a magical time of year, although many species will opt to make their way to warmer climates. But, if you make your way to the Atholl Estates you may just be able to spot a ptarmigan showing off its beautiful white winter plumage.

Tips for capturing incredible wildlife photographs in Highland Perthshire

Please always remember to be mindful when taking wildlife photography. The welfare of the animals must take precedence over the shot, and extra care should be taken to ensure that they do not feel threatened.

With that being said, with proper research and planning wildlife photography can be incredibly rewarding and therapeutic.

It’s important to be prepared with a good camera, and don’t underestimate your smartphone! There are many apps available now for amateur photographers to capture that dreamy shot.

Patience is key, and you’ll have to be prepared to wait...and wait. Particularly if there is a specific animal that you’re looking for. Wildlife is unpredictable!

Off the beaten path – hidden wildlife gems in Highland Perthshire

The Loch Leven National Nature Reserve is brimming with wildlife. The largest natural shallow water body in the UK is home to many wonderful species of bird, but is most famous for a particular “pink” visitor. Over 20,000 pink-footed geese fly in from Iceland and Greenland each Autumn to take advantage of our mild winters. Why not join in with the annual “Goose Sunrise” for a chance to see this spectacle for yourself?

Rare and endangered species in Highland Perthshire

Unfortunately, some of Scotland’s endangered species of wildlife are at risk, including the Scottish Wildcat. Numbers have reduced significantly due to loss of habitat and interbreeding with, and the passing of diseases from, feral cats. The largest member of the grouse family, the capercaillie, is also at risk of extinction due to climate change and their natural habitat being greatly reduced.

Kinloch Rannoch and Tummel is home to this elusive feline and huge woodland grouse, where you may be lucky enough to get an incredibly rare sighting.


Highland Safaris & Red Deer Centre

Our Highland Safaris and Red Deer Centre is a must-see attraction when visiting Highland Perthshire. We are proud to be a five-star attraction providing individuals, families and groups a unique and authentic personalised safari experience discovering the local wildlife by land rover, foot, bike or boat.

Our Loch Tay Safaris provide a unique cruise on Perthshire’s largest, and one of Scotland’s deepest, lochs where osprey choose to migrate from Africa in late March in search of clean water and a healthy supply of fish. The vast water network of Loch Tay with its salmon and trout population seems to be the destination of choice for these impressive birds of prey!

As well as seeing the iconic Red Deer on one of our safaris, you can also visit our Red Deer Centre. Come along to learn more about these amazing animals where you can stroke, feed and photograph our tame Red Deer herd up close.

Book your experience with us today and enjoy all the wildlife wonders that Perthshire has to offer.

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