Birdwatching in Scotland

The topic of birdwatching is a tricky one when talking about Scotland, there is a variety of avifauna across the country and its many islands. However, for the avid ornithologist we would recommend the Highlands as one of the ultimate places to go in the UK. Nowhere else can offer the diversity of osprey, capercaillie, red and black grouse, slavonian grebe and crossbill – just to name a few!

If it is the Puffins you would like to spot, then a visit to the Orkney Islands will be in order. The term ‘Tammie Norrie’ is the affectionate Orcadian name for these lovable creatures, who come to the Orkney Islands every year between May and July in numbers reaching upwards of 70,000.  But with such a short visiting window you will have to be quick!

The locals will tell you there are several spots that any ornithologist worth their salt will want to visit; The Castle of Burrian (Westray), the RSPB Hoy Nature Reserve (Hoy), Brough of Birsay and the RSPB Nature Reserve Marwick Head. You can also expect to see Guillemots, Razorbills, Fulmars and White-tailed Eagles, as well as a range of cetaceans (even Orca have been spotted here). You will not be disappointed.

As well as visiting to see these mesmerising creatures for yourselves, RSBP Scotland are giving you the chance to get involved and help the conservation of the Puffins. As part of ‘Project Puffin’ you can become a fully-fledged member of the ‘Puffarazzi’ by sending in your photographs of Puffins with food in their mouths. The aim of this, is for Project Puffin to get a better understanding of what the Puffin’s are eating, as they believe this has a direct correlation to the global decline of their numbers. For further details see