Skye and the Isle of Mull, within the Inner Hebrides, are good spots for otter watching as is Shetland to the north. Throughout the seasons we know which sites are active and monitor the routines of families in particular to maximise our chances of maintaining the level of experience we offer. Why not stay in a castle, a lighthouse or on a working farm? Sharing our knowledge on the families we study, their ecology and behaviour along the shores they inhabit is immensely gratifying. No matter what happens, you know you’re going to have a good day when you’re with him.Doug Allan – Wildlife Cameraman. On the west coast are myriad Inner Hebridean islands from Canna and Colonsay to Tiree and the Treshnish Islands, each unique and visually stunning.The Isle of Mull, and the adjacent mainland, are excellent places to watch otters, white-tailed and golden eagles and some of Scotland’s tamest puffins on the Treshnish Islands. The good news is: just about everywhere! This is a reputation that has developed around Brydon’s lifelong love of the islands otters spanning over 30 years. Boat trips are an ideal way to see both marine animals and birds, where you’ll get a great view while causing minimal disruption to onshore breeding sites. In the Shetlands, as in the rest of Scotland, most otters live and feed off the sea. These gentle summer visitors feed entirely on plankton – their feeding method is to glide slowly along the surface with their enormous mouths open. Otters are protected by law in the UK. Sitting at the northwest corner of the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, Aviemore is one of Scotland's most popular… Origin. Clan Ewen of Otter claimed descent from Donnsleibhe, who was said to be a descendant of an Irish prince of the O'Neill dynasty named Ánrothán Ua Néill, who left Ireland for Kintyre in the 11th century. Growing to around 6-8 meters, basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world! Otters are largely solitary, semi-aquatic mammals that get most of their food from … The wildlife expert was delighted to see the otter swim by just as he was setting up, what followed was hours of filming with the curious little creature happy to be the star of the show. Otters seen https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/news/watching-otters-in-scotland Expert local knowledge, gifts and inspiration. Learn about their movements and daily routines; how and where to find them and how to read the signs and track them along our shores. There are many affordable day trips on offer, starting from just £10 per adult! Through the shortened hours of daylight their foraging activity tends to be condensed, which maximises opportunities. Find more advice on exploring Scotland during Covid-19 on our dedicated page. All rights reserved. To see an otters in the wild on the shores of Skye you simply need patience. https://www.visitscotland.com/blog/wildlife/marine-life-when-where Book online at Seabird.org #northberwick #seabirdcentre #seabirddays #boattrip #mothersday #gifts #giftideas #lastminutegifts #lastminutegiftideas, A post shared by Scottish Seabird Centre (@seabirdcentre) on Mar 20, 2017 at 1:11pm PDT. Orcas, also known as killer whales, are actually the largest member of the dolphin family. We ensure the otters well being comes first at all times. They are scavengers, but also hunt for fish, rabbits and seabirds. Mothers tend to make their first appearances above ground with young cubs in autumn and so the winter offers a wonderful insight into family life. Otters are only occasionally seen in fresh water here, and it is just offshore near seaweed covered rocks where you will most likely see one. I did some filming of Otters in Scotland, in the film you will see the male Dog Otter, and the female bitch Otter at play. Cricklepit Mill (Devon Wildlife Trust) An urban site with easy access and regular … Special arrangements can be made for slightly larger groups for families or experienced wildlife watchers travelling together. He has worked on and featured in or worked on over 15 TV productions as a consultant/guide, including BBC’s Springwatch, Countryfile and One Show featuring Shetland’s otters, and co-authored the acclaimed book ‘Otters in Shetland – the tale of the draatsi’ in 2015 with friend and SN colleague, Richard Shucksmith. Be one of the first to head out to the Bass this season! Otters are widely known for their many endearing and fascinating attributes but just as much so is their shy and sensitive nature. Today, the species is flourishing across Scotland, and recovering well across the UK as waterways are cleaned up. Here on Mull, the otter hunts during the day and he is more governed by the state of the tide, than whether it is morning or night. Only 12 spaces on each RIB. Minke whales are very distinctive looking, and grow to 8 – 8.5 meters long on average. Each season offers a new and exciting perspective. When is the best time to see otters? Rest assured no one will try harder or with more passion or enthusiasm. They can be spotted rearing their chicks in cliff-top burrows from late March to late August on numerous cliff tops around Scotland. 2014 (@sevenseasoffreedom) on Jan 7, 2017 at 2:18pm PST. Through an unrivalled combination of our field experience, local knowledge and understanding of otters here in Shetland we are widely known as the islands leading otter tour specialists. Sharing our knowledge on the families we study, their ecology and behaviour along the shores they inhabit is immensely gratifying. Along with the thrill of seeing otters in their natural environment our tours are structured in a way that our guests learn about their fascinating lives and understand how, where and when to find and watch them responsibly. Shetland has the highest density of otters in Europe and probably one of the best-studied populations in the UK. Film: @lukesaddler . The largest colony is found on the remote bird-haven isle of St Kilda. Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice. Sometimes I wouldn't see them at all. What a treat! Their diet is predominantly based on fish, however they also eat frogs, toads, crabs and some small birds. You can see them in/around most clean lochs and rivers but I’ve only spotted a few in my whole life anywhere other than the west coast. Leading otter tours and working with them all year round is a true privilege. Rocky shorelines are best, also look for a fresh water stream emerging into the Sea. Read more about The Shetland Otter Experience. Some of the best places to see gannets include: It’s Friday and this amazing capture from @mattwaterston should put a smile on your face; a minke whale breaching against the dramatic Cuillins of Skye. We operate under a schedule 2 License authorized by Scottish Natural Heritage. The species that is found in Scotland is the European Otter (Lutra lutra) part of the weasel family, which grow to a size of 3 foot in length. Generally speaking the sites we visit will involve coastal walks, usually of just two to three miles across low lying but often uneven terrain such as along the seashore. You can actually see them across most of Scotland, although you’ll have a much better chance of seeing them up north or on the west coast/western isles. Some of the best places to see puffins include: North Atlantic killer whales sighted from the shore in Reawick, Shetland (part of Scotland) during a sunset! A totally unique holiday dedicated to otters, led by otter addicts – for otter addicts! . Choosing to spend a day or two with an expert guide will offer unique and exclusive opportunities to watch otters in the wild, learn about their behaviour and search for the tracks and signs that reveal their presence. I have seen them at ferry terminals, causeways and jetties on many occasions. 3. Mainland Scotland is in Level 4, where by law, you can only leave your home (or garden) if you have a reasonable excuse. . From puffins to orcas, Scotland has no shortage of fascinating marine life. The afternoon slipped by effortlessly. Iconic Ben Nevis needs to be top of your Scottish to-do list. Jump to. Try a scuba diving tour with Basking Shark Scotland around Oban, from just £45 per adult. With five full days of otter tracking time and evening discussions and presentations all on otters – this holiday provides an unrivalled insight into the lives of otters. If you’re feeling brave, the most memorable way to see these sharks in Scotland is to get in the water and swim with them! These incredibly intelligent animals live and hunt together in family pods. They often feed in shallower water and come close to land. I could watch this wee otter family all day. They became extinct in the UK in 1918, but thanks to successful reintroduction programmes, they are now thriving in several hotspots! There is no change to the protection of European protected species as a result of EU Exit. They stay ashore until they have been weaned and finished moulting in late December. We run otter watching experiences all year round and are proud to delight more visitors with otter encounters than any other and hope we can do the same for you. Along with the thrill of seeing otters in their natural environment our tours are structured in a way that our guests learn about their fascinating lives and understand how, where and when to find and watch them responsibly. Some of the best places to see minke whales include: Very obliging of this basking shark to indicate it was turning left before it passed in front of my camera! Even in Sullom Voe, one of the largest oil terminals in Europe. I’ve worked with many guides while filming, and I could see he had real sensitivity and all the patience. They like to clean off in fresh water. We also actively support The International Otter Survival Fund and make a donation from every guest on our Shetland Otter Experience Holiday packages as well as help out with any activities, events or promotions as and when we can. See all of our listings for wildlife tours by boat, and be sure to select your chosen month for the most relevant options. This alone makes it one of the best places in Europe to see otters. © 2021 VisitScotland. They can be found all around Scotland between May and October, but a few of them will remain here year-round. "Otters are now found in watercourses throughout the country and it is especially cheering to see them thriving in the heart of our major urban areas. For the best chance of spotting an otter, head to Scotland, the west coast of Wales, East Anglia and South-West Endland. The Shetland Islands, far to the north of mainland Britain - it’s one of the best places in Europe to see wild otters. They can sometimes be spotted on the rocks, feeding or grooming, or in amongst the seaweed on the shoreline, resting.Their seaweed-coloured coats camouflage them, so it is possible to walk past a snoozing otter even when it is only a short distance away. But don't mistakenly call these beasts 'sea otters' – they are still our native otter, and not the different North American sea otter. Find out more on EU Exit information at NatureScot. They eat a huge variety of things such as small fish and frogs. They can be more elusive to spot than some of our other marine wildlife, but are mostly sighted between May and August in the far north around the Shetland and Orkney islands, when they come inshore to hunt the common seals that are rearing their pups on beaches. https://www.scotlandguides.org/about-otters-in-scotland.html Some of the best places to see otters include: Dolphins are very intelligent and playful creatures – they are always fascinating and engaging to watch! Up to da… Isle of Lewis, Isle of Harris & Stornoway, Where and when to see marine wildlife in Scotland, Kerrera island, the Inner Hebrides – Try a 2-hour boat trip round the island with, The Minch, between the Inner and Outer Hebridean islands – Try a 2-hour boat tour with, St Kilda – See this incredible island situated to the farthest reach of the Outer Hebrides with a day tour by, The Treshnish Islands, just west of the Isle of Mull –. That said, otters are very shy animals! See the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching code for more information on how to minimise disruption of Scotland's marine life. It is found throughout Scotland in a range of habitats where there is freshwater. Here these usually shy and elusive animals live in close proximity to humans. Video: Josie Nisbet, A post shared by CassidyⓋ and Megan – Est. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Focus on Otters – photography, ecology and fieldcraft, Educational insight into otter ecology and behaviour, Unrivalled up-to-date local knowledge of sites & environment, Peace of mind that you are also supporting otter conservation, Track & watch otters along Shetland’s beautiful unspoilt coastal wilderness, Brydon & Richard authors of acclaimed book ‘, Go-to team for TV productions for otters inc BBC’s Springwatch, Countryfile, One Show. In the wild, they tend to live between 5-10 years. Here’s our guide on where and when to see Scotland’s marine wildlife. 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