Local wildlife

Local wildlife

When you visit the Ardnamurchan peninsula, you’re guaranteed to see plenty of wildlife. Ardnamurchan has a wealth of flora and fauna thanks to the unspoilt landscape and the broad range of well-preserved habitats stretching from mountain tops to underwater rock pools and marine life. It’s the perfect place to stay for any with an interest in wildlife.

You can take a guided wildlife walking tour, or just keep a look-out as you explore the region at your leisure. During your visit, you can expect to spot dolphins and whales, rare deer and mink and maybe even a golden eagle overhead, to name just a few species.

Marine wildlife

From Ardnamurchan Point where the lighthouse stands, you can look out for whales, basking sharks and dolphins and a whole host of seabirds can be seen in flight and nesting around the coastline, including terns, gulls, divers, several species of duck and gannets. The local waters are totally unpolluted so the variety of marine life that can be found on the rocky shores is just as diverse as anywhere in Europe.

While you’re staying with us on the shores of Loch Sunart, we’d highly recommend taking a boat trip on the loch to see the seals, otters and the rare white-tailed sea eagles. If you’re very lucky, you could spot a mink on your trip, too. Remember, as you board and depart the boat, keep a look out for shells, crustaceans and other small marine wildlife in the sand beneath your feet.

Woodland wildlife

The dense pine and birch woods that line the coastline are full of life. They’re the home to small birds, such as warblers, snipe, grouse and redstarts, and they also shelter the nervous roe deer and provide good hunting ground for tawny owls, barn owls and long and short-eared owls of an evening.

Out in the heather moorland, you will find Britain’s largest land mammal, the majestic red deer, in large numbers, as well as beautiful butterflies enjoying the orchids in summer. When you’re walking through the open heather, look up to see golden eagles, peregrine falcons, buzzards, kestrels, sparrow hawks and the majority of Britain’s raptors soaring above you in the open skies.

Fresh-water wildlife

Many of the smaller lochs and local rivers are fresh water and therefore play host to different varieties of marine wildlife than the open water areas. Look out for frogs and toads hopping between the water lillies and mallards, moorhens and geese grazing nearby or flying overhead. Local conservationists are working on making the Ardnamurchan landscape hospitable to Osprey in the hope of attracting breeding pairs to the peninsula, so if you’re very fortunate, you may see one passing through on their annual migration journey to and from Africa.

Plan your visit

Stay with us at the Sunart Adventures cottages to give you the best starting point to spot all the local wildlife. We can also provide expert advice and local knowledge to help you make the most of your visit to Loch Sunart and Ardnamurchan.

Find out more about Sunart Adventures self-catering cottages

Top tips for spotting local wildlife

  1. Keep quiet - animals will be scared off by loud voices and heavy footsteps.
  2. Bring binoculars - it’s hard to get animals to come really close and a pair of binoculars can enhance your range of sight.
  3. Think about the season - not all wildlife is active year round.
  4. Best time of day - animals are generally more active in the morning and evening.
  5. Don’t wear perfume - the unusual scent can deter animals from coming close.