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Wildlife trip around Argyll

eilidh__cameroneilidh__cameron ✭✭✭VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
edited April 25 in Scotland's countryside

Recently I took a trip around my home land of Argyll and spotted some amazing wildlife on the way!

OTTERS

I went out with a wildlife guide from Wild about Argyll during my time on Mull. After a couple hours of searching I had a great otter sighting! Spending two hours of fruitless searching may sound boring but it was anything but. I found it really exciting, I was constantly alert never knowing when something might appear. My guide also shared tips on spotting otters which helped me and hopefully will help you too.

5 otter spotting tips!

  1. Be patient
  2. Look out for slimy green patches on rocks, this is a good indication that there are otters in the area. 
  3. If there are ducks, geese etc close to the shore line the chances are you won’t find otters around as these birds view otters as a threat.
  4. Look out for fresh water burns running into the sea, otters need fresh water to wash their fur of salt to keep it as an effective insulator.
  5. RESPECT THE OTTER. Don’t get too close or so anything that may frighten the animal.


SEALS

Seals are probably the animal I see most often when travelling around Argyll. On my travels this time I saw both Common and Grey seals, Scotland holds such a large percentage of the UK’s population of seals with 83% and 90% respectively. You’ll often find them lounging about on rocks near the shoreline and bobbing about in the shallows. On my trip I spotted them in many places on Mull, all around Kintyre and on Loch Fyne.



DEER

Like seals deer are so common in Argyll and the rest of Scotland with up to 750,000 of them. So spotting them is not difficult. While travelling around I spotted them on the shores of Loch Scridain and on the hills of Mull. I also saw them in Kilmartin Glen and when driving around Kintyre and on The Rest and be Thankful. The photograph below was taken on Mull and I didn't even have to get out the car to take the picture. 


But please DO NOT EVER FEED THE DEER CHOCOLATE BISCUITS, CRISPS ETC! Feeding deer the wrong food can cause a condition called acute Acidosis which is like IBS in humans but this condition can be fatal. Deer can’t digest high carb food leading to death as they cannot digest the food. They starve to death even though their stomachs are full.

RED SQUIRRELS 

Argyll is one of the last remaining places in Britain that is purely dominated by red squirrels, there is not a single grey in the whole county which is great as grey squirrels are a serious threat to their smaller red cousins. Argyll has a really healthy population of these cheeky wee characters but unlike the deer they are a little more tricky to spot. For this reason if I want to photograph red squirrels I often head to gardens like Crarae, Arduaine and Benmore as they all have feeding areas which the squirrels frequent  The picture below was taken in Benmore Garden’s near Dunoon. 


BIRDS

Argyll has such a diverse variety of birds, including Herons, Jays, Kingfishers, Owls and large birds of prey including Eagles! For Eagles the best place to head is Mull, I’ve never been to Mull and not seen an eagle. You get both White Tailed and Golden Eagles on the island. On my trip around Argyll I saw a variety of birds including Eagles, Oyster Catchers, Ravens and Buzzards.


This is only a small selection of wildlife you can see around the land and sea of Argyll. Over the years I’ve also seen foxes, badgers, snakes, stoats a Wildcat ,Dolphins, Porpoises, Basking Sharks and even Killer Whales!

Comments

  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda ✪ Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    These pictures are so beautiful! Particularly jealous of your otter spotting!!
    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
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