Scottish Wildlife in Winter

Scotland, particularly the Highlands, is known for its flora and fauna. With animals and plants found nowhere else in the world and dramatic scenery like nothing else in the country, the Highlands is a must-visit location. All year round, places like Inverness are packed full of natural beauty just waiting to be seen. Even in winter, when other places lose their beauty, Inverness and the Highlands maintain it with their wonderful winter wildlife.

Scene of a wintery loch with mountains in distance

Winter Wildlife in and around Inverness 

The Highlands and Inverness-shire are known for the wildlife that has found a home there. There are animals who make the Highlands their home seasonally, and others remain there all year long. Animals like the feisty, fluffy Scottish wildcats to the golden eagle can be spotted around the area. The Highlands are also home to the Highland cows that have become synonymous with the Scottish Highlands.

Regardless of the time of the year, you will be blessed with some wonderful wildlife in and around Inverness. But winter is extra special here in the Scottish Highlands. Stay with us at Ness Walk and explore all of the winter wildlife that Inverness has to offer.

Which animals are in Inverness in winter?

You may think that many of the native Inverness wildlife hibernate or migrate during the cold winter months. Leaving the Highlands bare and quiet. This is far from the truth. As the weather changes and the days get shorter, much of the wildlife that calls Inverness and the Highlands home remains. And many new species of animals come to stay for the season.

Highland cow in snowy field

If you’re interested in specifics, then look no further. Those visiting Inverness may be able to spot animals such as the red squirrel, that call the Cairngorms National Park and the woodlands near Loch Garten their home. Likewise, there are mountain hares all over the Highlands, particularly in the preserved national parks. You may be able to spot red deer, who are more likely to emerge out towards the populated areas in the winter months. As well as the red grouse, crested tits, snow bunting and even ptarmigan.

In the city itself, visitors with a keen eye may be able to spot waxwings, coal tits, robins, chaffinches, and fieldfairs. All of which are especially common in backyards. 

One of the reasons that Inverness remains so populated with animals in winter is because of the habitats it offers. The city is close to the northern boundary of the Cairngorms National Park. The park has a number of unique habitats. From those in its Scots Pine Caledonian woodlands to the moorland, clean, stunning rivers, and beautiful lochs. In the winter, the national park becomes something close to an arctic wilderness. Giving these animals the harsh habitats they thrive in. There is even a herd of free-ranging reindeer!

Herd of free ranging reindeer

The best places to explore the Scottish Highlands winter wildlife

If you’re looking to get some fantastic photos of winter wildlife, quite a few places around Inverness-shire are perfect. First of all, the Cairngorms National Park, as mentioned, is home to much of Inverness’s winter wildlife. If the park doesn’t interest you, you could take a trip out on the water. There are quite a few boat companies like Dolphin Spirit Inverness. You could also take a hike or a drive along the NC500 route.Or the coastal road. You’ll see various birds and geese who have migrated to Scotland for the winter.

Inverness in winter

Full of nature and winter wildlife, Inverness is a brilliant place to visit in the colder months. It’s not just the wildlife it has going for, though. You can enjoy the northern lights, warm nights by the fire with glasses of whisky, tours of the distilleries. And, of course, superb Scottish food, and entertainment. All with the added bonus of the city being quieter than during the peak of tourist season!

Does it all sound too good to be true? Come and visit Inverness in winter. You’ll get to see what it really has to offer, from our stunning winter wildlife to our tasty seasonal food. Book a stay with Ness Walk today and you’ll never want to spend a winter away from Scotland again.

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