Nature notes on some of the species you may
see on an adventure with us.
These playful mammals are also expert hunters -- eating fish, crustaceans and other critters. In Scotland, an otter’s den (aka ‘holt’) is usually built under tree roots or a rocky cairn, in which the offspring (or ‘pups’) live for up to one year.
Standing at one metre tall, these long-legged predatory birds are native to Europe, Africa and Asia. You can usually spot a grey heron standing stationary with its neck hunched near any kind of water, such as sea coasts... that’s them looking for food, such as fish and small birds!
The true pirate of the seas! These gull-like birds are notorious for stealing fish from other seabirds, such as puffins and terns. Arctic skuas -- also known as parasitic jaegers -- spend the majority of life at sea, returning ashore only to breed in the Arctic summer.
Humpback whales are a member of the baleen whale species and are found in every ocean in the world - often travelling up to 16,000 miles each year! Famed for their whale song, males of the same group will produce a unique 10-20 minute song which they might repeat for hours at a time.
Manx shearwaters are a medium-sized member of the Procellariidae seabird family, donning the name ‘Manx puffin’ until the mid-17th Century. Recorded as the longest-living birds in Britain, one bird lived to be 50 years, 11 months and 21 days old!
The white-tailed eagle is a very large eagle widely distributed across Eurasia. As are all eagles, it is a member of the family Accipitridae which includes other diurnal raptors such as hawks, kites, and harriers.
The seal is a popular sight in the sheltered waters around Scotland's coast. They can be seen in Orkney, the Shetland Islands, the Hebrides and the Monach Isles, which is the second largest breeding colony of grey seals in the world.
Almost gull-like, this grey and white seabird is related to the albatrosses. The fulmar flies low over the sea on stiff wings, with shallow wingbeats, gliding and banking to show its white underparts then grey upperparts.
Risso’s dolphins are predominantly deep water lovers and are therefore relatively unstudied, however in several places around the world they can be found within only metres of the coast enabling researchers to learn so much more about them.
Common dolphins, or more correctly, short-beaked common dolphins, are often found travelling in large pods of anywhere from around a dozen individuals up to 50 or 60 or sometimes even superpods of hundreds if you are lucky.