UK wildlife (Birds and Animals)
UK wildlife is attracted by a diverse landscape. Here we focus on the norther UK, particularly Scotland. For instance the rugged mountains, wild moorland, ancient pine forests and thousands of miles of coastline create a variety of habitats for Scotland’s wildlife.
Scotland’s coast and Islands
Scotland’s East coast with its numerous firths is surrounded by the North sea. In contrast the rugged west coast with its many islands is washed by the rough Atlantic. Scotland has 790 offshore islands. Many of these islands are part of the four main Scottish island groups:
- Inner Hebrides
- Outer Hebrides
In addition to the main island groups Scotland has numerous islands on inland lochs and in the mainland firths:
- Firth of Clyde
- Firth of Forth
- Solway Firth
The islands and coastlines with areas of rich sea life are home to wildlife in Scotland. For instance, providing homes to colonies of breeding seabirds. These islands and coastlines also provide feeding grounds for waders and other birdlife. The surrounding seas attract Dolphin, Shark and Whales including Orca or Killer whale.
Scotland is also the most mountainous area in the UK with 282 Munros (peaks over 3000 ft). The UKs top 10 highest peaks are also in Scotland with 9 of these being over 4,000 feet. The more extreme of these areas, such as the Cairngorms, experience a sub-artic climate that is home to specialists UK Wildlife species such as Ptarmigan, Mountain Hare, Dotterel and Snow Bunting. The mountains and glens also provide homes to Eagles. In contrast the ancient Caledonian forest provide a different environment for Scotland’s wildlife. The Pine forests of Scotland hold some of Scotland’s rarest wildlife. This is the land of rare mammals such as the Pine Marten and Wild Cat with rare birds including Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Crested Tit and Crossbill.
Little wonder then why Scotland’s Wildlife and landscape attracts so many visitors from both the UK and overseas.