Cairngorms National Park, Aberdeenshire and Moray

Cairngorms (credit: Martin Webb)

Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park, the UK’s largest national park is home to a range of mountain and alpine bird and plant species. Red squirrels are commonplace in the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Rothiemurchus and Abernethy.

Vast heather moors provide excellent opportunities to see red grouse and red deer. Such is the wealth of wildlife watching opportunities that you can watch black grouse and capercaillie at dawn, osprey and crested tits during the day and more reclusive mammals such as pine martens and badgers at dusk.

Surrounding the Cairngorms to the north and east is fertile North Sea coastland, which is host to winter seaducks, summer ospreys and terns and Scotland’s only mainland gannet colony at Troup Head. Loch of Strathbeg, north of Aberdeen is the winter home to 20% of the world’s population of pink-footed geese.

The Moray Firth waters are home to the famous bottlenose dolphins, which can be seen from boat trips and from the shore.

Also in the area:

  • River Ythan and the Sands of Forvie: amazing wildlife-rich sand dunes and Britain’s largest eider duck nesting grounds.

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