Scotland is a haven for all kinds of creatures as well as featuring a great range of easily-accessible landscapes. Basing yourself here at Loch Ness, you can be reach most places and return in the same day.
For example, you could visit the Black Isle, home to a colony of bottle-nosed dolphins and the reintroduced red kite, that magnificent raptor with the forked tail. In fact, the red kite has been seen as far down as Drumnadrochit, on Loch Ness.
You could also travel up north to Durness and have a great opportunity of seeing basking sharks and even a killer whale.
Towards the west coast, you will discover red deer, the largest British mammal, and also the smaller roe deer. And, in some of the glens – including the Whitebridge area above Loch Ness – there are sika deer.
One of the best kept secrets is the number of ospreys that now return to Loch Ness after wintering in North Africa. Of course, we have world famous ones that nest down in Boat of Garten, in the Cairngorm National Park.
That area is also home to red squirrel, capercaillie, black grouse and the pine marten. It is also famous for sightings of the rare crossbill bird often seen in the Caledonian pine forests of Rothiemurcus Estate.
Non-biting midges discovered above loch
There has been another great find here recently which will be good news for all visitors … conservationists have discovered non-biting midges at the Dundreggan Conservation Estate, in Glenmoriston, above Loch Ness. Time will tell if they have any influence on their more voracious cousins!
Going west of Loch Ness is the National Forest reserve of Glen Affric which is home to many of the creatures mentioned above and a rare species of dragon fly.
Glen Cannich, on the road to Mullardoch Dam, always has a lot of red deer with excellent photographic opportunities at this time of the year. These glens are also haunts of the very rare Scottish wildcat.
Many years ago in the Tomich area of Affric, some local farmers even trapped a puma that was prowling wild in the area. She was later named Felicity and lived for a while at the Highland Wildlife Park, in Kingussie.
Now, she can be seen preserved in the museum in Inverness as an example of one the largest indigenous cats of Great Britain.
Of course, there’s an even bigger creature you should seek out when visiting this area! And, even if you don’t spot the Loch Ness Monster when you’re here, there are plenty of other wildlife to be seen as you cruise with us at Loch Ness by Jacobite.