There is no doubt that the Cairngorms National Park has great wildlife all year round. In the winter, species are generally quieter so the coasts around Britain offer a wide variety of species that stay on the milder coasts for the season. From the Cairngorms, our closest coastline is the Moray Firth or the Black Isle. In an hour, you can arrive on this varied coastline and visit many estuaries, harbours and beaches.
Wildlife on the coast
Mudflats and estuaries fill up with waders, ducks and gulls in the Autumn as they feed and stay here through the winter. Rarer visitors such as Glaucous and Iceland Gull can be seen amongst Herring Gull, Waxwing in seaside gardens feeding on berried trees and nearby fields full of Pink-footed Geese. Harbour walls are great to spot Purple Sandpipers and Turnstone and further out to sea, Long-tailed Duck, Eider and all four species of Divers are possible.
Where to Visit
Udale Bay, Black Isle
Any coastline is a good place to view winter species, the Moray coast is a perfect way of hopscotching from each seaside town exploring the estuaries and harbours. Starting from the east, you have Spey Bay, then west to Lossiemouth estuary, full of Gulls and Waders. Further west is Burghead, Findhorn Bay and Nairn beach. On the Black Isle, Chanonry Point is famous for its dolphin sightings, with sea birds and even Whales being spotted here in the Winter. Udale Bay near Cromarty is a perfect spot to set up your scope in the hide and watch as the waders are pushed towards you on a rising tide.
Findhorn Bay (Kate M)
What we offer
At Speyside Wildlife we can take guests to different environments on our UK holidays and Day Guides. We regularly visit the coast throughout the year, keeping an eye on the species that are around and exploring places to visit. Book a day guide with us, you can choose a coastal day focusing on the wide variety of species seen here during the Winter.