Photo: Will Copestake


Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles offer wonderful opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitats. Inverpolly, designated a National Scenic Area, lies within the Coigach peninsula.


If you’re into lists then Achiltibuie won’t disappoint, but the idea of ‘twitching’ sounds too energetic – better perhaps to just relax and let the birds do the work. Without being too comprehensive, and concentrating on those of perhaps most interest, you may see, at different times of the year:

  • Golden Eagle
  • BuzzardBuzzard at Achiltibuie
  • Peregrine falcon
  • Hen Harrier
  • Merlin
  • Greylag Goose
  • Barnacle Goose
  • Whooper Swan
  • Raven
  • Hooded Crow
  • Ptarmigan
  • Red Grouse
  • Ring OuzelCurlew at Achiltibuie
  • Great Skua
  • Arctic Skua
  • Gannet
  • Fulmar
  • Kittiwake
  • Common and Arctic Tern
  • Cormorant
  • Shag
  • Common Guillemot
  • Black Guillemot
  • Razorbill, Puffin
  • Storm Petrel
  • Black-throated Diver
  • Red-throated Diver
  • Great Northern Diver
  • Merganser
  • Goosander
  • Dipper
  • Sandpiper
  • Greenshank
  • Golden Polver
  • Turnstone
  • Eider
  • Goldeneye
  • Long-tailed Duck
  • Common Scoter
  • Whimbrel
  • Wheatear
  • Stonechat
  • Whinchat
  • Scottish Crossbill
  • Snow Bunting
  • Meadow Pipit
  • Rock Pipit
  • Twite
  • Siskin
  • Rock Dove

The ones that might make us locals look up from our work include the White-tailed Sea Eagle, Osprey and Corncrake.

Handa Island, the RSPB reserve famed for its sea bird colonies lies not far to the north, and well worth a visit, particularly in the May/June nesting season. More locally and part of the Summer Isles is Priest Island, also an RSPB reserve but it is quite difficult to get to.


Without mentioning every small furry thing, and depending on when you come, where you look and how well trained your eye, you might see:

  • Red Deer
  • Pine Marten
  • Stoat
  • Weasel
  • Badger
  • Fox
  • Adder

At sea you will almost certainly see:

  • Common Seal
  • Grey Seal
  • Harbour Porpoise
  • Otter
  • Dolphin (mostly Common, Bottlenose and White-sided)
  • Whales (mostly Minke, also Killer (Orca) and Pilot Whales, but many other species are possible)
  • Basking Shark