Nature

Deer & Stag Spotting

Deer & Stag Spotting
Many people come to South Loch Ness hoping at some point to see deer. There are a great many in the area, but untrained eyes often fail to spot them even from close quarters. The information below is to help you find and recognise the three species we have in abundance, and points out some routes you should travel in order to improve the chances of spotting deer. Take your camera and take your time - some of the routes will, if you are lucky and very observant, reveal many more of our wildlife species like mountain hare, red grouse and eagles.
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Wildlife

Wildlife
South Loch Ness is a haven for wildlife. There is of course what you'd expect in the Scottish Highlands, deer, red squirrels and pine martens, but there's a host of other animals, birds and insects to discover in the natural beauty and rural tranquility of South Loch Ness
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Birdwatching

Birdwatching
Just above south Loch Ness, Loch Ruthven is the most important breeding site in the UK for the very rare, Slavonian Grebe. A sartorial show-off, the bird has a very colourful breeding plumage and spectacular courtship display. Loch Ruthven is also a good place to see ospreys catching fish as well as red throated divers , red breasted merganser, teal, goldeneye, and the more common heron, oystercatcher, common sandpiper and cuckoo.

There are several other excellent bird watching sites within easy reach of south Loch Ness...
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Flowers and Trees

Flowers and Trees
Take to the trails at Farigaig Forest to spot colourful wildflowers, butterflies and req squirrels, and for impressive views over Loch ness and towards a dramatic rocky outcrop topped by the iron age for of Dun Dearduil. Wind your way to the view points through a mix of broadleaf woodland - at its most vibrant in autumn - and conifers of all ages, including some soaring specimens by lovely Lochan Torr an Tuill. The forest here is a haven for red squirrels and badgers, as well as a host of woodland birds, and in summer dragonflies whizz across the water at the Lochan.

If you wish to go further afield for a day trip, there are several areas of spectacular woodland within easy reach of south Loch Ness...

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Fungi

Fungi
Much of South Loch Ness is covered in woodlands, perfect habitat for all sorts of different fungi, from large bracket fungi to delicate little mushroom types found on the woodland floors.

They can be seen all year round, however the autumn is the best time to see the greatest variety and the various paths around Inverfarigaig is a great place to search.
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Moray Firth Dolphins

Moray Firth Dolphins
The wild and unpolluted seas are more than just a blue backdrop to fine scenery - they offer a good chance to see wildlife such as whales, dolphins and most commonly, seals. The bottlenosed dolphins of the Moray Firth are perhaps the most famous cetacean species in the northern waters – it is estimated that there are approximately 130 dolphins in the pod.

Chanonry Point, between Fortrose and Rosemarkie on the Black Isle is reputed to be the best place to see dolphins from the shore.
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