Glen Spean and the Great Glen are blessed with an abundance of wildlife.

The iconic red deer and golden eagle inhabit the glens in the area and you can expect to enjoy close encounters with deer, especially in the winter months when they are fed by the estates and are often close to the road, or see eagles soaring high above the crags. The best places to find both species are Glen Garry, Loch Arkaig or Glen Roy. If you are really keen to spot an eagle you are more likely to be successful if you go out around dawn.

Loch Garry has recently been granted special protection area status because of its breeding populations of the rare black throated diver and common scoter. The diver builds its nest very close to the waters edge as it is badly adapted for walking. Consequently it suffers regular losses to chicks due to fluctuating water levels, especially on hydro controlled lochs. The best time to see both species are May/June. Loch Garry is best for scoter. Black throat may be found on Loch Lochy and Loch Arkaig as well.

Osprey have bred successfully on Loch Lochy for a number of years and sea eagles on Loch Arkaig. The birds are regularly seen fishing on the lochs in the area. Pine marten inhabit the woodlands and many local properties receive regular visits if they provide their favourite delicacy, peanut butter or jam sandwiches!


Red squirrel thrive in the area and Scottish crossbill and crested tits can also be found here. The area is also known to have a population of the very rare Scottish wildcat, or "Highland tiger", however, these charismatic creatures are elusive and nocturnal. Sightings have been reported at the north end of Loch Lochy and around Spean Bridge.

We also have our very own exclusive species in the chequered skipper butterfly which is found within a few miles radius of Fort William and nowhere else in the UK. The Forestry Commission have a butterfly reserve at Allt Mhuic on Loch Arkaig where the skipper is found along with other butterfly, including the rare pearl bordered fritillary, and a number of dragonfly species.

For the wildlife enthusiast everything you need for a truly memorable experience is here while for the less experienced, local guides will help you to find and understand the wildlife of this beautiful area.

For information on wildlife watching opportunities in the area visit or