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Magnificent marine wildlife watching on Scotland's west coast islands

Marine Core

credit: Scottish Natural Heritage / Ben James

The sea lochs, inlets and lochans across the Scottish islands and west coast of Argyll are a haven for wildlife

Cetacean species such as porpoises and dolphins can be spotted jumping from the waves across The Minch; keep an eye out for them from the upper deck of the Ullapool-Stornoway ferry. Several species of seals, sprawled along the coastline are an easy way to catch a first glimpse of nature en route to the isles.

Seabirds of all kinds claim the rocky outcrops in these parts as their own, including colonies of puffins, guillemots and Manx shearwater. The world's largest colony of the latter can be found on Rum, and bird-watching opportunities abound with RSPB Scotland reserves, hides and trails across the west coast.

Make the trip out to Staffa to wonder at Fingal's Cave and the huge variety of birdlife that make this remote part of the British Isles their home.

Staying closer to dry land, the beaches and coastline across the region also offer plenty of rock pools to explore. All that's needed are waterproofs and a keen eye to discover these fascinating worlds in miniature.

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