Wildlife

Wildlife at Kingairloch

The Morvern peninsula is one of the most sparsely populated areas in the British Isles amounting to great landmasses that have hardly been touched by modern living. Often described as “the best kept secret in Scotland”, the peninsula is a wonderful place for people to discover the rich wildlife found on our doorstep. Kingairloch is home to a wide range of animals, birds and flora throughout the year, with the Winter months often having the most wildlife sightings.

We are extremely fortunate with the range of creatures at Kingairloch. For a bit of fun, during your holiday; have a go at spotting the Kingairloch “Magnificent Seven”.

You may also need a lot of patience and a pair of binoculars in some cases!

Red Deer

Perhaps the most celebrated of all Scottish mammals, the red deer is also the largest and one of the most populous. In recent count figures, there was a population of approximately 500 on Kingairloch alone. As there are no fences on the peninsula separating estates, this figure fluctuates all year round. Stags and hinds live in separate herds for much of the year but come together rather vocally each Autumn in the breeding season, or rut. The glens come alive this time of year with the stags bellowing across at each other, a sound like no other! A stag may mate with up to twenty hinds in a given year. Calves are born in June.

When to see this species: Year Round

Wild Goats

The feral goats are frequently spotted between Kingairloch and Kilmalieu, often on the cliff edges or eating seaweed on the shore. No two animals look the same, given the tremendous variety in coat colours and lengths. In some instances you may smell them before setting eyes on them! Mating takes place in late Autumn and kids are generally born into the chilly climes of January. Wild goats live together in herds, often in relatively large numbers.

When to see this species: Year Round

Otters

Spotting these shy creatures usually requires luck or patience, and definitely stillness and silence. Look out for signs (such as droppings, known as spraint, or webbed footprints in the sand) and keep a close eye on still water in the early morning or evening.

When to see this species: Year Round

Pine Marten

One of the hardest Scottish mammals to spot in the wild (primarily due to its nocturnal habits), this sleek woodland predator pops up around Kingairloch quite regularly. Due to their nocturnal activities, it may help to lay some bird food or eggs out for them.

When to see this species: Year Round

Golden Eagle

The golden eagle is a huge bird of prey, we are fortunate to have two breeding pairs nesting at Kingairloch. With its long broad wings and long tail, it has a different outline to the smaller buzzard. It likes to soar and glide on air currents, holding its wings in a shallow ‘V’. Eagles have traditional territories and nesting places, they are often seen in Glengalmadale and Ghardail as there is plenty open areas for them to hunt.

When to see this species: Year Round

Ptarmigan

The ptarmigan is a plump gamebird, slightly larger than a grey partridge. In summer, it is a mixture of grey, brown and black above with a white belly and wings. In winter, it becomes totally white except for its tail and eye-patch, which remain black. Ptarmigans feed on shoots, leaves, leaf buds, berries and insects. To spot ptarmigan, is a very rare occurrence, however if you are out walking on our highest mountains you may well be lucky enough as they tend to reside in our Arctic-like landscapes.

When to see this species: Autumn, Winter

Oystercatcher

Seen regularly in front of our loch-fronted cottages is the oystercatcher, often hunting for cockles and mussels. This is a fairly large body bird that is characterized with it’s orange-red bill, reddish-pink legs and black and white feathers. In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a ‘V’ between the wings.

When to see this species: Year Round