Wildlife in Lochranza
All the photos and video on this site were taken at Lochdean Cottage, or in Lochranza. You are pretty much guaranteed to see all of these animals!
Known as "Scotland in miniature", Arran provides diverse habitats for wildlife including remote mountains, wild moors, woods & forests, coast and farmland.
Grey seals, porpoises, basking sharks and the occasional dolphin can be found in inshore waters and best viewed from high vantage points on or above the beach. We have seen all of these and have even spotted otters on the beach and swimming through the seaweed. The beach itself is teaming with life with many small pools and sheltered coves providing hours of interest. There is a pair of breeding swans which live in the bay as well as many different types of ducks.
Over two hundred different birds have been spotted on the island, although most interesting are the sea birds, the birds of prey including rare golden eagles in the more remote glens and various moorland birds including the recently reintroduced black grouse. In spring cuckoos can be heard from the woodland surrounding Lochranza.
There is healthy population of red deer in the north of the island, so much so there is every chance of seeing deer from the comfort of the cottage. Red squirrels are found through out the island and again they can be seen from the kitchen windows. There is at least one badgerset within a short distance of Lochdean Cottage and around dusk you should be rewarded with a view of badgers from the kitchen window, assuming you have left out some peanuts for them! In addition there are hares, rabbits and the occasional black adder. Visitors in the Autumn will enjoy the sights and sounds of the stags rutting. The evening roar in October of rutting stags can be heard echoing down the valley in Lochranza. Finally, sheep are to be found literally all over Lochranza, please be careful when driving into the village you are quite likely to find a sheep or ten sat in the middle of the road!
The island benefits from the Gulf Stream and has a rich diversity of plant life, to the extent that even palm trees readily grow. The gardens at Brodick Castle are well worth investigating. Extensive natural woods are spread across the island, many of which have walks and paths managed by the Forestry Commission. Finally, Arran can boast about the Catacol Whitebeam, a species of tree unique to the Island and found nowhere else in the world.