Unleash your inner David Attenborough with these spectacular wonders of the natural world.
Covid restrictions may still be easing, but it’s probably going to be a while before we can easily hop on a plane to safari in the Serengeti or dive the Great Barrier Reef.
Luckily, Scotland has plenty of natural wonders of its own, perfect for a staycation treat during the remainder of 2021.
From majestic rutting stags, to ancient forests that have remained unchanged for thousands of years, these are experiences the whole family will enjoy and remember for many years to come.
Here are 10 of Scotland’s most spectacular wildlife experiences you can see this year.
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1. See Britain's biggest bird
Many people think that the iconic Golden Eagle is Britain's largest bird but, with a windspan of up to 2.5 metres, the majestic Sea Eagle is bigger. Hunted to extinction in the 1800s, it was successfully reintroduced to Scotland from the 1970s. Your best chance of catching one of these winged giants is on the Island of Mull where they are regularly seen soaring high in the sky. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. See the 'Big Five' in a single day
The 'Big Five' of Scottish wildlife at the otter, red squirrel, red deer, harbour seal and golden eagle. There are several great place to see each of them, but if you want a real challenge, it's possible to see them all within about 20 miles of Fort William. Book an organised tour or do your research and see if you can tick them all off in 24 hours. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. See a circus of puffins
Puffins are one of Scotland's most charismatic birds, but you're unlikey to ever see them on the mainland. The easiest way to see thousands of the colourful 'clowns of the sea' is to hop on the May Princess on a sailing from Anstruther to the Island of May. It sails from April-September, leaving you on the island for around three hours. The puffins are in residence from April to August. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Encounter a giant of the deep
The second-largest fish in the world (after the whale shark), the enormous basking shark can grow up to over eight metres in length and is a frequent visitor to Scottish waters. The best place to spot them is off the west coast of the Isle of Lewis during July and August, where they can gather in relatively large numbers, feeding on plankton close to the surface. Photo: Canva/Getty Images