Argyll is famous for being home to some of Scotland’s wonderful wildlife, and you do not need to go far from Loch Melfort to experience a diverse selection of it. Whether you choose to bird watch from the comfort of your bedroom, or take a boat trip, you will spot some of the beautiful wildlife Argyll has to offer.
To enjoy the full extent of wildlife that the West Coast has to offer, we would recommend that you take one of 2-3 hour wildlife trips available, with the option to go with either Sealife Adventure, Jenny Wren Boat Charter or Seafari Adventures. There are a selection of excellent options available, such as whale, whirlpool and wildlife watching boat trips. Each trip will also pass through the infamous Gulf of Corryvreckan, which is the narrow strait between the islands of Jura and Scaraba and is home to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, the world’s third largest whirlpool. The whirlpool is a natural phenomenon which is tide dependent, flowing four times in any 24 hour period, no matter the weather. This therefore means that at certain times of the day the whirlpool will be quieter. Wildlife trips tend to be scheduled at times when the whirlpool is quieter to allow for better wildlife watching opportunities. Times can also be different according to the tides so that the boat can be in the best location at the optimal time to see the wildlife feeding. For detailed information and advice on the tides we recommend that you contact the boat trip booking office directly and they will be able to guide you.
Corryvreckan trips offer a fantastic opportunity for extensive marine wildlife sightings in the Firth of Lorn, even during the Autumn months, with wildlife including whales, dolphins, seals, porpoises, basking sharks, common seals, grey seals, and otters. Argyll is well known for its red deer, with the Isle of Jura having a large red deer population. Autumn is the only time of year when the red deer rutting takes place, an amazing wildlife spectacle. Be sure to listen out for the antlers rattling in the hills as the stags battle it out for dominance, or for the sounds of them bellowing. You could also head for the neighbouring island of Islay, which, during the autumn months, is full of choughs, otters, and tens of thousands of wintering arctic geese. It’s known as the Bird Capital of the Highlands, because it has more breeding species than any other island.
The Firth of Lorn is a Special Area of Conservation and a marine protected area, where damaging fishing methods have been banned for a decade. This has helped fish populations to remain healthy, providing both rich feeding grounds for the abundance of wildlife and helping to support and cause these populations to thrive.
Instead of a boat trip, you could visit the Knapdale Beavers, near Tayvallich. Reintroduced in 2009 as part of a conservation project, visitors can find out more about their return to Scotland before enjoying a three mile walk around the Beaver Detective Trail, where, if you’re lucky, you might spot a beaver. Visitors will more likely to be able to spot signs of beaver constructions skills, with a floating pontoon letting visitors get close up to a real beaver dam.
If weather conditions are not suitable for an outdoor activity, then just up the coast in Oban is the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary. With seal and otter enclosures this is a fantastic opportunity to see the wildlife up close and learn more about them. It is a great place to visit with children, with an interactive rockpool giving them the chance to join in on the fun.
Because we are so passionate about the area we are situated in, and the wildlife which lives here, we have a special wildlife offer. Giving you an opportunity to relax in the beauty of the Argyll and to take full advantage of the wildlife there is to see here, our 3 night offer includes entrance to Arduaine Gardens, a Corryvrechan wildlife trip on your boat of choice or free entry to the Sea Life Centre, and a trip to visit the beavers at Knapdale.