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18th January 2017

Wonderful Wildlife – The West Highland Way

Wonderful Wildlife - The West Highland Way Easyways Walking Holidays image 4

Throughout the West Highland Way you will come across a variety of wildlife, native to the Scottish countryside and west coast.

Mammals

Roe deer are found predominantly in the lower altitude and woodland areas of Scotland. Different from the Red Deer, Roe Deer have a smaller build and a reddish brown colouring in summer, changing to a greyer colour in the winter months. Another mammal you will be fortunate to come across, when walking the West Highland Way, are otters. Found along the seashore and in rivers, lakes and streams they are territorial animals. The size of a small dog with a brown coat and lighter coloured bib, otters swim very flatly along the water surface. In the Scottish wild, an average of one to two young is born in each litter. Otters are often spotted around Loch Lomond area.

A Roe Deer walks though a field along the West Highland Way

You may be able to catch a glimpse of Roe Deer on the West Highland Way.

Reptiles

There are many reptiles to catch on your West Highland Way experience. Common frogs have a dark mask enclosing their eyes, with barred markings on their limbs. With the ability to lighten or darken their skin depending on the environment you might find them harder to spot. Also, you might be able to find the common toad! With a broad, squat body and a rounded snout they are easy to distinguish from frogs. Their colouring depends on many factors but they can go from a dark brown to a sandy colour.

 

A Frog on a green leaf in a pond is spotted along the West Highland Way

Frog and toad spotting is a great activity along your West Highland Way walk

Birds

With a life span in the wild of thirty years, the golden eagle is a majestic creature. Living in the wild open moorlands and mountains of the Scottish highlands, you might lucky enough to catch sight of one when you are walking the West Highland Way! Measuring 27 to 33 inches in height, the golden eagle has a wingspan of 78 inches. Both males and females participate in nest building, gathering a selection of large sticks and aromatic leaves to use.  Golden eagles are known for their extraordinary eyesight. Prey attacks are usually made upwind so the eagle has a more control.

A Golden Eagle is spotted along the West Highland Way

Spotting a Golden Eagle along the West Highland way is an unmissable experience.

If you would like to find out more about the West Highland Way or any of our other fantastic Scottish walks, contact us.

Thanks to pixabay.com for the images.