Forget your sandwiches, forget your waterproofs but never forget your camera and binoculars. Glenelg is a haven for birds, sea life and all other variety of wildlife like Otters and Pine Marten.
Through the Gavin Maxwell story and his books Glenelg was highlighted as an otter watching area and it remains the same today. Walk from The Lodge, past the war memorial towards the Glenelg Inn or village and it's not unusual to see an otter swimming or munching its catch on the shore. Around Riverfoot, by the beach, on the rivers to the North and South of the Lodge and round the rocks by the slip when the ferry has tied up for the night - just some of the local hot spots for Otter watching depending on tides, the time of day, but mostly how quiet (and lucky!) you are.
The North West of Scotland is the last stronghold in the UK where you may catch a glimpse of the elusive Pine Marten. You can set out time delayed cameras or lie out, night after night, in the cold to try and grab a photo of a Pine Marten and never see one. On the other hand if you put a Honey, Jam or Peanut Butter sandwich out on the decking at The Lodge in the evening, your chances will be much better! See our Pine Marten video clips
If you love watching sealife in the wild but appreciate a bit of comfort then the Kylerhea Otter Hide is a must visit tourist attraction. The otter hide is just across the Kyle Rhea straits from Glenelg and open all year. Pop over on the Skye Ferry, the hide is approx 1 mile walk from Kylerhea landing slip or visit from the Isle of Skye side. As with all bird and wildlife watching nothing is guaranteed but regular spottings are made of otters, seals, pods of dolphins and other sea and wildlife.
During May and June Bernera beach often has it's own unofficial seal exhibition, as the tide rises seals come right up to the waters edge, playing in the shallows with much snorting and flipper splashing, it can be quite a show!
The native Red Deer are plentiful in the area where you will spot them on the hills, in the glens or even on the beach. Sometimes you can't see the deer for the trees (seriously they blend in that well). If you are really struggling to see any it's worth a visit to Corran where the deer are almost tame and the odd one or two will even take your sandwiches!!
In October and early November the rutting season brings the sounds of clacking of antlers and stags roaring. Around dawn and dusk the noise echoes around the glens and hills as the stags fight for dominant position in the herd. This is one of the iconic sounds of the Highlands.
The birdlife around Glenelg, Lochalsh and the Isle of Skye is too diverse to mention every sighting but needless to say there is more than enough to keep both amateur and full-time "twitchers" happy. In the evenings the call of Eider Ducks and Oyster Catchers drift across the bay. At different times of the year, waders, ducks and geese patrol the shore line. Herons are everywhere and overhead buzzards, hawks and even Victor the local Sea Eagle, can be spotted by the sharp eyed bird watcher (remember those binoculars!)
Just a small note, deer will run across the road without warning and sheep don't teach their lambs the green cross code so please take care driving or cycling around the area.
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A Pine Marten at The Lodge window