THE warmer months are an ideal time to see the creatures which make Scotland a hit with wildlife enthusiasts, including the “big five”: harbour seals, red deer, golden eagles, otters and red squirrels.

Fyvie Castle

Fyvie, Aberdeenshire

Red squirrels can be found at around

20 sites managed by the National Trust

for Scotland, including the grounds of Fyvie Castle near Turriff.

Bird-watchers will need a extra set of eyes to spot the large numbers of wildfowl supported by Fyvie Loch, from families of swans to coots, mallards and moorhens – species joined in the winter by greylag geese, tufted ducks and goldeneyes.

From the cover of the delightful boathouse (pictured), you may just catch the majestic sight of an osprey fishing in the loch if you are quiet, patient and lucky.

On Tuesday rangers are hosting a lochside walk for children to learn about the birds and other wildlife at Fyvie.

August 6, Fyvie Castle, Garden and Estate, Aberdeenshire, 10.30 to midday, £5 per child. Tel: 01330 844810.

Inverewe Garden

Near Poolewe, Wester Ross

Thanks to the influence of the North Atlantic current, exotic plants thrive at Inverewe, which features a heritage garden with species from across the world.

Each of Scotland’s big five are known in this beautiful area where sharp-eyed visitors may also even spot a sea eagle.

Open 9.30am to 6pm daily, near Poolewe, Wester Ross, £12.50 adult, £11.50 concs.

Crathes Castle

Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Home to a historic portrait collection, sumptuous decor and resident ghosts, Crathes Castle is also a draw for those looking to spot pine martens, otters, red kites, badgers, roe deer and red squirrels.

The NTS’s north-east ranger service is based at Crathes, and rangers are often on hand to answer questions on wildlife found along the many trails on the estate, which includes the Coy Burn, a habitat favoured by herons and kingfishers.

Open 10.30 to 5pm daily. Entry to castly £13 adult, £10 concs ... though

you can walk around the estate for free. Tel: 01330 844525.

Threave Garden and Estate

Near Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

With meadows and wetlands on its wider estate supporting an abundance of insects, there’s plenty for bats to eat at Threave, home to one of Scotland’s most biodiverse nature reserves and the first bat reserve in the country.

During the day, look out for ospreys, red kites and peregrine falcons while you’re taking in the views over the Galloway Hills and the Dee valley.

Dusk is the best time to spot the seven bat species found at Threave, which runs a dedicated conservation programme.

Twice a week until September 19 the team are running evening walks where visitors can learn to recognise the different species and spot other nocturnal wildlife such as owls and badgers.

August 8, Threave Garden, 9pm,

£8 adult, £4 child. Find all dates at

Loch Lomond

Trossachs National Park

Wildlife teems at Loch Lomond, as well as on its 20 or so islands, many of which can be reached by ferry.

Home to fallow deer, the island of Inchcailloch is a favoured spot to see blackcap, willow warbler and chiffchaff.

Red squirrels are often seen in the conifers of Conic Hill, on the loch’s east side, and those making it higher may spot buzzards and hen harriers.

The RSPB holds a bat night at its High Wards Farm centre later in the month.

August 23, Gartocharn, 7.30pm, £8. Tel: 01389 830670.