Best time to travel to Scotland

Swans in Scotland

During winter Scotland hosts these elegant guests from Iceland and Siberia


Nature-lovers can encounter two swan species in the lands of Northern Scotland. Whooper Swans fly here from Iceland and Bewick Swans from Siberia. Both visit Scotland to winter while the waters in their homelands are completely frozen and unsuitable for swimming. The seasons vary slightly: Whoopers can be observed between late September and April and simetimes they put off their departure and even nest in Scotland. Bewicks are present strictly from October to March.

Practical info

What species of swans can be encountered in Northern Scotland during winter?

Two types of swans inhabit Northern Scotland during winter - Whooper Swans and Bewick Swans. These birds migrate from Iceland and Siberia, respectively. Scotland is their preferred destination to survive the winter months due to its ice-free waters, which is ideal for swimming. Show more

Where do the Whooper Swans and Bewick Swans come from?

Whooper Swans and Bewick Swans arrive in Northern Scotland from Iceland and Siberia, respectively. They favor Scotland for wintering since its waters remain ice-free while the water bodies in their homelands freeze over and aren't suitable for swimming. Show more

When is the best time to observe Whooper Swans and Bewick Swans in Scotland?

Whooper Swans can be seen in Scotland from late September to April, and sometimes, they nest in the country. Bewick Swans, on the other hand, are present only from October to March. Scotland's winter months are the best time to go bird-watching, especially if you want to observe these magnificent birds. Show more

Do the swans stay in Scotland throughout the entire winter season?

Whooper Swans may stay in Scotland for longer beyond April and even nest in the country. However, Bewick Swans are only present between October to March. The swans tend to stay in Scotland unless conditions in their homeland improve. When weather and ice conditions change, some swans may start departing earlier than expected. Show more

How are the swans able to cope with the Scottish winter weather conditions?

Swans can survive the Scottish winter as they have adapted to the harsh climate. Their large bodies and insulating feathers help them stay warm even in freezing temperatures. Their size enables them to conserve energy when swimming to survive the winter months. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin