Top 20 Wildlife Hotspots on the Isle of Man
Want to see a field full of orchids? A bluebell wood? How about the best places to try to catch a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins or basking sharks?
Here are our best tips, and a map of the island - good luck & enjoy!
Manx Marine Scene coastal viewing sites:
A network of binoculars and information boards around the island's coastline to enable better understanding of, and opportunities to see, our coastal and marine wildlife. The sites can be found at Marine Drive, Port St Mary, Bradda Glen, Niarbyl, Peel breakwater and Castletown - all are free to use.
The Sound, at the southern tip of the island:
Seals, chough, shags, cetaceans, basking shark
The Chasms/Sugarloaf, near Port St Mary:
Kittiwake, guillemot, peregrine, corvids (raven, chough crows) harbour porpoise, basking shark, minke whale
The Calf of Man:
Bird Observatory with various seabird colonies resident – shag, great back black, lesser black back and herring gull, kittiwakes, guillimot and razorbill plus chough, hen harrier, raven, peregrine. seals, basking shark, lizard
Port St Mary Ledges:
Harbour porpoise, minke, basking shark, rissos dolphin
- Visit our Marine Scene viewing point at Kallow Point, Port St Mary
- Visit our Marine Scene viewing point at Bradda Glen, Port Erin
Langness and Derbyhaven, near Castletown:
Risso’s dolphin, harbour porpoise, chough, geese, lepidoptera, lesser mottled grasshopper.
Niarbyl, on the west coast:
Chough, seabirds (various) cetaceans (various)
- Visit our Marine Scene viewing point at Niarbyl
Seals, cormorants, chough, wildfowl and seabirds, coastal wildflowers.
The Ayres/Point of Ayre:
Lichen Heath, sand-dunes, little tern, artic tern, winter migratory geese, divers, gannets, wildfowl (various), basking shark seals, lizard, lepidoptera (various).
- Visit our Ayres Visitor Centre and Nature Trail
Bulgham Bay and Dhoon Glen, near Laxey:
Sea cliffs with feral mountain goat, chough, peregrine, seabirds, minke whale in autumn
Marine Drive, near Douglas:
Cetaceans (various) seabirds (various), corvids, raptors and lizard.
- Visit our Marine Scene viewing point at Marine Drive
- Visit our Marine Scene viewing point at Peel Breakwater
The Ballaugh Curragh:
Willow carr, bog, open water and species rich hay meadows: Excellent for orchids and many other meadowland wildflowers, royal fern, hen-harrier, corncrake, brown hare, feral wallaby, barn owl, buzzard and numeerous other bird species as well as odonata, lepidoptera and the Manx Robberfly
The Southern uplands (South Barrule):
Hen harrier, grouse, crossbills
Northern uplands (Snaefel area):
Mountain hare, hen harrier, polecat ferret, corvids, heather, upland acid-soil flora including sundew, cotton grass and least willow
Silverdale River, near Ballasalla:
The Raggart, near Peel:
Bats, wild salmon and trout, various odonata and lepidoptera.
The old railway lines – Peel to Douglas and Peel to Ramsey:
Lepidoptera, odonata, bats, brown hare, feral wallaby, lizard,
Open water, reed beds, salt marsh, salmonids, various wildfowl, kingfisher, warblers.
Cooilldarry/Glen Wyllin, near Kirk Michael:
River valley broadleaved woodland with bluebells, ferns numerous birds species and bats.
Manx National Glens:
For bluebell and other spring woodland flowers, various woodland bird species, lepidoptera and bats.
Here's a list of all national glens. Short of time? If you can only visit one, go to Ballaglass
Spate river, heather and bracken heath, broadleaved woodland, meadows with orchids and summer wildflowers, dramatic views.
And try these other great spots to see wildlife and enjoy nature: