The Ythan estuary is well known amongst birders and it's internationally recognised for its populations of wading birds, eider ducks and terns.
The estuary is designated as a Special Protection Area under the European Birds Directive. Bird species which contribute to that designation include common, little and sandwich tern, eider, lapwing, pink footed geese and redshank. It's also designated as a Ramsar site because of the variety of birds found there and as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The Ythan estuary at Newburgh is also well-known amongst locals as a spot to watch seals. Both harbour (common) and grey seals are found here.