April 2022 – Midweek

A Highland Midweek getaway

With Birding Ecosse and The Grant Arms Hotel

Tuesday 05 to Friday 08 April 2022

*** 4 Spaces available ***

And 

Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 April 2021

     *** 4 Spaces available ***

                         Tuesday – Arrival day                       

 

Arriving on Tuesday afternoon settle into your room in the Stunning Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown on Spey, Home of the BWWC,  before enjoying your exquisite evening meal in the beautiful dining room prior to perhaps a few nightcaps in the Hotels “Capercaillie” bar.

Be sure to get a good nights sleep though as the tour starts early tomorrow morning!

Wednesday

Merkinch – Black Isle

Red Kite

Situated here in the beautiful Scottish Highlands Springtime on the Beauly Firth and Black Isle is a magical time of year. Tide and weather permitted we start the day off with a walk in a local nature reserve, the exposed mud flats attracting hundreds of Ducks, such as Wigeon, Teal and Eider we may be lucky and see the regular overwintering American Wigeon.  Slavonian Grebes, just beginning to show their breeding plumage loaf about just offshore whilst Waders feed in the seaweed strewn pools and sand banks. And who knows, we may catch a glimpse of the local Otter family as they glide effortlessly among the seaweed beds just off the beach or perhaps catch the flash of blue of a Kingfisher.

After this we head over the Firth to the Black Isle, one of my favourite Birding Spots, en-route keeping our eyes peeled for the graceful Red Kites, whose numbers are, I’m glad to say, slowly increasing after a poisoning incident in 2016 where we lost nearly 25% of our breeding birds.

From Sandy Beaches, mud filled tidal bays to fields of arable farmland it is a cracking place to see a vast array of Species.  The area holds one of the largest and most easily viewable flock of Scaup, these ducks will be preparing themselves for the upcoming long trek North to their summer breeding grounds, Long Tailed Ducks mingle with Red Breasted Mergansers and Common Eiders. Pink Footed Geese numbers are starting to drop around now, but the odd straggler will still be in the area, adding to the days totals, and with a careful check we may pick up an early Osprey as they return from their wintering grounds. This is also a great place to pick up some more early arrivals such as Sand Martins and Sandwich Terns.

A fantastic varied day, with an expected species list of 50+.

Pick up 0800 – Drop Off 1630

Thursday

Highland Birds

 

This is a “must do” trip when you visit the Highland of Scotland!  The day starts off with a visit to a traditional Black Grouse Lek, and at the same time the “Go Back Go Back Go Back” calls of its Red Cousin fill the air.

Next it is off to a beautiful classic Scottish Loch, complete with ruined castle in search of newly arrived Black Throated and Red Throated Divers, 2018 was the first successful season in four years and it was a great feeling to see these two birds finally get off some young, hopefully securing the breeding in this area.

Calling in at the hotels very own superb hide we will check up on another  Highland speciality, that being the colourful and charismatic Slavonian Grebe, after hopefully watching these beautiful small Grebes from the comfort and safety of the hotels own private hide we then head “up up and away” to a high altitude car park in search for yet another special summer visitor, the Ring Ouzel.

We finish the day in a what has to be one of the most beautiful valleys in Scotland, and it is here we will search for two of the “Big Ones” they are White Tailed and Golden Eagles.  This area is probably the most productive sites in this part of Scotland to see these iconic birds, and the reason they are here?  Herds of Red Deer roam the hillside, Britain largest land mammal is very common as its it smaller relative the Roe Deer, we may even stumble across the secretive Sika deer. Mountain Hare, Brown Hare, Feral Goats and Red squirrel are also often encountered.

Great Birds, great Scenery and fantastic experiences it really is a day not to be missed.

Pick up 0815 – Drop off 1700

Friday

Give yourself a treat!  Enjoy a long lie before you head down for your last breakfast at the Grant Arms. Sit back and enjoy the memories of the past two full days birding in the glorious Scottish Highlands, and start planning your next trip North!

***All this for only £495 per person!*** 

So what is included?:

Three nights full board (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast) at the Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown on Spey.

Delicious packed Lunch on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tea/Coffee morning and afternoon Wednesday and Thursday.

All transport on outings

All guiding fees.

Use of binoculars if required.

Complimentary Checklist

Whats not included:

Drinks at hotel

Personal insurance

Items of a personal nature

Interested?  Then please feel free to contact Birding Ecosse for more information or to book your place.