August 2019 – Weekend

 

 The Highlands and Islands Tour

Thursday 22 to Wednesday 28 August 2019

**** Only 1 Space Remaining **** 

The magnificent Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown on Spey

Join Birding Ecosse for this fantastic two centre long weekend split between the luxurious Grant Arms Hotel situated in Grantown on Spey and the warm and inviting Templeview Hotel on North Uists.

Thursday

Arriving on Thursday afternoon why not sample a few “local brews” in the hotels superb Capercaillie bar before settling down to you enjoy evening meal in the beautiful dining room.

Friday

One of the main Target Birds – Corncrake

Travel day today, so up bright and breezy to enjoy a leisurely drive through the stunning Scottish Highlands, birding all the way!

Arriving at Uig we set sail to Lochmaddy to begin this mega exciting trip!  Staying at the beautiful Templeview Hotel on North Uist you will be treated to warm and cosy rooms, beautiful views from the Hotel and absolutely amazing food!  A few libations may also be taken at the call over each evening.

  Saturday:

Today will be exploring North Uist and Bernaray, fantastic habitat unlike any on mainland UK.

A before breakfast rise will see us traversing the moors on North Uist, a hot spot for Raptors, and with good luck we will encounter Short Eared Owl and Hen Harrier, two of the iconic species of the Islands, with a high chance of both Golden and White Tailed Eagle where else can you encounter these birds before your porridge!

Short Eared Owl

Pre Breakfast White Tailed Eagle Anyone?

The Machair will have stopped flowering at this time however the short grass is an inviting feeding area for returning waders, the sea weed strewn beaches nearby also providing a major buffet table for hungry bills! Gulls, Terns and Skuas should be present offshore and on the fences parties of Twite will mix with Corn Bunting and Skylarks.

The Uists at this time of year is alive with birds, some resident, some migrants, a fine cocktail to excite most birders!

 The Stunningly beautiful Uists

Sunday

On todays outing we will complete the Islands by visiting Benbecula, South Uist and the famous Whiskey Galore island Eriskay

South Uist is home to one of the best sea watching locations on the Hebrides and we will take full advantage of the setting! Gulls, Divers, Shearwaters, Auks, Petrels, Sea Ducks are all possible adding to the list for the weekend.

Monday

Today we bid farewell to the Uists and set sail back to the Mainland, giving a fantastic opportunity for some sea watching en-route. Auks of all shapes and sizes will be rafting on the water, Manx and Sooty Shearwaters can be expected along side Arctic and Great Skua, we may even score with Pomarine as well!

Tuesday

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.

Red Grouse

Next it is off to a beautiful classic Scottish Loch, complete with ruined castle in search of 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 for the arrival of another speciality, that being the beautiful, colourful and charismatic Slavonian Grebe, before heading South to a hide with the definite “Wow” factor, this is one of the few remaining sites where we might, if we are lucky see Hen Harrier.  Being surrounded by grouse moors they are a very very scarce birdy up here.

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. White 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 0630 – Drop off 1700

***All this for only £1250 per person!***

Points to note: Due to location of the Uists the weather can be very variable at this time of year… well to be honest it can be variable anytime of the year!  To that extent bring plenty of layers of clothing, especially a good waterproof outer layer, also include hat and gloves as it could get chilly in the breeze.

Please let me konw if you have any special food requests. ie Gluten Free/Vegetarian/Vegan.  Also your preference for drinks Tea/Coffee/Decaff/Herbal cold drinks etc.  This will allow me to stock up prior to the Uists where shops are limited.

So what is included?:

Three nights Full board at the Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown on Spey.

Three nights Full board at the Templeview hotel, North Uist.

5 Days birding (2 of these travel/birding days)

Delicious packed Lunches on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

Tea/Coffee morning and afternoon Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

All transport on outings

All guiding fees.

Use of binoculars if required.

Whats not included:

Drinks at hotel

Personal insurance

Items of a personal nature

No deposit required, however the full amount of your weekend must be paid at least four weeks prior to start date (preferably by bank transfer)

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

Please note, spaces are very limited so book early to avoid disappointment