July 2022 – Weekend

A Highland Weekend getaway

With Birding Ecosse and The Grant Arms Hotel.

        Thursday 07 to Monday 11 July 2022       

         ***4 Spaces available***

 Thursday – Arrival day

The beautiful Grant Arms Hotel

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!

Friday

Applecross and Shieldaig

The jaw dropping Bealach na ba – The Pass of the cattle.

The Bealach na ba – the steepest ascent of any road in the UK and the third highest, the sign at the beginning of the pass used to state “not for inexperienced or nervous drivers! Luckily I an neither, so sit back and enjoy one of the best driving experiences in Scotland.

Now much as the journey up the Bealach is inspiring, we come here for a reason, we are searching for a very high altitude bird and a real specialist in surviving in these hostile conditions, that bird is the Ptarmigan.  A short walk from the car park see us scanning the rock strewn landscape in search for this spectacular bird.

Ptarmigan (Male above – female below)

Dropping off the high top we approach the beautiful village of Applecross were we stop for a coffee break and scan the bay, a great location for Divers in full plumage and Red Breasted Merganser drift along side Eiders.

As we head along the scenic coastal road toward our last stop, the pretty village of Shieldaig (one of my personal favourites in the UK) we hopefully wont get stuck in a “Heilan Coo” traffic Jam!

And so we arrive at Shieldaig, a beautiful place to relax before our drive back to Grantown, however once again we are here for a reason, White Tailed Eagles. This pretty little village is a hotspot for seeing these enormous raptors. Great Birds, stunning scenery and lots of tea and coffee, what a great day out!

Saturday

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 up high in the Birding Ecosse vehicle, were we shall search for the “”Mountain Blackbird” the beautiful 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 the 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 is its 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 0800 – Drop off 1700

Sunday

Selkies and Tysties!

The stunning “Bowfiddle Rock”
Today sees us on the Moray Coastline, visiting picturesque fishing villages and stunning natural scenery, but these are just a backdrop to the main stars, the Birds. As we visit tidal estuaries to watch Ospreys dive expertly in to the shallow waters for “flatties” (wondering every time how they do not injure themselves in the process)

Osprey death stare

We shall stand atop rugged sea cliffs watching Razorbill, Guillemot, Fulmar, Kittiwake and Shag busily feeding their ever growing broods, whilst in the crystal clear waters below Summer plumaged Black Guillemots buzz about busily, their stunning black and white plumage brightened by their bright red legs!

One of my favourite picture, if you look closely, the white patched under the water are actually the white wing coverts of three Black Guillemots “flying” under the water!

And as if that was not enough we stand a great chance of seeing Bottle Nosed Dolphins, Grey and Common Seals!

And if you are lucky, as we have one of our many refreshment stops I will even explain the title of the day “Selkies and Tysties”  A truly magical way to spend a summers day in Scotland!

Pick up 0800 – Drop off 1730/1800

Monday

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 £645 per person!*** 

So what is included?:

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

Delicious packed Lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Tea/Coffee morning and afternoon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

All transport on outings.

All guiding fees.

Complimentary Check List

Use of binoculars if required.

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.