October 2021 – Weekend

 

The Uists and Barra

Thursday 07 to Wednesday 13 October 2021

** This tour is now full **  

The magnificent Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown on Spey

Join Birding Ecosse for a long  weekend at the luxurious Grant Arms Hotel situated in Grantown on Spey and the warm and inviting Templeview Hotel on North Uists.

October is thee month for visiting the beautiful Outer Hebrides if you are looking to connect with a rarity.  Many North American birds arrive at this, their first land mass if they have been blown off course at this time of year.  On this exciting trip we will be searching for Vagrant Gulls, Waders and Passerines, alongside the home grown talent of Golden and White Tailed Eagles, Hen Harrier and Short Eared Owls, Twite and a whole host of waders.  Just writing this is making my heart race and my mind wander to the Islands!

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

Travel day today, so up bright and breezy (time to be to be confirmed but may be well before breakfast, in that case breakfast will be picked up “on the hoof” as we travel to Uig)

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/Sunday/Monday

 And so the weekend begins, the actual itinerary will be weather dependant, however as guidance what I plan is:

Saturday:

Our step off point to Barra – the stunning Isle of Eriskay.

This morning we will set off for a day trip to Barra, sailing from Eriskay to Castlebay, a short 45 minute crossing. We will then spend the day exploring the exciting new location for Birding Ecosse, don’t worry even I cannot get lost….. there is only 1 road!

Sunday:

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

After a hearty breakfast we will be 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 right after your porridge!

Short Eared Owl

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!

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

Monday

On todays outing we will complete the Islands by visiting Benbecula, South Uist.

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.

Tuesday

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.

***All this for only £1195 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?:

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

Four 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

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