The Mini Tour

 

The Mini Grand Tour!

With Birding Ecosse

Thursday 20 to Tuesday 25 June 2019

(5 nights -4 Day)

**** 1 Space remaining ****

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, deep in the Scottish Highlands

Thursday

Arriving on Thursday afternoon why not treat yourself to a couple of “local brews” in the hotels stunning Capercaillie bar, prior to you enjoying your evening meal in the beautiful dining room.

Friday

The Stunning Troup Head Gannetry.
Today is one of my favourite outings of the Birding Ecosse itinerary. A trip on the “Seacat” out to Scotland’s only mainland Gannetry. Some 1500 birds call this rugged bit of Cliff home, and it is not just Gannets, Kittiwakes, Common Guillemot (some showing the Bridled form)Black Guillemot, Razorbills and….. Puffins!

“Gear Down to land” – Gannet

The rest of the day is spent exploring this beautiful part of the coastline, Bowfiddle Rock, Pennan, Portgordon, the list goes on and on each village has it owns unique atmosphere and characteristics.

What else may we pickup?  Well how about Bottle Nosed Dolphin, Common and Grey Seals and the off chance of a Minky Whale!

(Bad weather alternative if Seacat not sailing will be a walk out to the Colony, a fantastic experience as the Birds glide past at almost touching distance)

Pick up 0800 – Drop off 1730/1800

Saturday

Go West Young Man!

The stunning Bay at Poolewe.

Today we head over to the glorious West Coast of Scotland and some of the most beautiful scenery on mainland UK. Birding en-route we will be searching for Slavonian Grebes in full breeding plumage (viewed safely from public hides and viewing area’s) and Ospreys on their nest.

Black Throated Diver

Arriving on the West Coast we expect to see Red, Black and Great Northern Divers all in Stunning Breeding Plumage and very often close to shore, Red Breasted Mergansers and Goosanders loaf about on the water giving great comparisons.  The Lunch time stop is always a great location to spend in the company of Arctic and Common Terns at their colony, and using our fantastic Swarovski Scopes (we now have two for our victims to use) it is a brilliant location to get to grips with the subtle ID differences of these problematic birds.

This area regularly turns up both White Tailed and Golden Eagle so always keep your eyes scanning the skies!

Not forgetting the small stuff either! Here we stand a great chance of Twite, Northern Wheatear, Whinchat and Stonechat.  So all in all a great day out.

Pick up 0800 – Drop off 1730/1800

Sunday

The Ythan Estuary, one of the areas birding hotspots.

Today we visit a very new location for Birding Ecosse, the North East Coastline

The Ythan has in recent year been home of Elvis, the King Eider, will he be present in 2019? Who know, but whilst searching for him we will pick up stunning views of Sandwich and Arctic Terns, with a good chance of Roseate Tern as a bonus bird.

Sandwich Tern

Further up stream we visit a small hide higher up the Ythan River, ideal for waders and with luck some early returning birds such as Greenshank may be passing through,  2018 held a pair of spoonbills right in front of the hide!

We Finish the day visiting the main hide and Tower Hide at the RSPB Loch of Strathbeg. Here our target birds will be Black Tailed Godwits and Little Gull.

RSPB Loch of Strathbeg – Main Hide view.

Monday

Golden Eagle – one of todays target birds

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 0815 – Drop off 1700

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Pick up 0800 – Drop off 1730/1800

*** 5 Nights Full Board, 4 Days fully guided Birding Trips all for just £725 per person***

So what is included?:

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

4 Full days Birding.

Delicious packed Lunch on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday

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

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