February 2022 – Midweek

A Highland Midweek getaway with Birding Ecosse and The Grant Arms Hotel

Tuesday 01 to Friday 04 February 2022

*** 3 Spaces left***

Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 February 2022

*** 4 Spaces available***

And

Tuesday 22 to Friday 25 February 2022

***4 Spaces available*** 

 

 Tuesday – Arrival day

The magnificent Grant Arms Hotel – Grantown on Spey

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

The Moray Coast

The Moray coast, as yet a much undiscovered and unexplored Gem in the Highlands of Scotland’s bird watching scene. Beautiful fishing villages perched right on the coastline, historic castles steeped in local folklore, Typhoon Jets from the RAF giving a bit of excitement and of course lots and lots of Birds!

This area can host an amazing 25000 Long Tailed Ducks, rafts of Common Scoter with their scarcer cousins the Velvet Scoter being seen in double figure numbers. Red, Black and Great Northern Divers are all relatively common and White Billed Divers are becoming more and more regular.

Long Tailed Duck
                                                                A beautiful Male Long Tailed Duck

Waders are another draw to this stunning coastline, Purple Sandpipers are seen on nearly every trip, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Redshanks and Knot are all common.

                                                                                             Sanderling

Now the Moray coast is not all Sandy and Rocky Beaches, oh no! it has amazing estuarine habitats, fresh water Lochs and plenty of Farmland, woods and scrub to keep us fully occupied on this full day of Birdwatching, and it can produce some great passerines as well. 2017 saw the arrival of a Shorelark, a species not at all common up here in the North, Twite and Snow Bunting are regular and Corn Bunting and Tree Sparrow are easy to find, if you know where to look! All in all a great place to visit and with an expected 60+ species list for the day it is a brilliant way to bring on your bird identification skills along with your year list.

Pick up 0800 – Drop Off 1700

The 2017 Burghead Shorelark

Thursday 

Merkinch – Black Isle

                                                                                                     Udale Bay

 

Situated here in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, wintertime on the Moray Firth and Black Isle is a magical time of year. Tide and weather permitting 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. Winter plumaged Slavonian Grebes 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.

                                                                             Red Breasted Merganser (female)

 

After this we head over the Firth to the Black Isle, one of my favourite Birding Spots. From Sandy Beaches, mud filled tidal bays to fields and 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, sometime numbering several hundred, Long Tailed Ducks mingle with Red Breasted Mergansers and Common Eiders. Several Thousand Pink Footed Geese roost in the area, right in front of the best hide in the Highlands and with a careful check we may pick up Brent, Barnacle, Canada and White Fronted Geese as well, and not to be outdone by the first location we may encounter our second American Wigeon of the day!

Brent Goose

The mixed habitat attracts large Finch flocks to the areas, Brambling and Yellowhammer mingle with Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Linnets and only in 2016 the area turned up a Siberian Accentor!

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

Pick up 0800 – Drop Off 1630

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 just £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.

Complimentary Checklist

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.