January 2025 – Midweek

A Highland Midweek getaway

With Birding Ecosse and The Grant Arms Hotel

Tuesday 07  to Friday 10 January 2025

    *** Only 4 spaces available ***     

Tuesday 21  to Friday 24 January 2025

    *** Only 4 spaces available *** 

  Tuesday – Arrival day

The magnificent Grant Arms Hotel

The Highlands of Scotland are a much overlooked area at this time of year, short daylight hours and sometimes chilly weather make many think this is not a place to be in winter…. how wrong they are!  Rafts of sea duck just offshore, Golden and White Tailed Eagles are very active in the few hours of daylight stocking up on food and repairing nests before the long winter night settles in, Crested Tit, such a hard bird to see in the hazy lazy summer days come readily to feeders and hungry Coal Tits will feed out of your hands. So don’t be put off, take the leap of faith and head North, you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday

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

Male Long Tailed Duck having a preen

Now the Moray coast is not all beautiful Sandy and Rocky Beaches,  it has amazing estuarine habitats, fresh water Lochs and plenty of farmland, woods and scrub to keep us fully occupied on this full day Birdwatching Tour, and it can produce some great passerines as well. Snow Bunting are regular and Corn Bunting and Tree Sparrow are relatively 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.

Common Eider riding the Surf

This area can host an amazing 25000 Long Tailed Ducks, 100’s of Common Eiders, rafts of Common Scoter with their scarcer cousins the Velvet Scoter being seen in double figure numbers. Red Throated, Black Throated and Great Northern Divers are all relatively common and White Billed Divers are becoming more and more regular.

Red Throated Diver
 

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

Accessibility: No accessibility issues on this tour.

Purple Sandpiper     
Pick up 0800 – Drop off 1630/1700 

 

Thursday

Highland Birds

Crested Tit

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

The Highlight at this time of year for many people are the fantastic views we get of Crested Tit.  In extreme cold they have even been known to come down and feed off your hand! It is not uncommon to have three or four individuals hopping around your feet, whilst the more numerous Coal Tits have no such reservations and will fight and clamour all over you to get to the seed, it is a magical experience, and no matter how many times I do this it always gives me a buzz!

Crested Tit

Snow Buntings are another sought after specialty bird.  And the high tops and car parks are the perfect place to pick up these wee beauties, present throughout the winter they also come readily to seed, and standing with a nice hot coffee in a winter wonderland watching them go about their daily lives is something quite special.

 

Snow Bunting

 

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 one of 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 and provide lots of food for the above raptors.

Great Birds, great Scenery and fantastic experiences it really is a day not to be missed.

Accessibility: No accessibility issues on this tour.

Pick up 0815 – Drop off 1630

Golden Eagle

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 only £570 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 birding days.

All guiding fees.

Free Complimentary Checklist

Use of binoculars if required.

What’s not included:

Travel to/from Hotel.

Drinks at hotel.

Personal insurance.

Travel Insurance (Recommended)

Items of a personal nature.

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