June 2023 – Weekend

 

The Uists and Barra Tour

Thursday 08 June to Wednesday 14 June 2023

** Sorry this Tour is now full for 2023**

(Reserve list operating please contact us to discuss)  

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 Hamersay House Hotel on North Uists.

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

One of the main Target Birds – Corncrake

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 Hamersay House Hotel in Lochmaddy on North Uist you will be treated to warm and cosy rooms and absolutely amazing food!  A few libations may also be taken at the call over each evening.

Hamersay House Hotel – Lochmaddy

 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 Ardmhor, a short 45 minute crossing. We will then spend the day exploring this exciting and beautiful Island , don’t worry even I cannot get lost….. there is only 1 road!

Sunday

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

An optional “before breakfast” rise will see us 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 before your porridge!

Short Eared Owl

Pre Breakfast Hen Harrier Anyone?

The Machair will be in full flower 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! Gulls, Terns and Skuas should be present offshore and on the fences parties of Twite will mix with Corn Bunting and Skylarks. However star birds for the day has to be the Corncrakes and Red Necked Phalaropes. Iconic birds of summer time on the Uists!

 

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 and 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, Manx and Sooty Shearwaters can be expected along side Arctic and Great Skua, we may even score with Pomarine as well!

***All this for only £1275 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 know if you have any special food requests. i.e 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 (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast) at the Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown on Spey.

Four nights Full board (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast) at the Hamersay House 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.

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.