The Scottish highlands are a very special place, thanks to the beautiful scenery, with its rivers, lochs, forests, moors and spectacular mountains. One only has to think of the list of species which live in this wonderfully wild area to realise that it is one of the best places for wildlife in the whole of Britain! The ancient Caledonian pine forests offer specialities such as Red Squirrel, Goldeneye, Osprey, Crested Tit, Siskin, Common, Scottish and Parrot Crosbills and the magnificent Capercaillie! The rivers have Otter, Goosander, Common Sandpiper and Dipper, while the moorland has Red Deer plus Red and Black Grouse. Black-throated Diver and the rare Slavonian Grebe breed on nearby lochs, while the mountains offer Mountain Hare, Golden Eagle and Ring Ouzel. A little further north is the Moray coast for Eider, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Scoter, Red Kite, Corn Bunting and the increasingly rare Grey Partridge.
As well as five nights at The Mountview Hotel in Nethy Bridge, we have two nights in an equally good hotel on Orkney, where the spectacular sea cliffs and lonely moors are home to a profusion of bird life including huge seabird colonies and breeding densities of Red-throated Diver, Pintail, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl and wild Rock Dove which are unmatched in mainland Britain!
This exciting trip has been organised in conjunction with Heatherlea, one of the premier Scottish tour operators, and the only one in the highlands awarded a Five Star Wildlife Experience, by the Scottish Tourist Board. Their experienced local guides have a detailed knowledge of the area and know where best to find all the specialities.
Day 1 We can arrange for you to be collected from Aviemore station, or you can drive to The Cairngorms, to arrive in time for dinner.
Day 2 We explore the Abernethy area in search of Crested Tit, Crossbills, Grouse, Slavonian Grebe and Black-throated Diver.
Day 3 We drive north, via scenic Sutherland and Caithness, for a ferry to Orkney, with the possibility of Black Guillemot and Orcas on the crossing. We have a two night stay on ‘mainland’ Orkney.
Day 4 We have a full day on Orkney where we search for local specialities like Red-throated Diver, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Short-eared Owl, Rock Dove, Twite and a variety of waders. We also visit at least one seabird colony, such as Marwick Head, where thousands of Auks and Kittiwakes are harried by Great and Arctic Skuas.
Day 5 After a final exploration of Orkney, we leave by a different ferry route to maximise our scenic experience, arriving back in Nethy Bridge in good time for dinner.
Days 6 & 7 We explore a private estate for Capercaillie, local glens for Golden Eagle and Ring Ouzel, and the Moray coast for sea ducks, Corn Bunting and Grey Partridge.
Day 8 We arrange your transfer to Aviemore station, or you drive home, after a productive and enjoyable trip.
What the price includes:
Return transfers between Aviemore station and Nethy Bridge (if required), seven nights’ full board en-suite accommodation, all excursions in Scotland, return ferry to Orkney, bird checklist and the services of your guides.
No single supplement