The Cairngorms are a very special place thanks to the beautiful scenery with its rivers, lochs, forests, moorland and spectacular mountains, and 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 like Red Squirrel, Pine Marten, Goldeneye, Crested Tit, Siskin, Common, Scottish and even Parrot Crossbills and the magnificent rare Capercaillie. The local rivers have Otter, Goosander and Dipper while the moorlands have Red Deer, Red and Black Grouse, Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl and the mountains have Mountain Hare, Golden Eagle, Ptarmigan and Snow Bunting. A little further north is the Black Isle for Red Kites and the Moray Firth, where Chanonry Point is “the best dolphin watching site in Europe” according to Simon King! The firth also offers fantastic birdwatching in winter when possibilities include all three divers, Slavonian Grebe, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Merlin, Peregrine, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Twite and large concentrations of sea duck like Red-breasted Merganser, Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Scaup and Common and Velvet Scoters, plus waders galore, including Purple Sandpiper. We shall also listen out for news of possible northern rarities such as Snow Goose, King Eider, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Waxwing and Great Grey Shrike. During our stay we shall visit all the top local sites in order to see as much as possible of the exciting wildlife and so by the end of this rewarding trip we should have seen at least 85 bird species, as well as some exciting mammals, and all amid superb scenery.
We shall be staying at the four star Grant Arms Hotel on The Square in the heart of Grantown-on-Spey. This imposing Georgian hotel is fit for a Queen and all rooms are ensuite with TV and tea/coffee making facilities. The hotel specialises in wildlife breaks, offering talks and advice on where to go to find the local wildlife, making it the ideal base for our group.
We have an afternoon flight from Birmingham to Aberdeen, collect a hire vehicle and drive west to the fabulous Grant Arms Hotel in time for the first of several sumptuous dinners. We have five full days to explore the variety of productive habitats within about fifty miles of the hotel and on one evening we will also visit a nearby mammal watching hide which virtually guarantees close views of Badgers and Pine Martens! On the last day we drive to Inverness for a morning flight back to Birmingham.
Cost; £1695 Only one place left. No Single supplement! Deposit; £600
What the price includes:
Outward flight with Loganair from Birmingham to Aberdeen and return flight to Birmingham from Inverness, all road transport in Scotland by people carrier, six nights’ half board en-suite accommodation, all excursions in Scotland including one evening’s exclusive use of a mammal watching hide, wildlife checklist and guidance.