Join us at Highland's "Wildlife Hotel", The Grant Arms for a spectacular autumn birding four night break. As well as three full days fully guided birding including transport you also have exclusive use of all the facilities provided by the Birdwatching & Wildlife Club (BWWC) during your stay. This includes an extensive Natural History library and Club room full of local wildlife information as well as a sightings board. A wildlife film is shown most evenings as well as regular talks when scheduled during one of our breaks. There’s also the chance to meet other birders or groups staying at the hotel to catch up with their sightings and compare notes, all adding to the atmosphere your stay. Also as the hotel is situated in the town numerous shops and facilities are all within easy walking distance....
Autumn brings with it a vibrant palette of colours to the Highlands, Red Deer start to rut in the forests and glens and Salmon spawn in the rivers. Often one of the best times for Eagle watching as younger birds begin to wander, and passage migrants begin to stream through from their breeding grounds.
Day 1 : Arrival. We meet up for an evening introduction at the hotel before dinner.
Day 2 : Our first day is spent locally in and around Strathspey, visiting the forests, lochs and moors for a wealth of species and classic Scottish specialities including Crested Tit, Scottish/Parrot Crossbill, Black Grouse and a chance of the elusive Capercaillie. We then visit the famous Findhorn Valley (Strathdearn) in search of Golden and White-tailed Eagles as well as other raptors, Red Deer and Mountain Hare.
Day 3: We visit the Cairngorm Mountains with a trip up on the funicular railway in search of Ptarmigan and Snow Buntings before spending the rest of the day around the Black Isle and the inner Moray Firth, where we target wintering sea duck and if weather conditions are favourable some sea-bird passage. All four Skuas are often seen off Chanonry point at this time of year as well as the famous population of Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Rafts of Scaup bob in the Firths accompanied by Slavonian Grebes, Scoters, Divers and Merganser and there is a good chance of finding an Otter too.The first wintering flocks of Pink-footed Geese and Whooper Swans should also be arriving feeding on the rich farmland of the Black Isle as well as gathering Finch and Bunting flocks.
Day 4 : A superb day's birding on the Moray Firth with it's sweeping beaches and secluded harbours, our best chance of catching up with any unusual migrants as well as passage waders and sea-birds. Long-tailed Ducks, Velvet and Common Scoters, rafts of Eiders, Slavonian Grebe, Purple Sandpiper and all three divers are also on the target list. King Eider is a regular visitor to this coast also so we will keep a sharp eye out for this beautiful vagrant as well as any other unusual visitors which often occur along this coastline. A day where we usually get 50-60 species so the focus will be on key points of identification, especially with some of those tricky wader species.
Day 4 : Departure
Please note the exact itinerary is for guidance only and may be subject to change depending on weather conditions. Later trips will of course include more wintering species as they arrive, particularly sea-ducks and geese.
* Extra nights added can be booked by Highland Nature on your behalf, payable direct to Grant Arms on departure
What's included in your package?
* 4 nights Dinner bed & Breakfast at the three star Grant Arms Hotel, packed lunch and hot drinks during the day.
* Transport throughout the holiday including ferry fares.
* The services of local guide John Poyner throughout the break. John lives locally and has been working as a Bird & Wildlife Guide throughout the Highlands and Islands for 13 years, previously working for RSPB Scotland as an assistant warden and two of Scotland's leading wildlife tour companies. He now runs Highland Nature, and is Wildlife Guide for the BWWC at the Grant Arms Hotel. In any spare time, John also works as a freelance environmental consultant surveying upland birds for renewable energy developments.
What's Not Included in your Package?
All alcoholic drinks, tips, any incidental expenses of a personal nature.
Number in group is limited to a maximum of 7 people.
For further details contact us on 01479 821357 / (07875) 094666 (mob) Email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below and we will make a preliminary booking for you. To secure this we can take a deposit by Cheque or Bank Transfer, details will be sent.
If you wish to pay by card we can do this through PayPal, there is a 3.4% transaction charge for this.
Once we have received your balance we will confirm the booking in writing. Please read our Terms & Conditions prior to booking.
And finally..........HOW DO I GET HERE?
By Car: Main roads are kept well cleared in Scotland in winter, local councils are well equipped and used to snow! Grantown is accessed via the main A9 north from Glasgow, a major trunk road.
By Train: Services daily to Aviemore from Kings Cross. We offer a free pick up and drop of service to the station by arrangement.
By Air: Inverness airport is just over an hours drive away. Full details of flights available here.
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