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....
September sees autumn migration at its peak and as well a chance to catch up with some Scottish specialities we will spend more time exploring some of the fantastic lesser known coastal habitats of the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Moray in search of migrants and hopefully a few rarities too! With probably 100 plus species over the three days we will focus on getting to grips with ID, especially for those tricky waders.
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 some 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), a classic Highland Glen, in search of Golden and White-tailed Eagles as well as other raptors, Mountain Hare, Red Squirrel and Wild Goats. On the high crags Red Deer should be beginning their rut and the sight of roaring Stags echoing through the glen not to be missed.
Day 3 : We head across to some of the rich coastal habitats of the Outer Moray Firth and Aberdeenshire, a landscape of vast sky-scapes, beautiful beaches, river estuaries and secluded migrant hot spots. Depending on the birds, we may visit Loch of Strathbeg with its wealth of wader and wildfowl habitat or head to the surrounds of the beautiful Ythan Estuary, home to large gatherings of Eiders as well as a rich feeding ground for passage waders and wildfowl. There are plenty of sheltered migrant hot spots to check out as well, the day could turn up literally whatever the wind blows in.
Day 4 : Today we head for the Black Isle and inner Moray Firth including a visit to the famous Chanonry point where we hope to catch up with Bottle-nosed Dolphins and some sea-bird passage as well as probably our best chance of seeing an Otter. The point is well known for its Skua migration at this time of year with all four species regularly seen in good conditions as well as Terns, Gannets, Red-throated Divers, Slavonian Grebe, Mergansers, Goosander and auks. We will then head to the mud-flats of Udale Bay with its excellent RSPB hide for a further chance for waders such as Knot, Godwit, Ruff as well as thousands of Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Curlews. The Cromarty firth is also a great place to encounter wintering Scaup and Slavonian Grebes which should now be arriving from further north.
Day 5 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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