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 and seabirds.
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. By the late September break, Red Deer should be beginning their rut on the high crags, 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 : We join the CalMac ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway for a non-landing sea-watching cruise out across the Minch and back. Black Guillemot, Puffin, Skuas, Shearwaters, Storm Petrel and Terns as well as many other seabirds can be expected. Common, Risso's, Bottle-nosed as well as other rarer species of Dolphin are often spotted and even a chance of Minke Whale. A superb day out at sea in the comfort of a modern ferry, facilities include viewing lounge, cafe and restaurant should you wish to take a break from scanning from the deck.
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.
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.
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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