Proposed Itinerary Early Autumn Wildlife Holiday
The following itinerary gives an idea of what to expect this week. Exact locations will vary according to preferences and weather. Remember – some of the best wildlife encounters can be had in inclement weather!
Saturday 16th: Arrival. Orientation. Pine marten watching (which can be done each evening!). Moth trap and opportunity to listen and look for bats and owls, if fine.
Sunday 17th: (am) Look at contents of moth trap. Glen Loy. Walk up the upper glen looking specifically for ravens, deer and eagles and possible late dragonflies.
(pm) Glen Roy. Explore this fascinating glen and its unique geology, whilst looking for raptors and upland birds, including ring ouzel, red and sika deer and a range of plants, butterflies and dragonflies.
Monday 18th : (am/pm) Stop off at head at Loch Eil to look for ducks and waders. Pause at Prince’s cairn for scan of sea. Visit Rhu peninsula, look for common seals, otters, ducks and divers with walk to Port na Murram white sand beach, if fine. Explore coast between Arisaig and Morar.
Tuesday 19th: (early). Have a look for blackcock near Fort William and then otters at Lochy Mouth.
(am/pm) Brief stop off to look for red squirrels on feeders at Inchree with walk round the Inchree Falls, looking for woodland birds. Carry on to Cuil Bay for lunch, and a walk along the peninsula, looking for ducks, divers, waders (including whimbrel), otters and a wealth of other wildlife.
Wednesday 20th: (am/pm) Do the Eagle Watch cruise along Loch Shiel (if fine) looking for golden and sea eagles, and admiring the glorious scenery. Short walk near Salen after lunch, looking for dragonflies and late butterflies. Spend some time in the Garbh Eilean wildlife hide looking for otters and seals. Return via Corran Ferry.
Thursday 21st.: (am/pm) Loch Arkaig. Drive to this impressive loch and stop off at the foot by the Chia-Aig Falls to have a look at the new Woodland Trust reserve, and search for grey wagtails and dippers in the river. Continue up the loch looking for eagles (both golden and white-tailed), along with deer and a variety of waterbirds. Have a walk at the end of the loch. Return to Gairlochy and walk along the canal looking at the display of late plants, with further chance of dipper.
Friday 22nd.: (am/pm) Small Isles. Catch the Sheerwater from Arisaig and visit the beautiful Inner Hebridean islands of Eigg and Muck. Should still be shearwaters flying, along with a good chance of cetaceans, including minke whale, and basking shark. We spend time on Muck, walking across to a mixed seal colony, and also look for returning winter waders.
Saturday 23rd : Departure and drop off at Fort William.
Other options – Glen Nevis, Boat trip to Knoydart , Cairngorms