Itinerary – Spring Birds

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 : Arrival. Orientation. Pine marten viewing (which can be seen most evenings). Moth trap and short evening stroll looking for bats, possible grasshopper warblers, if fine.

Sunday  : am Glen Loy. Explore this lovely glen with a wide mixture of habitats including the original Caledonian Pine Reserve. Look for reptiles, butterflies and moths (weather allowing), and walk up the glen to look for eagles and deer.

pm Glen Roy. View the famous Parallel Roads of Glen Roy and drive up the glen looking for deer, raptors and montane species such as ring ouzel and twite.

Monday : (early). Look for lekking Black Grouse and then Otters near Fort William.

(am/pm) Road to the Isles. Stop off at Prince’s cairn to look for divers, terns and seals. Explore the road to Rhu, and walk out to the end of the peninsula. Look for divers, otters, seals and other coastal wildlife. Take the coast road round to Loch Morar, via Camusdarrach beach and the Silver Sands of Morar. Visit Mallaig Harbour for grey seals, if time.

Tuesday : Trip around Ardgour and Moidart. Look for seals, otters, eagles and water birds. Visit Ariundle Oakwoods NNR and explore the woodlands looking at spring flowers and woodland migrant birds. Return via Kingairloch loop, looking for otter, wild goat and divers.

Wednesday: Drive to Glenfinnan, where we take the Eagle Watch Cruise all the way down Loch Shiel looking for golden and white-tailed eagles, and other raptors. Drive to Arivegaig, looking for coastal wildlife and sea-eagles, and on to Ardtoe beaches. Return along Loch Ailort, via stunning coastal scenery.

Thursday : Visit Inchree for squirrels and walk around waterfall, looking for crossbill and other woodland birds. Visit Ballachlish Quarry to look for peregrine and ravens. Lunch at Cuil Bay followed by walk across the peninsula looking for divers, twite, otters, waders and songbirds.

Friday: Boat trip – Arisaig to Eigg and Muck, with time ashore on Muck. Seals, seabirds, including Puffin, Gannets and Shearwaters on the crossing, with possibility of Porpoise, Dolphins and Minke Whale. Walk across to Gallanach Bay to view seal and tern colonies. Listen and watch out for corncrake on Muck.

Itinerary for Friday may change depending on weather, alternative Cairmgorms.

Saturday : Depart after breakfast Other options – Cairngorm, Loch Arkaig, Morvern and Loch Aline, Glen Nevis.

Spring Birds

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