Itinerary – Winter Wildlife Break
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!
Friday: Arrival. Orientation. Pine marten viewing (which can be seen most evenings). Set up moth trap if fine.
Saturday: (am/pm) Ardgour – After pausing to look for Red Squirrels at Inchree we cross over to Ardgour on the Corran Ferry. Look for seals, porpoises, otters and seabirds, particularly divers, grebes and black guillemot. Have a walk up Glen Gour to see whooper swan and other birds. Follow Glen Tarbet, looking for eagles, to the head of Loch Sunart where we look for otters and pause for lunch. Follow the coast of Loch Sunart to Laudale, where we have a short walk looking for waders and much more. We drive down towards Morvern before taking the Kingairloch loop that takes us right by the side of Loch Linnhe, looking for raptors, divers, otters, twite and even wild goats.
Sunday: (early). Look for lekking black grouse and then otters near Fort William.
(am) Glen Loy. Explore this lovely glen with a wide mixture of habitats including the original Caledonian Pine Reserve. Walk up the glen to look for eagles, raven and deer, and if time, experience the winter pine woodland.
(pm) Great Glen and Loch Arkaig. Drive to Gairlochy where we do a couple of short walks to look at the River Lochy for dipper and wagtail, and the end of Loch Lochy to check out geese and ducks. Further stop at Bunarkaig to look for waterfowl. Drive up beautiful Loch Arkaig, looking for herds of stags, which should be close to the road, and watch out for both golden and white-tailed eagles.
Monday: (am/pm) Drive to Black Isle via Inverness. Look for red kite and waterfowl at Munlochy Bay, before carrying on to Chanonry Point via Avoch (stop to look for sea duck). Look for bottlenose dolphins, divers, seaduck, etc at Point. Continue to Udale Bay to look for waders roosting at high tide. Continue around coast of Cromarty Firth, if necessary, to look for sea ducks, before returning to Glenloy
Tuesday: Depart after breakfast.
Itinerary for the break may change depending on what we have already seen and the weather
Other options: Moidart, Arisaig and Mallaig, Cairngorms.