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.
Saturday: Empty moth trap.
(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.
(pm) Glen Roy. We drive up the glen looking for raptors, particularly golden eagle. Admire the stunning scenery of the Parallel Roads. Other wildlife includes red and sika deer, and a variety of bird life, with the possibility of returning migrants such as ring ouzel.
Sunday : (am/pm) Ardgour and Moidart – Stop off to look at 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. Stop off at various locations on Loch Linnhe to look for otters. Cross Glen Tarbet, keeping an eye out for eagles, until we reach the end of Loch Sunart, where we look for otters and have lunch. Stop off at Ardery Point and walk to the wildlife hide at Garbh Eilean, where we look for otters, seals and heron. Drive around Loch Sunart to castle Tioram at the end of the River Shiel. Look out for white-tailed sea eagles. Return via Loch Moidart and Loch Ailort, stopping off in various places to scan for wildlife. Return via scenic loop through Glenfinnan.
Monday: (early). Look for lekking black grouse and then otters near Fort William.
(am/pm). Stop off at Chia-Aig to see the falls and admire the oak woodland. Have a walk to the end of the South Arkaig Pinewoods, looking for dippers and wagtails in the river Arkaig. Keep an eye out for ospreys, both white-tailed and golden eagles. Look out for early arriving osprey and black-throated divers. Red deer should still be low down, Arkaig Pinewoods, looking for dippers and wagtails in the river Arkaig. Keep an eye out for both white-tailed and golden eagles. Red deer should still be low down, meadow pipits flocking and migrant birds such as tree pipit and wheatear should be arriving. Drive to end of loch and have a further look for raptors. If time have a walk along the side of Loch Lochy with migrant waterfowl such as goldeneye still present.
Tuesday: Depart after breakfast.
Itinerary for the break may change depending on what we have already seen and the weather
Other options: Arisaig and Mallaig, Loch Eil, Cuil Bay