Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

A lot of walking is required to make the most of this tour

Group Size:

7 (min. 4)

Snow Bunting Black Guillemot Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll Hen Harrier

North Ronaldsay and Orkney Autumn Migration

Date: 27th September - 6th October 2020
Leaders: Ashley Saunders



Little Bunting


This exciting new itinerary takes us to the famous migration outpost of North Ronaldsay, where we will be staying at its wonderful Bird Observatory. The Observatory has been monitoring bird migration since 1987, and is the perfect place to base ourselves to witness autumn bird migration at its best, while soaking up the atmosphere and buzz of one of britains finest Bird Observatories; a unique experience! With a track record for impressive falls of migrants, the island has attracted some outrageous rarities in recent past years (Red-winged Blackbird, Cretzschmars Bunting and Siberian Blue Robin to name a few). A good level of physical fitness is required for this tour, which involves a lot of walking over uneven and occasionally wet ground in search of our own birds. Of course for a trip of this nature, the correct weather conditions are essential for producing migrants. During September & October, good falls of flycatchers, Common Redstart and Northern Wheatear can bring scarcities such as Yellow-browed Warbler, Eurasian Wryneck, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Bluethroat. Birds can appear anywhere from drystone walls to sheletered crofts and ditches so we must leave no stone unturned! The evening log call gives us the chance to socialise with other birders staying at the Observatory and contribute to the islands records as well as find out what others have seen ready for the next day!


We will also spend time birding on Mainland Orkney searching the islands best migrant hotspots for newly arrived birds from the continent. Winds from the east may result in an arrival of migrants taking refuge mongst the plantations and gardens on the island, and there is a real chance that scarce and rare species could be found as we bird East and West Mainland. The islands many sheltered bays and quiet lochans for divers, grebes and wildfowl. Large flocks of Long-tailed Ducks, Slavonian Grebes and Great Northern Divers can feature, and occasionally host rarities such as Surf Scoter, White-billed Diver and Smew. Twite, Hen Harrier and Merlin can be noted frequently as we bird amid some of the most spectacular scenery in the British Isles, and around some of its most fascinating historical and archeological sites. Your tour leader will be Ashley Saunders and you can expect to see around 110 species.


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