Tour At A Glance

Cost:

999.00

Deposit:

150.00

Single Room Supplement:

50.00

Tour Code:

Intermediate with optional early morning starts. Up to 3 miles walking per day

Group Size:

Seven plus Leaders

Rock Ptarmigan Osprey Red Deer Parrot Crossbill Crested Tit Loch Morlich

Scotland - Spring in Speyside

Date: 7th - 13th April 2019 [THREE SPACES - Guaranteed departure]
Leaders: Ashley Saunders

Introduction

 

 

Capercaillie

 
Early spring is a glorious time to enjoy the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands. We visit at a time when many of the resident species are beginning their breeding routines and summer migrants are starting to arrive. In particular, our tour is timed to coincide with the lekking of the forest grouse and aerial acrobatics of displaying raptors. This is also a time when coastal bays can hold extensive flocks of migrating wildfowl and secluded bays and lochs resound to the haunting calls of displaying divers. Add to this the magical atmosphere of the tracts of native Caledonian forests, dramatic mountain vistas and wide open skies and the gushing waters of the mighty River Spey and its many tributaries for an unforgettable experience. In addition to the Scottish element of the tour, we are able to include an opportunity to visit the RSPB reserve at Vane Farm on our northward journey. This is a beautiful location where we will find large numbers of wildfwol, some waders and also Tree Sparrows. Over the next few days, we will visit a wide range of sites and habitats to get the very best from the Highlands in spring. The RSPB reserve at Abernethy is just down the road and here breeding Osprey will have returned and the loch will host displaying Common Goldeneye and maybe Goosander. Early Common Sandpiper could be back and in the forests here, we will search for flocks of crossbills that sometimes include three species! Crested Tits are busy in the pines and Red Squirrel can also be seen. An early morning visit to the hide here may also give us the chance to observe the rare and elusive Capercallie. Lochs and Glens such as the grand Findhorn Valley, secluded Strath Conon and sparkling Loch Ruthven offer wonderful birding opportunities and the mighty Golden Eagle is a key target, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine, Raven and Common Buzzard also ride the mountain updraughts and along gushing rivers Dipper and Grey Wagtail can be seen. Red Grouse frequent the moorland areas and lochs support breeding Red and Black-throated Divers in breeding plumage. Perhaps a White-tailed Eagle or breeding plumaged Slavonian Grebe might be seen, and Mountain Hare are often observed by the roadside. Along the Moray coast, bays and harbours are good places for passage ducks and grebes. Common and Velvet Scoter, Great Northern Diver, Black Guillemot, Long-tailed Duck, Scaup and Red-breasted Merganser can be found while Purple Sandpipers frequent rocky outcrops and both Glaucous and Iceland Gulls are sometimes noted around the fish quays. Lekking Black Grouse uttering their bubbling calls at dawn, Rock Ptarmigan displaying over the mountain slopes of Cairngorm, dainty Snow Bunting and elusive Ring Ouzel on the crags and Red Deer in the glens are just some of the other wildlife experiences we can expect on this holiday.
 

 

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