Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

A fair amount of walking is required to get the most from your holiday. The terrain is varied and therefore a reasonable level of physical fitness is required. Expect some long days in the field.

Group Size:

Eight plus leader

Ring-necked Duck Red-eyed Vireo

Western Isles in Autumn

Islands on The Edge


Date: 6th - 12th October 2016 [SPACES]
Leaders: Ashley Saunders



The tour meets at Oban ferry terminal at 1400 for check in for the 1540 sailing to Lochboisdale on South Uist. We will have an evening meal on the Caledonian Macbrayne ferry, with the chance to do a bit of seawatching and maybe even pick up a White-tailed Eagle over the mountains of Mull as we sail past! Arrive in Lochboisdale at 2100 and check in to the Lochboisdale Hotel, which is right by the terminal.

Our exact itinerary for each day will be governed totally by the weather and appearance of any rarities. There is distinctly more cover in the Western Isles than Shetland, and as such the approach to finding migrants is slightly different. Large areas of trees and bushes should be checked frequently, as birds tend to move around in circuits in such areas of cover and can easily be missed on a single visit. Indeed, we will endeavour to check the best areas [particularly those with a good track record] most days to see what might be lurking. Shorebirds are a big focus, and there are many excellent bays strewn with storm-blown seaweed that act as magnets for feeding flocks. Dunlin and Sanderling should be scrutinised carefully for White-rumped and Baird’s Sandpipers, while the machair could well produce species such as Pectoral and Buff-breasted Sandpipers as well as regular American Golden Plover among flocks of its commoner cousin. Seawatching in the correct winds could well produce skuas, shearwaters, petrels, terns, auks, divers and grebes and two excellent promontories stand out, at Aird an Runair in North Uist and Rubha Ardvule on South Uist. Benbecula offers a myriad of tiny freshwater lochs that again are good for wildfowl and waders, and wild swans and geese may also drop in. Stinky Bay on the west coast here is one of the best wader watching spots in the Western Isles and is another spot that warrants regular attention. On quieter days, we can turn our attention to checking the sea lochs for white-winged gulls and divers, search for Otters in secluded bays and spend time on the moorland looking for Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Golden and White-tailed Eagles. We have also costed in two visits to the island of Barra, which is easily reached from our base at the southern tip of South Uist via the island of Eriskay. Here we can search for migrants in some of its superb sheltered and wooded spots, and no doubt the ‘Barra Boys’ will have turned up something of interest for us to go and see while we are there.  

We catch the morning ferry from Lochboisdale back to Oban , taking lunch on board. We will arrive at 1405 in Oban, where the tour will conclude.


Additional Information


***Please note that travel plans may be disrupted at short notice due to adverse weather conditions and we therefore recommend that your travel insurance adequately covers any additional expenses that may be involved.

***Travel from Norfolk with Ashley may be possible, with pick ups also possible en route [A1, A66, M6]. For those starting in Norfolk with Ashley, an overnight stop at Premier Inn Doncaster will be made, which is payable locally.

Eight plus Leader

Six nights accommodation at the Lochboisdale Hotel with en suite rooms, all meals from breakfast on day two to breakfast on day seven, services of leader and transport within the Western Isles, ferry crossings to and from Oban and all inter-island trips.

Transport to/from Scotland and any overnight stay that may be required, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature. Meals on board the ferry [dinner day one, and lunch day seven].

Binoculars, telescope [optional], camera, clothing for all weathers, walking boots, small rucksack, alarm clock, torch and field guides.


Tour Reports






" I really enjoyed this holiday. Ashley worked extremely hard for us and the groupo gelled very well" M C Glamorgan


" Great fun, great birds and the hotel was excellent" C H Orkney