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Scotland and Ireland - Birding Tour

Tour Overview:

Scotland is an ancient land filled with thick Caledonian pine forests, towering mountains, deep black lochs, great whiskey, and castles straight out of Braveheart. This tour takes us to all of these and more with a route that includes the scenic western Isle of Skye and the beautiful Hebridean islands of North and South Uist, as we make our way across this historic country in search of its best birds. The British Isles aren’t famed for their abundance of birds, but Scotland is often wrongly swept up in that assumption. In fact, Scotland has its very own set of specialties that draw the Brits north of the border almost constantly, but has until now remained a secret to many foreign birders. We’ll search the Caledonian Pine forests and picturesque lochs around Grantown-on-Spey for Western Capercaillie, Crested Tit, Scottish and Parrot Crossbills, and Black Grouse, before climbing the Cairngorms to find Rock Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting, Mountain Hare, and maybe too Eurasian Dotterel. We then head out to the scenic islands of Skye and the Uists, off the west coast of Scotland, to find White-tailed and Golden Eagles, Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl, breeding shorebirds, and Parasitic Jaeger, Eurasian Otter, the stunning Red-necked Phalarope, and fields of rasping Corncrakes. If luck is on our side, we may even find one of the Snowy Owls that occasionally breed on these outlying islands. On our way to the coast we’ll search a remote valley for Golden Eagle and hundreds of Red Deer, and a small loch for superb breeding Horned Grebes. An evening spent just inches from a family of Pine Martens will also surely be a highlight.