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Book Now Autumn Birds & Strathbeg

All of the Highlands' finest resident birds and mammals with winter migrants too.

DATES: 23 Sep - 30 Sep 2017
COST: £1395 per person. Fully inclusive. No single supplement. Includes a night away at Strathbeg.

AVAILABILITY: Places Available

Summary

White tailed sea eagle

Our last bird programme of the year is timed to catch the autumn arrivals - the grey geese streaming back in, whooper swans arriving from the Arctic, exciting waders - some still in summer plumage, as well as golden eagles, sea eagles and other resident birds and mammals.

Highlights include:

Aigas - Arrival and time to settle in and explore the grounds and trails at Aigas. 126 bird species have been recorded here. On the estate itself we regularly see Scottish rarity like crested tits and crossbills and the occasional black grouse, hen harrier and short eared owl. Buzzards mew over the moors Goldfinchesoften joined by red kites and croaking ravens.

Around your lodges, the woods are alive with crossbills, siskins, greenfinches, goldcrests, goldfinches, long tailed tits, great spotted woodpeckers and treecreepers. In the gloaming tawny owls begin to hoot, roe deer bark and badgers scuffle around. Pine martens may skip along your balcony rail searching for titbits and red squirrels are beginning to cache food for winter months.

The Black Isle peninsula is well known for the 1989 re-introduction of the red kite. There are now over 40 breeding pairs in the Highlands, the majority on the Black Isle. A mosaic of habitats surrounded by the Moray and Cromarty Firths, delivers an incredible wealth of waders and wildfowl with linnet, twite, redpoll, yellowhammer and the occasional skylark on headlands and beaches. We always search for our resident population of bottlenose dolphins cavorting and dancing in the tidal races at Chanonry Point.

DipperEaster Ross - lies north east along the Cromarty Firth, with its oil rigs looming out of the water.Inquisitive seals laze on the rocks and the coast is busy with many waders. Tarbat Ness is an excellent viewpoint for waders, sea ducks, divers, auks and any passing migratory birds. We cross over the Dornoch Firth famed for its rolling sand banks to the inner estuary of Loch Fleet. This day often turns up scaup, common scoter, eider, long tailed ducks and many waders.

Our Local Glens - We are blessed with a number of spectacular local glens, ringed round with three thousand foot mountains and holding a range of habitats. We will choose the best of the moment to look for golden eagles and other moorland raptors such as merlin, peregrine, kestrel. Dippers zip up and down the rivers, we will visit our resident whooper swans, greenshank are a possibility, as are a few remnant summer migrants such as stonechat.

Stone Chat

Wester Ross - We go to search for the world’s fourth largest eagle and Britain’s rarest breeding raptor, the white tailed sea eagle. On our way we’ll aim to find red kites circling over newly planted fields and all three diver species on the coasts. The west is a rugged, rocky and harsh landscape, with menacing mountains framing the landscape. Fjord-like sea lochs provide an ideal habitat for many seabirds, ducks and waders, including turnstones, eider, gannet, fulmar, the odd puffin and guillemot. 

Final Sweep - This final day will be kept free to seek out those all important birds that have eluded us.

Goose Breakfast!

The programme includes an overnight visit to the fabulous birding sites of Loch of Strathbeg. The first day will include visits to Roseisle Woods, for crested tit and crossbills, and a few of the fishing towns along the Moray coast to look for migrating seabirds, wildfowl and waders before arriving for dinner at the Tufted Duck hotel at St. Combs (near Fraserburgh).

Whooper Swan

The second day will start in the hours of pre-dawn, travelling the short distance to watch the spectacle of pink-footed geese taking off from RSPB Strathbeg. Numbers at the end of September can reach the staggering heights of 80,000 individuals!

We will then return to the hotel for a cooked breakfast before heading back out on to the flagship reserve to search the mix of freshwater, farmland and woodland for migrants and the rare vagrants that occasionally find themselves in this north-eastern corner of Scotland.

Aigas birdwatching holidays combine stunning scenery with fabulous birds and the warmest Highland welcome to produce the best wildlife encounters for you.

All Inclusive

Aigas based holidays are all inclusive and no single supplement is charged. Read more here.

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Aigas Field Centre, Beauly, Inverness-Shire, Scotland IV4 7AD

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