Scotland in Style: May 17—25, 2013

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Inverness
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (77.4 KB)

Route Map

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Tour Leaders

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Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker was born in England but considers himself to be Brazilian, having moved to ...


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Phil Jones

Phil Jones grew up in Surrey and now lives in East Sussex, England. He began birding in the ...


More Information

Loch Strathconan

Loch Strathconan— Photo: Andrew Whittaker

A one-center tour based in a pleasant hotel offering good accommodations and excellent food in picturesque Grantown-On-Spey, within Cairngorms National Park, close to many of the prime birding sites. Great birding for Scottish specialties, plus wildlife and optional cultural and historical visits.

We have designed a very special tour offering a week of birding and historical visits in the heart of the Highlands of Scotland, based in the centrally located and attractive Grantown-on-Spey. A varied and flexible daily program will make this tour appealing to birders with non-birding partners or family.

The Highlands scenery is the most dramatic in the British Isles: the highest peaks; extensive moorlands; ancient Caledonian pine forest; a stunning coastline of cliffs, inlets, and offshore islands; vast prehistoric peat bogs; and fast-flowing rivers. We will target localized and rare specialties such as Eurasian Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Rock and Willow ptarmigan (the British subspecies known as Red Grouse), the endemic Scottish Crossbill, Ring Ouzel, Crested Tit, Horned Grebe, Arctic and Red-throated loons, and raptors such as Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Golden Eagle, Osprey, Red Kite, and White-tailed Eagle. Most of these breed only within the British Isles exclusively in this wild region of Scotland, and we have good chances of seeing them all.

Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic Puffin— Photo: Andrew Whittaker

There will, of course, be many more widespread species of interest to birders new to European birding: Great Spotted Woodpecker; Tawny Owl; Great, Blue, Coal, and Long-tailed tits; Goldcrest; Eurasian Treecreeper; White-throated Dipper; Red-legged Partridge; Eurasian Jackdaw; Hooded Crow; Rook; Eurasian Siskin; Eurasian Greenfinch; Chaffinch; Eurasian Bullfinch; Yellowhammer; Red Crossbill; Tufted Duck; and Common Shelduck. Further opportunities exist at exciting coastal sites for migrants, shorebirds, and seabirds such as Atlantic Puffin, European Shag, Razorbill, Northern Fulmar, and Great Skua.

We will be central to many fine castles and sites of historical significance such as Cawdor Castle—started in the thirteenth century, mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and still lived in now; gaunt, ruined, medieval Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness; Culloden Battlefield, site of the defeat of the Jacobite Scottish Highlanders against the English monarchy in 1645; and stunning Balmoral Castle, one of the Queen’s favorite private residences.

Easy day excursions covering a wonderful array of classic Scottish Highland scenery of glens, lochs, mountain, moorland, Caledonian forest, spectacular granite cliffs, and sea coast.