The next day we shall head inland, stopping at Taynish NNR for classic woodland species such as Wood Warbler, Common Redstart and Tree Pipit, plus a chance of Marsh Fritillary, if the weather’s kind. We shall visit the Crinan Canal area for Osprey, Whinchat and possibly Cuckoo.
We’ll trave slowly up the west coast, then take the ferry from Oban to Craignure and our shoreside hotel base for the next five nights.
The mighty White-tailed Eagle is a real highlight here, together with majestic Golden Eagle, both busy feeding young now.
Nearby, piping Common Sandpipers, fledged Wheatear and noisy ‘kleeping’ Oystercatcher are on weedy shores, where Common Seals haul out, with mottled drake Eider and resting Red-throated Divers offshore. Birch and oak woodland can hold Redstart, Tree Pipit and Wood Warbler, as well as Sparrowhawk overhead. Here and in moorland glens, are some of our favourite places to see Golden Eagle, whilst Merlin nest in the boggy upland glens. Estuaries have waders such as Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin, whilst offshore the myriad skerries hold noisy Common Gull and Common and Arctic Terns. Peaty burns by freshwater lochs are home to Dipper and Grey Wagtail, whilst coniferous woodland has Siskin and sometimes Common Crossbill.
A short distance away on rugged shorelines, we have often been lucky with fine views of Otters. Red-breasted Merganser and the occasional Black-throated Diver occur, whilst Kestrel, Raven and Peregrine patrol the forbidding basalt cliffs. In the dramatic folds of inland glens, Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl hunt over the moorland and young coniferous plantations, where Whitethroat give their scratchy song.
We’ll take the short passenger ferry to the beautiful white sandy beaches and azure blue seas of Iona. The white cottages and famous Abbey are surrounded by tall hay meadows, where good numbers of calling Corncrake reside, whilst Rock Dove and Twite are more obvious.
A trip highlight will be our boat journey to the seabird spectacle of the Treshnish Isles. We’ll be alert to any possible cetaceans and seabirds as we sail.
Plants and Animals
Our holidays are just that - holidays. We’ll try to squeeze in as many exciting activities as we can, but still give you completely relaxed enjoyment, so that you can ‘switch off’ for the week. We pride ourselves on our high level of personal attention, but we won’t race around in pursuit of big lists. Our guides’ enthusiasm is infectious and whether you are a beginner or more experienced, young or old, we are happy to take time so you can enjoy the wildlife on a Speyside Wildlife experience to the full.
A native Yorkshireman, Julian now divides his time between there and Spain, so is the perfect guide to take you on our Andujar, Extremadura and Pyrenees holidays. Not that this stops him from leading tours to British Columbia, NE India and Wrangel Island. He has a lifelong interest in wildlife and his friendly outgoing nature makes him a very popular guide and ideal member of the team.