We’ll keep alert for Capercaillie feeding - in line with responsible Capercaillie Policy.
Red Squirrels are still abundant in the forest with Redstart, Siskin, Tree Pipit and Willow Warblers singing in the clearings. We’ll also rise early to see Black Grouse at dawn.
On one evening we’ll look for Pine Marten and Badger, with Woodcock roding. Forest lochans hold Slavonian Grebe, whilst Ospreys will be nesting locally. Recently White-tailed Eagles have begun to nest and we’ll look for these and Golden Eagles too.
The Cairngorms is unique in Britain and, weather permitting, we’ll head into the hills to seek out Ptarmigan. From mid-May, we may encounter Dotterel too and there is always a chance of Snow Bunting.
The River Spey winds through the strath, with nesting Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Goosander and Common Sandpiper, while Curlew, Redshank, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Snipe display over marshes around Insh.
On lochs and glens, Red-throated Divers call, we’ll search for Raven, Ring Ouzel, Peregrine, with Red Deer and even Wild Goats. We may find Hen Harrier, Merlin or Short-eared Owl hunting, where we’ll hear Red Grouse and Golden Plover.
Along the Moray Firth, Long-tailed Duck and Common or Velvet Scoter may linger with local Eider. The shores are busy with Arctic, Common and Sandwich Tern and we hope to see fishing Ospreys and perhaps a Great Northern Diver offshore.
Red Kite circle above farmland and we’ll search for farmland birds found there, such as Tree Sparrow, Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer. We shall look for Bottlenose Dolphins, which may come close to shore.
On our day visit to Handa Island we’ll look for Black-throated Diver enroute and there is a chance of Golden Eagle or a Greenshank.
Black Guillemots can be spotted on our crossing, then we walk across the island, enjoying views of Great and Arctic Skuas as we go.
Gannets pass by offshore and we’ll look for Rock Dove, Raven and Twite. On the far side of the island, cliffs and stacks host a seabird city, with thousands of Guillemots and smaller numbers of Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Fulmars. A few Puffins nest on top of The Stack.
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.
Kate grew up in North East Scotland and has had a passion for wildlife from a young age. Her first job involved combining childcare and forest school learning, before spending last summer volunteering with the ranger service on the Isle of Mull. Kate mainly runs our Evening Mammal Hide in the Cairngorms, but also can be found Day Guiding and co-leading some of our Scottish Holidays.