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Old Monday 10th July 2017, 21:34   #1
DonStarks
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Two weeks in Scotland starting 7/14/17

Visiting Scotland starting this Friday (7/14) through 7/28. I've birded in Germany a bit but I have no idea what to look for in the places we will be visiting. Were on a custom tour (our family) and Im the only birder but all love the out doors. Here is a list of places well be staying if you can be of any help. I certainly appreciate any correspondence.

Three nights in Edinburgh. Loch Lomond and Glencoe. Stirling - Macdonald Forest Hills. Oban. Cullin Hills. Portree, Isle of Skye. Inverness. Inverness. Trossachs National Park.
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Old Monday 10th July 2017, 23:13   #2
ClarkWGriswold
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Hi Don. I'd recommend Gordon Hamletts Best Birdwatching Sites in the Scottish Highlands. Will give you lots of great options.

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Old Monday 10th July 2017, 23:17   #3
Ratal
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Inverness is easy. Fortrose for the Dolphins and Skua, then a short drive to Culbin Sands for the forest and sea birds at Nairn. Here the Seal colony is spectacular and there are Crested Tits in the woodland. It's a beautiful walk.

*If you want Slavonian Grebe and possible Hen Harrier, Loch Ruthven is a great stop off. Just outside Inverness yet very remote. Golden Eagles have been seen more regular over the area too so worth a sit and watch for sure.

Last edited by Ratal : Monday 10th July 2017 at 23:21.
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Old Monday 10th July 2017, 23:37   #4
Kathi Hutton
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In Edinburgh, try the Royal Botanical Gardens for passerines. A train ride east takes you to the Seabird Centre in North Berwick.

Scottish specialty birds like Crested Tit, Scottish Crossbills, Black Grouse, Capercaillie (if you are lucky) may be found in the Cairngorms, southeast of Inverness. Jumping off points include Aviemore or Grantown-on-Spey. (Send your non-birding family on a whiskey tour of Speyside distilleries.) Take the funicular railway up the mountain to the restaurant car park for Dotterel.

In Inverness, Merkinch Local Nature Reserve http://www.merkinchlnr.org.uk/ along Beauly Firth - map on the web site - in South Kessock (take the #4 bus to the turning point) has both improved and unimproved trails through woods, bogs, mudflats, both fresh water and salt water marshes to the Caledonian Canal. Gulls, seabirds, waders, passerines, raptors.
Along the River Ness in town, Dippers can be found by the Infirmary Bridge or on the Ness Islands - a pleasant walk even for non-birders.

RSPB Tollie Red Kites: west of Inverness off the A835 near Contin has nature trails, feeding table, and scheduled feeds of the star of the show, Red Kites. http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-...ollieredkites/

Good birding,
Kathi
US birder who has been planning for nearly a year
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Old Tuesday 11th July 2017, 08:58   #5
gordon hamlett
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Hi Don,

At Oban, look for Black Guillemots nesting in the harbour walls. On Skye, keep scanning the skyline for Golden and White-tailed Eagles. Broadford Bay is worth a stop. Check out the skyebirds website for the latest news. Anywhere around the coast you should see a good variety of seabirds including Gannets and divers (loons). Otters are present in high densities. If you have the time, take a day trip on the ferry to the Western Isles from Uig on Skye. Go as a foot passenger and enjoy the scenery and seawatching for seabirds aplenty, whales and dolphins. See CALMAC's website for timetables.

As you approach Inverness, look for red kites. Spend time either on the Black Isle to the north - Chanonry Point for seabirds and bottlenose dolphins, Udale Bay RSPB reserve to the north for waders (shorebirds) and wildfowl. Alternatively, just south of Inverness is Starthdearn (aka Findhorn Valley) which is very good for raptors (up to 11 species), Dippers, crossbills, thrushes, red deer etc and is very scenic if you just want to walk. Drive down to Coignafern at the end of the road and park there, stopping en route. Retrace your way out of the valley and take a minor road on your left to Farr (red grouse, more raptors etc). Turn right at the bottom to return to Inverness.

If you need more specific information, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Have a great trip

Gordon Hamlett - author of The Best Birdwatching Sites in the Scottish Highlands
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Old Friday 21st July 2017, 07:05   #6
DMKSlater
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Portree, take a trip out on Stardust cruises for the White Tailed Eagles. Then drive over the Quirang for Eagles and Scenery.
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