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Scotland advice

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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 15:38   #1
Retrodaz
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Scotland advice

Hi there, I've been a bit despondent lately and I'm hoping to get back into my birding/photography which I've not done for a good year.

I'm hoping to kickstart things by taking a trip to Scotland as I've never been and as I'm a relative novice, there are plenty of birds including divers, skuas and puffins that I've never seen before, let alone things like eagles.

I was initially planning to go to mull to hopefully see the eagles, catch the ferry up to Aviemore to try for the Crested Tits and Crossbills etc around Loch Lomond and then head through the Cairngomes on the way home.

I have since discovered a three day birding trip via HeatherLea and was wondering if that might make more sense as I've little to no knowledge of these birds.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I'm planning to go up around the 25th of August.
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 15:56   #2
Sandra (Taylor)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrodaz View Post
Hi there, I've been a bit despondent lately and I'm hoping to get back into my birding/photography which I've not done for a good year.

I'm hoping to kickstart things by taking a trip to Scotland as I've never been and as I'm a relative novice, there are plenty of birds including divers, skuas and puffins that I've never seen before, let alone things like eagles.

I was initially planning to go to mull to hopefully see the eagles, catch the ferry up to Aviemore to try for the Crested Tits and Crossbills etc around Loch Lomond and then head through the Cairngomes on the way home.

I have since discovered a three day birding trip via HeatherLea and was wondering if that might make more sense as I've little to no knowledge of these birds.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I'm planning to go up around the 25th of August.

First of all - buy yer book! You can't go wrong with Gordon Hamlett's
"Where to Watch Birds in the Scottish Highlands". This will tell you all you need to know regarding birding and Scotland. I don't have any knowledge of Heatherlea though Speyside Wildlife also has a good reputation for short tours.

I'm sure other people will be along shortly to suggest places - though Aviemore is in the Cairngorms so wouldn't be on your way home.

Best of luck in planning your getaway.

Sandra
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 16:16   #3
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Mmmm.... your geography is a little adrift LOL Aviemore is in the Cairngorms and the stronghold for Crested Tit. Loch Lomond isn't.

While you're waiting for Gordon's book to arrive, (it's excellent) have a look in The Opus, this article on Mull will get you started.

When are you thinking of coming up?
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Old Saturday 15th June 2019, 05:18   #4
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Hi,
I second the recommendation of the book, and would also suggest the Heatherlea trip. I went on one of those trips a few years ago, and they were fantastic, really friendly and enjoyable trip, but going out of their way to give people a chance to see the main things they wanted.
I think you mean Loch Garten rather than Loch Lomond?
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Old Saturday 15th June 2019, 11:25   #5
gordon hamlett
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Hi Retrodaz,

If you are interested in my book, I can do you a deal on a signed, dedicated copy. If you are not sure, pm me with your email address and I'll send you a free sample chapter, no obligation whatsoever. This offer applies to all BF members.

Cheers,

Gordon
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Old Saturday 15th June 2019, 20:15   #6
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You could also download the free app from the SOC, Where to Watch Birds in Scotland. This is a work in progress and I recommend that you use it in conjunction with Gordon’s book.

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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 15:02   #7
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When are you thinking of coming up?
The last week of August :)
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 15:12   #8
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The last week of August :)
Ah! That's a difficulty with the Puffins, they will all have left the breeding cliffs by the end of July I'm afraid, though you may be lucky to find some on the water, but absolutely no guarantees with that.
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 16:26   #9
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Ah! That's a difficulty with the Puffins, they will all have left the breeding cliffs by the end of July I'm afraid, though you may be lucky to find some on the water, but absolutely no guarantees with that.
That's a pity but not the end of the world. It's the sea eagles I'd really like to see so I'm trying to work out if I should take a trip with my wife and daughter to Mull or just try this trip.

https://www.heatherlea.co.uk/birdwat...n-early-autumn
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Old Monday 17th June 2019, 10:42   #10
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Right, I've booked my trip through Heatherlea, ordered my book off Gordon and will have three solid days of birding via pinewoods, moorland, stornaway and the moray coast. I'm unlikely to see Capercallie, but the eagles are a possibility and the crested tits visit the hotel's feeders.

I don't think it's going to be suitable for my 600mm lens, so I may save that for the hotel and just take my 400mm with me when we go out.

Getting really excited now, never been to Scotland before, let alone bird watching in Scotland!
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Old Monday 17th June 2019, 10:52   #11
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Well done lad... I'm sure you'll enjoy it so much you'll become a fan of Scotland and want to visit time and again at varying times of the year.

Please let us know how you get on.
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Old Monday 17th June 2019, 15:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrodaz View Post
Right, I've booked my trip through Heatherlea, ordered my book off Gordon and will have three solid days of birding via pinewoods, moorland, stornaway and the moray coast. I'm unlikely to see Capercallie, but the eagles are a possibility and the crested tits visit the hotel's feeders.

I don't think it's going to be suitable for my 600mm lens, so I may save that for the hotel and just take my 400mm with me when we go out.

Getting really excited now, never been to Scotland before, let alone bird watching in Scotland!
This might be your first visit to Scotland - but I'll bet it won't be your last!

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Old Monday 17th June 2019, 16:29   #13
Retrodaz
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This might be your first visit to Scotland - but I'll bet it won't be your last!

Sandra
A few people have said that now.

I will of course update once I get back.
It's still a while away yet and I'm already looking at next year's options if I don't see eagles.
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Old Tuesday 18th June 2019, 21:16   #14
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Originally Posted by Retrodaz View Post
Hi there, I've been a bit despondent lately and I'm hoping to get back into my birding/photography which I've not done for a good year.

I'm hoping to kickstart things by taking a trip to Scotland as I've never been and as I'm a relative novice, there are plenty of birds including divers, skuas and puffins that I've never seen before, let alone things like eagles.

I was initially planning to go to mull to hopefully see the eagles, catch the ferry up to Aviemore to try for the Crested Tits and Crossbills etc around Loch Lomond and then head through the Cairngomes on the way home.

I have since discovered a three day birding trip via HeatherLea and was wondering if that might make more sense as I've little to no knowledge of these birds.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I'm planning to go up around the 25th of August.

Hi, I spend a lot of time in Scotland birdwatching and Iím a regular visitor to Mull.

Plenty of the birds you mention are present on Mull but timing is as usual an issue.


Itís a pity you canít make the trip earlier when the breeding season is in full swing, always something amazing to see though of course.

As others have said though, Gordonís book is brilliant and Iím pleased youíve ordered it- itís a brilliant, informative read.

Enjoy your first visit to Scotland, it no doubt wonít be your last.
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 19:27   #15
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Right, I've booked my trip through Heatherlea, ordered my book off Gordon and will have three solid days of birding via pinewoods, moorland, stornaway and the moray coast. I'm unlikely to see Capercallie, but the eagles are a possibility and the crested tits visit the hotel's feeders.

I don't think it's going to be suitable for my 600mm lens, so I may save that for the hotel and just take my 400mm with me when we go out.

Getting really excited now, never been to Scotland before, let alone bird watching in Scotland!
If you still plan on visiting Mull then it'll be a good time of year to go out on a whale watching trip - they run from Tobermory. There's also a good chance of basking sharks too.
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Old Friday 28th June 2019, 12:55   #16
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Did whale watching from Tobermory a few years back. Amazing views of the whales and white tailed eagle seemingly guaranteed
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