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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Scotland in late august (1 Viewer)

Owene

Well-known member
I’m doing a week in Scotland for birding/general wildlife in the second half of august. Possibly not the ideal time but between being a teacher and the pandemic choice has been limited.

my first stay is in Helensburgh Argyll after driving up from England. Does anyone know of any good sites for birding (or potentially mammals) around there as I should have several hours free. Not looking for anything specific although things I don’t see in south Wales would be great.

I’ve also got two days at Glenloy just north of fort William. How feasible is getting to Iona from there with an early start (using the lochaline ferry) and would there be any possibility of corncrake that late in the year if I got there. I totally understand that Covid might make the ferry crossings impossible
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Hi Owen. Should be easy enough to get to Iona from Glenloy. I’ve done a Mull tour whilst staying in Nethybridge.

Keep an eye on RBA to see if the Black Duck is at Strontian.

Rich
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi Owene

Have a look at the Opus for Central Scotland for some ideas on the mainland. Then more ideas can be found if you visit the excellent Mull article. There's a link on that one for Mull Birds which has a lot of information about the birds of the island. I fear that the Corncrakes will all have gone by the end of August.

You'll still have a grand time with lots still to see.
 

Andrea Collins

Former member - no longer active
Supporter
England
Whilst I wouldn't want to put you off, Glenloy to Iona as a day trip is an awful long way on very slow roads, along with two ferry crossings (three if using Corran Ferry). A lot of your mileage would be on single track roads with passing places. The road along the Ross of Mull in particular takes forever to get anywhere. Check the ferry times and be realistic about the driving times if you want to give it a go. I honestly don't know if it is realistic as a day trip but there would certainly be a lot of "interesting" driving.
 

Owene

Well-known member
Whilst I wouldn't want to put you off, Glenloy to Iona as a day trip is an awful long way on very slow roads, along with two ferry crossings (three if using Corran Ferry). A lot of your mileage would be on single track roads with passing places. The road along the Ross of Mull in particular takes forever to get anywhere. Check the ferry times and be realistic about the driving times if you want to give it a go. I honestly don't know if it is realistic as a day trip but there would certainly be a lot of "interesting" driving.
Yeah I’ve done mull via lochaline before but only when staying over night on mull so I know the roads can be slow. I can start early but it was a genuine question about whether it’s doable. AA route finder was throwing up some times that seemed very ambitious to me. My experience of driving around there was very stop start

a look for the strontian black duck or maybe mull for eagles but not Iona is probably more likely especially if the crakes have largely left.
 

Owene

Well-known member
Rich I’ll be trying for the duck at some point. And I have three nights in nethy bridge after glenloy. Hoping for martens at glenloy and playing by ear the rest of the time
 

david kelly

Drive-by Birder
Scotland
I’m doing a week in Scotland for birding/general wildlife in the second half of august. Possibly not the ideal time but between being a teacher and the pandemic choice has been limited.

my first stay is in Helensburgh Argyll after driving up from England. Does anyone know of any good sites for birding (or potentially mammals) around there as I should have several hours free. Not looking for anything specific although things I don’t see in south Wales would be great.

I’ve also got two days at Glenloy just north of fort William. How feasible is getting to Iona from there with an early start (using the lochaline ferry) and would there be any possibility of corncrake that late in the year if I got there. I totally understand that Covid might make the ferry crossings impossible
Helensburgh is in Dunbartonshire not Argyll, it is not far from the northern end of Loch Lomond. However, I don’t know how you get to Inversnaid from there but around Ardlui there are some nice oak woods and alder carr.

David
 

Owene

Well-known member
Thanks. Sorry about the wrong county. Booked so many places in the last week they’re mixing up slightly. I was due to have some nights in argyl but they fell through
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
One of the best spots near Helensburgh is Ardmore Point. It's a point of land jutting out into the Clyde. Late August may not be the best time of year for birds, but there's always a good chance of waders and seabirds. I think a scope would be helpful, but it's a place that comes up regularly on reports of interesting sightings. The path can get really muddy so I'd recommend wellies, and there are parts where if the mud is too much you might need to do a little scrambling over rocks on the foreshore.

You can get to Inversnaid on the east shore of Loch Lomond by using the ferry that runs from Tarbet on the west shore. If you're driving, that should only be around 20-25 minutes from Helensburgh.

There's a road connecting Gare Loch (the loch that Helensburgh is near) and Loch Lomond that's supposed to be good for raptors, but you can never guarantee anything with these birds and you'd have to make do with any stopping places on the road - it's not a reserve, so you just need to hope for the best there are places to stop and birds to see.

The RSPB also has a new reserve on the south shore of Loch Lomond. You can often see hunting ospreys from it and perhaps they'll still be around in late August.

It might be a good time to go out on a boat to try and see basking sharks as I believe late summer is the best time for them. I know there are companies operating out of Oban, so if you drive down from Fort William then that should be an option for you.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Helensburgh is in Dunbartonshire not Argyll, it is not far from the northern end of Loch Lomond. However, I don’t know how you get to Inversnaid from there but around Ardlui there are some nice oak woods and alder carr.

David

Thanks. Sorry about the wrong county. Booked so many places in the last week they’re mixing up slightly. I was due to have some nights in argyl but they fell through
You're both right really see:

Featured snippet from the web​

Dunbartonshire

Helensburgh
Helensburgh Scottish Gaelic: Baile Eilidh (Millig) Scots: Eelansburgh
Council areaArgyll and Bute
Lieutenancy areaDunbartonshire
CountryScotland
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
Whilst I wouldn't want to put you off, Glenloy to Iona as a day trip is an awful long way on very slow roads, along with two ferry crossings (three if using Corran Ferry). A lot of your mileage would be on single track roads with passing places. The road along the Ross of Mull in particular takes forever to get anywhere. Check the ferry times and be realistic about the driving times if you want to give it a go. I honestly don't know if it is realistic as a day trip but there would certainly be a lot of "interesting" driving.
I agree, especially as in August it's going to be absolutely heaving with slow moving Campers. You really need some decent time on Iona also. I'd base on Mull/Oban to do Iona in a day definitely.
 
Rich I’ll be trying for the duck at some point. And I have three nights in nethy bridge after glenloy. Hoping for martens at glenloy and playing by ear the rest of the time
Hi Owene,
I'm often up there late August and there are plenty of Scottish specialities to look out for.

If heading to Nethy Bridge from Glen Loy, be sure to make the most of it by taking the scenic route via Fort Augustus, then along the east side of Loch Ness up the B862.
Lots of good stops along the way: Loch Tarff, Loch Mhor, Loch Ceo Glais then head to Loch Ruthven.
Then head east to the Farr Road and head for the Findhorn Valley, taking the road as slowly as you can before hitting the A9.
The SOC "Where to Watch Birds" app will give you pointers about timings etc.

Skye ain't a bad place to head for from Glen Loy. Avoid the tourists by heading for Broadford to scan the shore. Then do the Sleat peninsula being sure to take in the "loop" to Tokavaig n the c1241 road.
That's a great day's birding that won't disappoint.

Enjoy your trip.
JSP
 
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jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
Hi Owen. Should be easy enough to get to Iona from Glenloy. I’ve done a Mull tour whilst staying in Nethybridge.

Keep an eye on RBA to see if the Black Duck is at Strontian.

Rich
You'd struggle to do Nethy to Iona in day though ! It's a long slow road down the Ross plus ferries.
Hi Owen. Should be easy enough to get to Iona from Glenloy. I’ve done a Mull tour whilst staying in Nethybridge.

Keep an eye on RBA to see if the Black Duck is at Strontian.

Rich

Hi Owene,
I'm often up there late August and there are plenty of Scottish specialities to look out for.

If heading to Nethy Bridge from Glen Loy, be sure to make the most of it by taking the scenic route via Fort Augustus, then along the east side of Loch Ness up the B862.
Lots of good stops along the way: Loch Tarff, Loch Mhor, Loch Ceo Glais then head to Loch Ruthven.
Then head east to the Farr Road and head for the Findhorn Valley, taking the road as slowly as you can before hitting the A9.
The SOC "Where to Watch Birds" app will give you pointers about timings etc.

Skye ain't a bad place to head for from Glen Loy. Avoid the tourists by heading for Broadford to scan the shore. Then do the Sleat peninsula being sure to take in the "loop" to Tokavaig n the c1241 road.
That's a great day's birding that won't disappoint.

Enjoy your trip.
JSP
Could I just add here that I appreciate it's meant to be helpful info, but you are publicising a couple of quite sensitive Schedule One breeding sites on a public forum that are very susceptable to disturbance. It may be worth reading the latest RBBP guidance here particularly for the 37 species listed as vulnerable which includes BTD. Thanks. https://rbbp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/RBBP_-Guidance_on_reporting_Rare_Breeding_Birds.pdf
 
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ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
You'd struggle to do Nethy to Iona in day though ! It's a long slow road down the Ross plus ferries.



Could I just add here that I appreciate it's meant to be helpful info, but you are publicising a couple of quite sensitive Schedule One breeding sites on a public forum that are very susceptable to disturbance. It may be worth reading the latest RBBP guidance here particularly for the 37 species listed as vulnerable which includes BTD. Thanks. https://rbbp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/RBBP_-Guidance_on_reporting_Rare_Breeding_Birds.pdf
You’re probably right about Nethy to Iona John. But to Mull it was fine, though we were on an organised trip on Mull which gave a break from driving.

Lovely fish and chips back in Oban as well.

Rich
 
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Owene

Well-known member
Spoonbill thanks for the suggestions, looks like I saw the post after it was edited for sensitive information but the route sounds like a great idea.

I've ruled out Iona, shame to miss Mull because on the subject of fish and chips the van in Tobermory harbour had the best i've ever had.
 
You'd struggle to do Nethy to Iona in day though ! It's a long slow road down the Ross plus ferries.



Could I just add here that I appreciate it's meant to be helpful info, but you are publicising a couple of quite sensitive Schedule One breeding sites on a public forum that are very susceptable to disturbance. It may be worth reading the latest RBBP guidance here particularly for the 37 species listed as vulnerable which includes BTD. Thanks. https://rbbp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/RBBP_-Guidance_on_reporting_Rare_Breeding_Birds.pdf
Hi jpoyner,

Apologies for my error and thank you for acknowledging my desire to be helpful.

These are routes I have enjoyed based on information found in Gordon Hamlett's book, Best Birdwatching Sites in the Scottish Highlands, where likely species are named.
I have perhaps wrongly assumed this is public information that is known to many.

I will happily delete my post and learn from my mistake.

Thanks again.

Kind regards,

sp1970
 
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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
If you haven't already got it, try to get hold of Gordon Hamlett's book Best Birdwatching Sites in the Scottish Highlands.

It's stuffed with good routes and useful information. He's a member here and many of our members have contributed snippets and proof read it. ISBN: 9780956987655
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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