Saturday 22nd - Saturday 29th October 2016
From our hotel in Grantown-on-Spey we are within easy reach of the spectacular Cairngorm Mountains, superb remnants of the Great Wood of Caledon and also nature reserves on the coast a short distance to the north.
Needless to say we will be visiting all of these habitats throughout our stay and we expect to see many of the special species of the region at this time of year. Red Deer stags will be roaring in mist-filled glens while Red Grouse call from heather-clad slopes. High above, Golden Eagles soar on stiffly held wings and there is a good chance of sighting a White-tailed Eagle too. These magnificent raptors will be on the lookout for potential prey such as Mountain Hare or Rock Ptarmigan; both of which we hope to see too. Amongst beautiful Scots pines we will search for Crested Tits, Capercaillies and Red Squirrels while nearby lochs could hold Common Goldeneyes and some late staying Grebes.
Out at the coast there will be flocks of Common and Velvet Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks and Common Eiders (there was even a male King Eider present during our autumn 2014 recce!) along with Razorbills, Common Guillemots and a few passing Northern Gannets. Thousands of Pink-footed Geese will have arrived from their Icelandic breeding grounds and they can be seen on intertidal mud along with Whooper Swans and hundreds of Eurasian Wigeon. Also on these mud flats will be flocks of waders feeding at the edge of the tide until a hunting Peregrine or Merlin spooks them into flight and we could then witness large groups of waders wheeling around overhead until the danger has passed.
Join us at a wonderfully atmospheric time of year when autumn colours could be at their best. The lovely hotel provides excellent and sumptuous meals and there is a well-stocked bar there too! Important considerations for a typically relaxed Travelling Naturalist tour.
Click here for more details and prices