Traverse the Highlands & islands of Scotland with Wild Latitudes on this 10-day tour, exploring one of the most historic and stunning countries in the world. We’ll bird some of the country’s best hot spots, visit historic castles and monuments, and enjoy the rich atmosphere of Old World pubs that can only be found in Scotland.
Group arrives in Inverness. After a warm Scottish welcome and introductions, we travel to our hotel located in Grantown-on-Spey, our home base for the next four nights. After we settle in, we’ll regroup and go for a little birding walk in the local forest.
We’re off to explore the Cairngorms National Park. Covering an area of 3,800 km2, and containing four of Scotland’s five highest mountains, the Cairngorms is Britain’s largest national park. The montane zone supports a unique variety of vegetation, insects, birds & mammals. We'll look for Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting, Golden Eagle, Osprey, Crested Tit, and the largest grouse in the world, the Capercaillie. With luck, we’ll find the Scottish Crossbill, the only bird unique to Britain.
We’ll depart to head north to bird the Moray Coast starting off at Troup Head with a boat trip to the gannetry, coming back along the coast. Targets for the day included Gannets, Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, and species of auks and sea ducks.
We’ll head north again today after breakfast to a region known as The Black Isle, visiting Chanonry Point, Udale Bay the Cromarty Firth along the way. Targets for the day include sea ducks, shorebirds, and waders.
We head south directly after breakfast. Our first stop will be to bird the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' (RSPB) Loch Garten Osprey Center. Then we’ll explore the Abernethy Forest Reserve, one of the largest remnants of Caledonian Pine Forest in Scotland. The reserve contains areas of pine forest, forest bog, heather moorland and lochs. We’ll also visit the Insh Marshes, a RSPB site that’s a good spot for water birds. From here we’ll travel farther south to the fishing village of Oban, stopping en route for lunch and to bird as time permits.
Folks will have time to a little free time in Oban before we load the vans and catch the ferry to the Isle of Mull, one of Scotland’s most noted birding hotspots. The island’s habitats include coastal beaches, wetlands, moorlands and montane & sub-montane forests, together hosting a rich variety of bird and mammal life.
A full day of exploring The Isle of Mull.
We’ll bird a bit more around the island, then take a mid-morning ferry back to Oban, where we’ll stop for lunch before traveling on. After lunch we’ll head inland to the uniquely Scottish locale known as Drover’s Inn. This historic pub is locally famous for its food and atmosphere.
After breakfast at the Inn, we travel to the lovely town of Stirling, where we’ll have the chance to visit and explore the stunning Stirling Castle. We’ll meet up again for lunch, then move into our hotel, regrouping in the afternoon to visit the Wallace Monument, and amazing tribute to the man who fought so hard for Scotland’s freedom.
Today we head to the Edinburgh Airport after breakfast, where folks either catch a morning flight back to the States or extend their travel in Scotland or beyond.
PRICE of TOUR: $3,395
START DATE: May 27, 2021
DURATION: 10 days
GROUP SIZE: Up to 12
TRIP FOCUS: Birds, Natural History, and Culture
A true lover of the natural world, Steve Robertson has been a student of nature his entire life. First, as a little boy, who caught every creature he could for the mini zoo he kept in the garage, then later as an adult, leading scientific research expeditions into some of the most remote regions of the world, searching for rare species in such places as Tasmania, Madagascar and the upper Amazon Basin. With degrees in Wildlife Biology, advanced biology & education, Steve has worked in the field of Environmental Education for over 30 years. From 1998 to 2017, he served as the Education Director for the Audubon Society of Portland, creating a number of innovative programs including International Ecotours, a program that has won hundreds of accolades from around the country. During his time with Audubon, Steve personally designed and led Ecotours to over 20 countries, spanning six continents.
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