Wildlife holidays to the Scottish Isles offer an unrivalled opportunity to sight some of Britains most elusive and charismatic species with little difficulty. The sparse population and relatively large areas of wilderness combined with traditional farming practices mean that many species have continued to thrive here in recent decades.
Mammal enthusiasts as well as birders and photographers are well catered for in the western isles of Scotland. Both grey and common seals are abundant here, the former follow fishing vessels into Stornoway harbour on the Isle of Lewis, and we visit a breeding colony of common seals in a secret location here. This seal colony has been slowly habituated over the past 3 years and is very tolerant of our boat.
Otters are another mammal highlight, and while these shy animals are still returning to many waterways in the rest of the UK, they remain common in the western isles. Though they are still shy, with patience and perserverance, they can be sighted in the right places.
Birding is spectacular with tens of thousands of sea birds resident on main islands and also smaller stacks and off shore islets. Gannets, guillemots, black guillemots, razorbills, puffins, three skuas, three divers, fulmars, kittiwakes… the list goes on! Waterfowl are represented by red-breasted merganser, mallard, greylag geese and whooper and mute swans amongst others. The Uists are a raptor haven, with hen harrier, short eared owl, kestrel, merlin, golden eagle and white-tailed sea eagle. The latter can be observed at close quarters on our tours affording superb photographic opporunities. Another favourite is the corncrake with a fragile UK population of just 1000 birds, most migrating to the Hebrides in the summer months. We visit 2 locations specifically to seek this bird, which is easy to hear, but tough to see.
Our tours will focus on the Outer Hebrides, but we can arrange various extensions to the inner Hebrides as well and to sites on the mainland, including for observation and photography of black grouse.
All of our holidays are financially protected. Please contact us for further details.