Birding in the Highlands

Join the Bird Watching team for a spectacular spring wildlife break

April 9-14, 2017

Spring in Scotland means rich wildlife potential amidst rugged beauty, and you can join us there for an exclusive trip from April 9-14, 2017.

Bird Watching magazine editor Matthew Merritt and assistant editor Mike Weedon will be joined by UKBS editor, and Scottish birding aficionado, Gordon Hamlett to lead a week of wildlife watching, based at the Grant Arms Hotel in Grantown-on-Spey.

The hotel boasts high quality en-suite rooms and traditional Scottish fare prepared with local ingredients, and while it takes care of bed, breakfast and dinner; we’ll provide optional guided walks, expert tips, bird quizzes, films and evening talks.

From our Highland location we’ll be within easy reach of sites such as Glenmore Forest Park, for Crested Tits and Crossbills; the Cairngorms, for Ptarmigan and possible Snow Bunting; and the Findhorn Valley, for eagles and other raptors. There’ll also be the chance to visit Moray Firth sites such as Burghead and Spey Bay for wildfowl (including sea ducks), divers, grebes and waders.

We’ll look for Red and Black Grouse and Capercaillie, too in the forests and moors around Grantown.

As well as the great birdlife, there’ll be the chance to see dolphins, Red Squirrels, Red Deer, Otter, Mountain Hare, and maybe even Pine Marten.

The Grant Arms Hotel is home to the Birdwatching and Wildlife Club and its expert staff will be on hand to guide you to the best areas, offer local knowledge and seasonal tips if you prefer to organise your own time. It’s perfect for birdwatchers of all levels and a great way to meet like-minded people, share tips and make the most of this incredible time of year.


This five-day break is held in partnership with Bird Watching and includes:

* Five nights dinner, bed and breakfast

* Ensuite rooms are equipped with hairdryer, tea and coffee-making facilities, TV and toiletries

* Gala dinner

* Programme of evening talks and quizzes by Bird Watching’s Matt Merritt, Mike Weedon and Gordon Hamlett

* Guided walks

* Films and entertainment

* No single supplement

Please note: a car is essential on this break.

Leaders: Matthew Merritt, Mike Weedon and Gordon Hamlett

Cost: Bird Watching subscribers

Standard Room £335 dinner bed and breakfast, per person

Superior Room £410 DBB, pp

Cost: Bird Watching non-subscribers

Standard Room £370 DBB pp

Superior Room £445 DBB pp

Extra nights: BW subscribers £71pp per night DBB standard room, £86 superior; non-subscribers £78pp per night DBB standard room, £93 pp per night DBB superior.

Excludes: Transport, lunch and alcoholic drinks

Book now: Call 01479 872526, visit, email

SMALL PRINT:BWWC Ltd, 25 The Square, Grantown on Spey, PH26 3HF. All programmes, talks, walks and rooms subject to availability and liable to change without notice.

North Wales – September 2016

Late September is a wonderful time to visit North Wales, with its exciting blend of resident, migrant, winter and summer birds. Add to this the wide variety of habitats and stunning scenery, ranging from mountains to coast, and you have the perfect mix for a birdwatching break.

During the tour we will look for such exciting species as Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe, Fulmar, Gannet, Shag, pale-bellied Brent Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, Red Kite, Peregrine, Purple Sandpiper, Black Guillemot, Rock Pipit, Dipper, Stonechat, Chough, and any other migrants and rarities that occur at this great time of year. Expect to enjoy about 120 species on the tour.

Your guides will be the local experts Alan Davies and Ruth Miller, who have many years’ experience as professional bird guides. Alan is author of the popularly acclaimed site guide ‘Best Birdwatching Sites in North Wales’ and Ruth has published a series of birdwatching and walking guides to North Wales called ‘Birds, Boots and Butties’. Both Alan and Ruth worked for the RSPB before setting up their successful birdwatching tour company back in 2009, and they now spend much of their time sharing the wonderful birdlife of North Wales with visitors to this beautiful area.

The tour is based at the Princes Arms Hotel in Trefriw, in the Conwy Valley. This lovely country hotel overlooks the Conwy River so the birdwatching begins right on the doorstep. A warm welcome awaits from hosts Lindsay and Anne Gordon, and the wonderful food will be an added bonus of the tour. Additional nights, pre or post tour, can be arranged at the hotel.

The cost of this exclusive tour for Bird Watching magazine is £799 per person, no single supplement. Read about the trip here.


The Best of North Wales
24 September 2016- 28 September 2016.
Details: Stay at the Princes Arms Hotel in Trefriw, in the Conwy Valley.
Leaders: Alan Davies and Ruth Miller

Cost: £799 per person, no single supplement. Includes guiding throughout by both Alan and Ruth, transport in a comfortable minibus, use of top-of-the-range Leica telescopes, use of our field guides, a personal checklist of the birds, four nights’ accommodation in a comfortable en suite room, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from lunch on day one through to lunch on day five, all entrance fees to reserves, an evening presentation by Alan and Ruth.

Excludes: Alcoholic drinks, transport to and from the hotel at start and end of tour, extra drinks or snacks taken during the tour, items of a personal nature, travel insurance (transfer from Llandudno Junction railway station to and from the hotel can be arranged at no extra cost).


Day 1: Our tour starts with arrival at the Princes Arms Hotel in the picturesque Conwy Valley in time for lunch. After lunch we visit RSPB Conwy where we can expect to enjoy waders and wildfowl at close range.

Day 2: We visit the beautiful island of Anglesey with its dramatic coastal scenery. Chough and Black Guillemot will be high on our wanted list but we will also look for migrants, raptors and seabirds. A visit to RSPB South Stack will be one of the highlights on this day.

Day 3: A short drive takes us to the Great Orme headland; the sea-cliffs and limestone pavements here are a temporary home to migrant birds and this Local Nature Reserve has a track record for turning up the unexpected. We also visit other sites along the nearby coast for more waders, wildfowl and migrants.

Day 4: We head east to the Dee Estuary in search of more raptors, wildfowl and waders and who knows, perhaps a Great White Egret or other scarce bird; in October anything is possible! A visit to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands will be part of this exciting day.

Day 5: We spend the morning exploring the Conwy Valley and adjacent uplands. We return to the hotel for lunch before guests depart for their homeward journey at the end of our North Wales tour.

Please note: exact itinerary may change due to latest bird information, weather, tides or other circumstances beyond our control.