Scotland: January 2019

My200BirdYear – get 2019 off to great start!

Give your tick list an early boost on a trip to see some fantastic birds in Scotland in January next year...

Ptarmigan. Pic: Neil McIntyre

Ptarmigan. Pic: Neil McIntyre

PRICE: £1,095pp, no single supplement.

DATES: Sat 5 Jan – Sat 12 Jan, or Sat 12 Jan – Sat 19 Jan 2019.

GUIDES/GROUP SIZE: Your guides will be Scott O’Hara and John Picton, two highly experienced members of the Heatherlea team. Maximum Group size seven per guide.

Contact Heatherlea: Tel: 01479 821248 / Email / Website

Now is the time to begin thinking about your 2019 birding year, and here is a chance to get off to a cracking start! Our #My200BirdYear programme begins with a holiday in conjunction with Heatherlea in Scotland, which offers excellent birding in January. We aim to see as many species as possible, and this exciting holiday is ideal for general birders who want to see Scotland’s birds in winter, as well as those who keep lists.

Crested Tit. Pic: Neil McIntyre

Crested Tit. Pic: Neil McIntyre

Our main priority will be British specialities best sought in the Highlands, and we specifically target Capercaillie, Ptarmigan, Black Grouse, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Scottish Crossbill and Crested Tit.

We also seek a host of northern winter visitors and spend a lot of time concentrating on any available rarities: King Eider and Surf Scoter are regular winter visitors, and the unexpected can be expected! We maximise our list during the week and estimate around 120 species, including many ‘difficult’ birds you might otherwise miss without a guide, or struggle to locate further south in the UK. Your personal sightings are important of course, and the Heatherlea guides try to make sure everyone sees everything!

The holiday organiser, Heatherlea, is one of Britain’s leading birding tour companies and is based at its home at Mountview Hotel, in Nethy Bridge. We will spend time in the adjacent Caledonian pinewoods of Abernethy Forest for speciality birds, visit the Cairngorm Mountains to see Ptarmigan, and explore remote glens for eagles and other raptors.

Northern coastal habitats provide great birding in winter, and with the Moray Firth, Aberdeenshire, the West Coast and secluded bays north of Inverness all within reach, our prospects are excellent. Your guides will closely monitor weather, tides and local bird news to make sure we maximise our birding.

We anticipate that the whole hotel will be given over to our holiday, meaning a great birding atmosphere, as the entire week is run by birders for birders, a very enjoyable prospect! Check ‘what’s included’ for more details.

We want you to get your new #My200BirdYear off to a brillant start, so come and join us for a great fun week birding in Scotland with expert guides!

Tour guides:

Scott O’Hara – Scott grew up in Montrose on the Scottish east coast and is an experienced Heatherlea guide. When not guiding groups, Scott is an enthusiastic and avid birder with a particular passion for waders, wildfowl and seabirds.

John Picton – John has been actively watching wildlife in the Highlands for more than 30 years and has been guiding full time in Scotland for more than eight years. A good all-round naturalist, John specialises in birds and has a special interest in raptors.

What’s included?

Seven nights comfortable accommodation at The Mountview Hotel, VisitScotland rated 3 Star. All rooms are en suite, with TV and hospitality tray. There is no single supplement, and guests are never expected to share.
Full Scottish breakfast, a substantial packed lunch, and a delicious dinner.
Six full days wildlife watching with Heatherlea, VisitScotland rated 5 stars for ‘Wildlife Experience’.
Guidance from professional group leaders.
All transport by comfortable PCV minibus, including Capercaillie safari in Heatherlea’s private estate grounds (weather permitting).
A checklist specifically prepared for your holiday to record your sightings and notes.
Courtesy bus service to and from Aviemore.

What’s not included

Travel to The Mountview Hotel. Insurance, drinks and other items of a personal nature.