Walking with Wildlife

Dates: 1st - 7th August 2022

The aim of this holiday is to observe the wildlife as we walk and explore the full variety of the superb sites that Uist and Barra offer. We'll experience stretches of sandy beaches, backed by clear blue waters and stretches of flower-rich machair. Lots of flowers are still in bloom on the machair with Corn Marogold and Bugloss colouring the crops whilst fallow areas support an array of clovers, vetches and pansies. Great Yellow Bumblebeeare at their most active and we're sure to find them at some point during the week. In contrast to the coast the moorland holds specialities such as sundews, the rare Irish Lady’s Tresses and the diminutive Bog Orchid. You can expect to see all the regular birds of prey which include Hen Harrier, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Merlin and Pergerine as well as Short-eared Owls. There will be a good selection of waders, terns and passerines also, such as Skylarks, Meadow Pipit and the increasingly rare Corn Bunting. Red-throated and Black-throated Divers will still be on their nesting grounds and our trips into the blanket bog and moorland provide us with opportunities to see these birds in their breeding plumage. Harbour Seals and Grey Seals are common along the shore whilst otters are a regular sight. We'll need to take our time when searching for these charismatic animals although they can turn up almost anywhere where there's water. We'll certainly see signs of their presence and learn what to look for to see if otters are using an area.

We'll based in Benbecula / Uist with a day trip by ferry to Barra. Each day we'll explore a different area, covering the full suite of habitats including machair, moorland, hills and coast.

The itinerary remains flexible throughout the tour to make the most of the weather. On the sunniest, warmest days we'll make sure that we're in good habitat for butterflies. You can expect to walk around 8 or 9 miles a day with plenty of time to admire the wildlife.

Short list of species: Black-throated Diver, Red-throated Diver, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine, Short-eared Owl, Corn Bunting, Rock Pipit, Twite, Black-tailed Godwit, Golden Plover, Knot, Sanderling, Turnstone, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Red Deer, Grey and Common Seals, Otters. Flowering plants will include Greater Sundew, Pyramidal Orchid, Bog Orchid, Irish Lady's Tresses, Corn Marigold, Bugloss, Kidney Vetch, Red Clover,

If you would like a more detailed itinerary please email me at the address below.

Dates: 1st - 7th August 2022

Cost: £950 per person (£875 per person if 2 sharing a room)

Accommodation is provided in some of the best local guesthouses for 6 nights.

All meals are provided with evening meals taken in local hotels. If you have special dietary requirements please let us know when bookng.

Group size: 8 (maximum)

Booking: Please email: steveduffield70@gmail.com

Where to meet: The tour begins and ends in Uist. If you arrive by plane or as a foot passenger off the ferry we will be there to meet you and take you to your accommodation. If you arrive early and are already in the islands on the first day then you'll be picked up in the morning and we'll explore local habitats and wildlife whilst others arrive during the morning. On the last day we'll continue to search for wildlife until everyone has departed on their various flight / ferry connections.

Getting here: It is possible to reach the islands by both air and ferry. Loganair operate regular flights from Glasgow to Benbecula although the earlier you book the cheaper the fare. Alternatively Calmac operate ferries between Uig, Skye - Lochmaddy, North Uist and from Mallaig - Lochboisdale, South Uist. Once on the islands I will be there to meet you and take you to your accommodation before we head into the field.