Coronavirus update, 29 May 2020
As Scotland begins to relax lockdown procedures, we are pleased to feature our home-based holidays next spring in our latest enewsletter. If you haven't seen it yet, please click the blue box at the top of this page. Spring 2021 tours are already in great demand, thanks to all those who have transferred their 2020 bookings, and also to those reserving new holidays. Heatherlea have limited capacity for this most popular period, and these tours in particular are filling fast.
Heatherlea are in a strong position to bounce back quickly both here and around the world. We will continue to contact those of you with bookings in 2020, and while there is obviously a long way to go, we are hopeful we can open our lovely Mountview Hotel before the end of this summer.
Feel free to contact us by telephone, though our apologies in advance if you can’t get through. We are working from home, and access is limited. Emails to [email protected] are the most reliable way to be in touch, we will continue to reply as soon as we can.
Our next newsletter will give more information about proposed tours this year in Scotland, and we will also launch a realistic menu of holidays overseas for 2021. We already have many bookings in Europe and further afield, and some dates are now full. Many thanks as always to those of you who have chosen Heatherlea!
The Office team continue to work hard, dealing with all the detail for this year’s tours. Our Hotel and Guiding teams mainly live locally and are enjoying summer sunshine and tremendous local birding. Recent highlights (under lockdown conditions of course), include Common Crane flying overhead, reeling Grasshopper Warbler, local Green Sandpiper, and a recent influx of passerines including many Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and unusually high numbers of Spotted Flycatcher. Many of us are also seeing and hearing Crested Tit and Scottish (Parrot) Crossbill, and there is a steadily growing new network of moth traps at homes in the area. Scotland is always rewarding!
Our 30th season is not turning out exactly as we planned! Many of the special events we hoped to enjoy with you are simply delayed until next year, and we will be in touch with more details at the appropriate moment. In the meantime, we look forward to the day we can go birding together again.
With all best wishes for your safety and good health,
Kevin, Caryl and all the Heatherlea Team
Mr Jonny Pott
With deep sadness, I have to report the passing of our dear friend and much-loved Heatherlea Guide, Jonny Pott. Jonny died peacefully in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, late on the evening of Thursday 16 April, with his family around him.
Jonny had been suffering for some time with an incurable condition which he bore bravely and with great dignity. His optimism for life never departed, and even when retiring from Heatherlea on health grounds earlier this year, his only thought was to return in some role where he could be involved with wildlife and our clients. Very sadly, this was not to be.
My heartfelt sympathies to his family, and to all friends in the wider Heatherlea family, many of whom had known and loved Jonny for years.
Sustained by his strong religious faith, Jonny was an inspiration, not least to those who joined him in enjoyment of our wonderful Scottish natural history. His tales, good humour, and caring personality will always be remembered by everyone who knew him. Jonny was committed to many good works, and his effort for the poor in Haiti is worthy of mention on this saddest of days.
Jonny Pott was perhaps the kindest and most humane person I have ever met. I am privileged to have known him.
Kevin Shaw, 17 April 2020
BIRDING IN SCOTLAND - April 2020
During the current 'lockdown', birding is not easy, and many of us are greatly restricted. As an optimistic attempt to look forward, we are pleased to launch a new tour for October 2020 in the latest Bird Watching magazine (May Issue). Click the link below to read more.
'Scottish Specialities in Autumn - A welcome return to Scotland's wide open spaces'.
It is important to be positive, so this is a new idea to tempt you when conditions allow, and with only seven clients for each date, an exclusive tour which we very much look forward to delivering! To participate, please email [email protected] giving your telephone number, and we will call back. Should the regulations on movement not be lifted and we can't run the tour, then clients booked will receive a full refund.
In the same magazine, our advertisement talks of a new Holiday Planner, where you can book 'Holidays of a lifetime through to 2024, without deposit'. For obvious reasons, we have to delay this new service for awhile, though it will be available as soon as world conditions allow. More soon!
Finally, on a personal note, Caryl and I have started a Highland Garden Checklist, now up to a massive 28 species! Recent highlights include a brief visit to the seed feeders of a stunning pair of Yellowhammer, and two Mallards in our pond. We don't have Magpie here, nor Pied Wagtail nor Song Thrush yet in these days of early spring. Hopefully we will reach the giddy heights of around 40 birds by the end of May, all seen from indoors!
Please stay safe, and may we wish you a bright spring, full of birdlife. We WILL meet again!
Kevin, Caryl, and all the Heatherlea Team.
Welcome to Heatherlea, your natural destination for wildlife!
Birding & Wildlife Holidays in Scotland and Worldwide
Heatherlea are your natural choice! We specialise in friendly holidays to see birds and mammals in the wild. Our fully inclusive tours include comfortable en-suite hotel accommodation, all food, transport and the services of top quality experienced Leaders. Everything you need!
We have recently launched all our dates and destinations for 2021 holidays, with many exciting new tours in both the UK and further afield. Read all about our tours on this website, and please also see our new 2020/21 Brochure!
Click here to read our 2020/21 Brochure, all holidays now booking!