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We know that many of you have favourite guides, whether it is for their infectious enthusiasm, personal care or sheer birding ability. To help you follow your favourite Heatherlea Guide, here’s our guide to (some of) the Guides! This list runs until early autumn 2019. If your holiday isn’t listed below, just call or email for details of your guide.

Please note; our Guides Rota is now agreed with everyone and firmly in place, though changes may occur, and we can’t absolutely guarantee the named Guide.

Ian Ford: Ian joined Heatherlea in 1999, and joins us again this year as a Senior Guide. Ever popular, Ian will once again be seen from Handa to Yellowstone, and his knowledge, humour, enthusiasm and concern for others shine through on our holidays.

Gambia 4 January
Southern Scottish Mainland 24 January
Highland Winter Birding 16 February, 23 February
Camargue 16 March
Spring into Scotland 6 April
NEW! Catalonia and Southeast Aragon 24 April
Outer Hebrides in Spring 11 May
NEW! Svalbard with BBC Wildlife 26 May
Inner Hebrides 21 June
Outer Hebrides and the Shiants 29 June
Yellowstone 19 July

Jonny Pott: Jonny joined Heatherlea in 2002, and has spent a lifetime working in his native area amongst wildlife and the outdoors. Jonny lives on local Kincardine Moor, and is full of tales of local history and birding lore. With his caring manner and endless enthusiasm, Jonny will be here from mountains to Mull to show you Scotland’s special wildlife.

Hogmanay Birding Festival 29 December
Short breaks 12 February
Highland Winter Birding 16 February
Spring into Scotland 30 March
Highlands & Skye 20 April
Birding the Highlands in May 4 May, 11 May
High Season Across the Highlands 1 June
Highlands and Orkney 8 June
Eagles, Divers and Dotterel 6 July

Mike Coleman:  Mike joined Heatherlea in 2001, and is a top guide with a friendly manner.  Mike will be your expert companion in Scotland and overseas.

Short Break in Winter 19 Jan
NEW! Birders Blast in Winter 23 Jan
Fuerteventura in Spring 8 March
NEW! Highland Birding in March 23 March
Spring into Scotland 6 April
Outer Hebrides in Spring 4 May
Estonia 14 May
Southern Hebrides 2 June
Eagles, Divers and Dotterel 6 July
Iceland in Summer 22 July

Toby Green: Toby is a very experienced Scottish birder, who joined us in 2013. A popular Leader in Scotland, Extremadura, Costa Rica, Fuerteventura and elsewhere, Toby is a top birder with a great sense of humour. We know you will enjoy birding with him!

Costa Rica Classic 12 Jan
NEW! Sweden for birders in Winter 3 Feb
Mull and Islay 2 March
Nepal 15 March
Extremadura 10 April
North Ronaldsay and Orkney in Spring 27 April
NEW! Bulgaria and Northern Greece 11 May
Islands on the Edge 25 May
Highland Wildlife 29 June
Coll and Tiree in Summer 15 July
Iceland in Summer 22 July

Dave Pullan: Dave is an exceptional birder with vast experience in Scotland and worldwide. He is responsible for many top sightings of rarities on Heatherlea holidays in Scotland. Dave will be leading the following trips in 2019:

Spain - Birding and Lynx, Andujar plus Coto Donana 7 Jan 
NEW! Canaries 23 February
Fuerteventura in Spring 8 March
NEW! Costa Rica Birders Tour 6 April
Armenia 4 May
Shetland Island Explorer 18 May
NEW! China 3 June, 29 June

Rob Jordan: A keen birder and top photographer, Rob has settled right into our friendly guiding team here in Scotland. Rob will be guiding Heatherlea groups around Scotland, Northern England, and overseas during 2019.

Highlands and the East Coast 2 March
Highlands and the West Coast 9 March
Camargue 16 March
Mallorca 20 April
Mull, Iona and Treshnish 14 May
NEW! Svalbard with BBC Wildlife 26 May
NEW! Northumberland in High Summer  22 June and 29 June

Mark Warren: Mark joined us from North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory in January 2016, and has become a popular member of our team. Mark has previously worked for the RSPB in Cornwall and at Fair Isle Bird Observatory. He is a very experienced and dedicated birder, and many Heatherlea customers have already reaped the rewards!

NEW! Sweden for birders in Winter 3 February
Highland Winter Birding 23 February
Highland and the East Coast 2 March
NEW! Highland Birding in March 23 March
Portugal 6 April
NEW! Sweden in Spring 1 May
Shetland in Spring for Birders 11 May
Fair Isle in Spring for Birders 18 May
Orkney Island Explorer 1 June
Islands on the Edge 8 June
Highlands and Bass Rock 29 June
St Kilda 12 July
Orkney in High Summer 20 July

Scott O'Hara: Scott joined the Heatherlea team in 2015. He is an experienced guide with a background in ecology and environmental education. Scott is an enthusiastic and avid birder and general naturalist; but having grown up in Montrose, on the Scottish east coast, his real passion is for waders, wildfowl and seabirds.

Hogmanay Birding Festival 29 December
New Year Birdlist Booster 5 January, 12 January
Short Breaks in Winter  27 January, 12 February
NEW! Birders Blast in Winter 31 January
NEW! Canaries 23 February
NEW! Highland Birding in March 16 March
Italy Po Delta and Venice 6 April
Skyros 19 April
North Ronaldsay and Orkney 4 May
Outer Hebrides in Spring 11 May
Shetland Island Explorer 25 May
Shetland and Orkney 15 June
Ultimate Outer Hebrides 6 July
NEW! Highlands and Wester Ross 27 July

John Picton: John joined our happy team in spring 2016, and will be guiding in Scotland in 2019. His relaxed style and easy manner make for enjoyable days in the field.  A good all round naturalist specialising in birds and mammals with a special interest in raptors and Pine Martens.

New Year Birdlist Booster 5 January, 12 January
Short Breaks in Winter 4 February
Birders Blast 8 February
NEW! Forest of Dean and Somerset Levels 23 February, 2 March
Spring into Scotland and Mull 30 March, 13 April
Highlands and Skye 27 April
Outer Hebrides in Spring 4 May
Orkney & the Flow Country 18 May
NEW! Highlands and Corncrake 25 May
Outer Limits in Summer 15 June, 22 June
Eagles, Divers and Dotterel 13 July
High Summer Highland Wildlife 20 July

Gerard Gorman: Gerard is the Heatherlea organiser for Eastern Europe, and also leads for us in Cuba and Jamaica. An authority on the world’s woodpeckers, and author of several well-informed birding books, Lancastrian Gerard lives in Budapest.

Jamaica 13 January
Uganda 25 January
Cuba including Havana 22 March
Croatia 6 April
Belarus 4 May
Austria 12 June

Pete Cosgrove: A professional eco-consultant, of all our locally based guides Pete is the one who is most likely to be spreading the news about rarities! Pete has a passion for birding everywhere, particularly in tropical climes, with a real love for the Americas. Pete has been busy developing original and exciting tours across the United States and you can join him in Brazil and Finland in 2019.

NEW! Kenya - Birding in the Rift Valley 3 February
Trinidad, Tobago and St Lucia 24 April
Finland 27 May
Brazil - the Pantanal 14 July

Jozef Leestmans: An excellent birder with a relaxed style.  Jozef is enthusiastic, patient and very capable in the field.  In 2019 Jozef will be leeding for us in his native Flanders and Holland.

Holland and Flanders 2 February

Sorrel Lyall: Our Guest Guide, Sorrel is a young birder and naturalist who first came to Heatherlea at the age of 12 and is now studying Ecology at the University of Edinburgh.  A keen and capable birder, Sorrel also enjoys trapping moths and identifying butterflies and dragonflies.  She is involved with wildlife education and children's wildlife groups, and has visited several observatories with young birder groups.  Sorrel eventually hopes to pursue a career in wildlife conservation, and we are delighted to welcome her in 2019.

Eagles, Divers and Dotterel 13 July
High Summer Wildlife 20 July


Contact Information

The Mountview Hotel, Nethybridge,
PH25 3EB Scotland

T: 01479 821248