Heatherlea Holidays '... for Birders'
All our tours are for birders of course, though we offer several winter, spring and autumn itineraries where we concentrate particularly on the birds which can take your British list to new heights, and designate these as '... for Birders’. Some are based at Mountview Hotel, though most are based on remote Scottish islands, wonderful for wind-blown rarities and sometimes ‘mega’ birds, perhaps never before or very rarely seen in the UK. We also have overseas tours which maximise your birdlist, and designate some of these as '... for Birders' too.
Look for this symbol to identify a '... for Birders' tour!
... in Scotland ...
Heatherlea are Scotland’s premier birding tour operator, with 47 tours based at our HQ in Nethy Bridge, and around 30 further tours to the islands. You can join anytime between January and November, we are dedicated to birding, and above all, we have fun; you won’t feel out of place if you have less experience than others, and many guests become friends visiting year after year. The emphasis is on personal service, with a limit of just seven clients per guide on most trips, and our leaders know that the really important part of any holiday is the experience for you, our valued customer.
We are famous for great guiding, and your Guide plans the entire holiday, from briefing on the first evening to round-up on the last, organising everything to suit wildlife, weather and your progress through the tour. With our finger firmly on the pulse, not much gets past our experienced Guides!
We include all accommodation, food, travel, access fees and ferry charges. You get terrific value from our fully inclusive holidays, so book with confidence – there are no hidden extras!
... at Mountview Hotel ...
Easier to reach than the islands for most UK birders, and with Capercaillie, Ptarmigan, Scottish Crossbill, Crested Tit, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, and readily-available transfers to the coast for rarities, Mountview Hotel is a great base for the keen birder. All holidays here can produce stunning rarities, and here are some which keen birders find particularly exciting!
Hogmanay Birding Festival
New Year Birdlist Booster
Birders' Blast in Winter
Highland Winter Birding
Highlands and Corncrake
NEW! Scotland with North American Birderwatchers in mind
Twenty Scottish Specials
Birders' Blast in late Autumn
... on the Scottish islands ...
Many Heatherlea clients have enjoyed exceptional birding on remote Scottish islands, where we always expect the unexpected! Our Guides have massive experience in finding rare birds in Scotland, and a number are serving members on regional and national rarities committees. Mark Warren and George Gay have been employed at North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory, Peter Cosgrove works in conservation on Shetland, and Mike Coleman, Ian Ford, Toby Green, Scott O’Hara and Dave Pullan have been birding Scotland’s outlying islands for many years.
During these holidays birds might be ‘trapped’ at observatories, where we can watch closely at leisure, or found in roadside locations. At other times, birds are flighty or in places which might be difficult to reach, and then we move more quickly to find them. At all times, we observe the Birdwatchers’ Code of Conduct, following common sense and good practice in the interests of both wildlife and wildlife enthusiasts.
North Ronaldsay and Orkney in Spring
Shetland in Spring
North Ronaldsay and Orkney in early Autumn
Outer Hebrides in early Autumn
North Ronaldsay and Orkney in Autumn
Shetland in Autumn
Outer Hebrides in Autumn
Coll and Tiree in Autumn
... in England ...
West Cornwall in Autumn
Isles of Scilly in Autumn
The full list is a long one, but some of the exciting rarities seen on recent tours include: Snow Goose, American Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, King Eider, Surf Scoter, White-billed Diver, Black Stork, Stone Curlew, American Golden Plover, Wilson's Snipe, Lesser Yellowlegs, Western, Semi-palmated, White-rumped and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Great Spotted, Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoo, Mourning Dove, Red-eyed Vireo, Rose-coloured Starling, Brown Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow, River, Lanceolated and Greenish Warbler, Isabelline Wheatear, Siberian Accentor, Citrine Wagtail, Pechora, Red-throated and Tawny Pipit, Rustic and Black-faced Bunting and Red-winged Blackbird (a UK first). And it's not all about the birds - how could we not include the famous Walrus, seen in Caithness by a Heatherlea group in May 2018!
Join one of our 'for birders' holidays to see the next big rarity...!
.... and further afield ....
A number of our overseas tours are particularly suited to building a big bird list, here are just a few!
Sweden for Birders in winter
NEW! Czech Republic - South Moravia
Costa Rica Birding Tour
NEW! Finland and Northern Norway
Finland in Spring
Ireland for Birders
Hungary in Autumn
Kenya - Ultimate Birding
Svalbard (not a huge birdlist, but very interesting!)