Heatherlea Holidays '... for Birders' 

... 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 around the islands. With our finger firmly on the pulse, not much gets past our experienced Guides!  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. We take care to make sure everyone enjoys an unforgettable holiday.

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. Many Heatherlea clients have enjoyed exceptional birding on the islands, where we always expect the unexpected! 

Our Guides have a massive amount of experience in finding rare birds, 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.

Here is a list of our planned 'for birders...' holidays in Scotland!

HOLIDAY 2019                     2020

North Ronaldsay and Orkney in early Autumn 


22 Aug - 28 Aug

Outer Hebrides in early Autumn

31 Aug - 6 Sep

29 Aug - 4 Sep

North Ronaldsay and Orkney in Autumn  

14 Sep - 20 Sep
21 Sep - 27 Sep  

12 Sep - 18 Sep
19 Sep - 25 Sep

Shetland in Autumn

21 Sep - 28 Sep
28 Sep - 5 Oct

19 Sep - 26 Sep
26 Sep - 3 Oct

Outer Hebrides in Autumn

5 Oct -11 Oct

3 Oct - 9 Oct

Coll and Tiree in Autumn 

13 Oct - 19 Oct

11 Oct - 17 Oct

Birders' Blast in late Autumn

3 dates in Nov

dates in Nov

Isles of Scilly in Autumn

12 Oct - 19 Oct

10 Oct - 17 Oct

Birders' Blast in Winter


  5 dates in Jan and Feb

North Ronaldsay and Orkney in Spring

  25 Apr - 1 May
2 May - 8 May

Shetland in Spring

  9 May - 16 May

We are famous for great guiding and personal care, 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. 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 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!

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!

Kenya - Ultimate Birding                                                            1 Dec - 17 Dec 2019

Sweden for Birders in winter                                                       1 Feb - 6 Feb 2020

NEW! Czech Republic - South Moravia                                    27 Feb - 1 Mar 2020

Costa Rica Birding Tour                                                              4 Apr - 19 Apr 2020

NEW! Finland and Northern Norway                                    15 May - 20 May 2020

Finland in Spring                                                                      20 May - 28 May 2020

Ireland for Birders                                                                    22 Aug - 29 Aug 2020

About Heatherlea Holidays

Contact Information

The Mountview Hotel, Nethybridge,
PH25 3EB Scotland

T: 01479 821248