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News from the Field September 2023

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With some overseas trips returning and Autumn migration going strong on the Scottish islands, we thought it would be a good opportunity to share news from some of our Guides. Toby shares some highlights from his South Africa trip, Chris and Holly feature some rarities on Shetland and Mike discusses his recent Orkney and North Ronaldsay tour. 

South Africa - a Birding Tour of the Western and Eastern Cape

"Our trip was fantastic with too many highlights to mention them all but stand out were the four species of Albatross including a stunning Southern Royal! Scores of Southern Right Whale were seen well along the coast. We scored highly with the Cape endemics but a real crowd pleaser was Cape Rockjumper. Our trip finished with a three-day safari at Addo which turned up Aardvark, Elephants and Meerkats to mention a few mammals but the stand out highlight for many was the amazing views of Secretary Bird! A truly unforgettable trip." - Toby Green 


Shetland in Autumn for Birders

"Currently day 5 of our Shetland in Autumn for birders and we have enjoyed some superb birding. There’s been plenty of migrants to keep us busy and the team has done a great job in finding our own rare birds including Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Little Bunting, Hawfinch and several Barred Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler. We’ve also been to see Red-backed Shrike, Marsh Warbler and Common Rosefinch found by others. We have been birding in all four seasons of weather but always in stunning locations around the islands. With a few days still to go, there’s still time for the team to find that Mega!" - Chris Rodger 

"We're only three days into the second week of our Shetland trip and have already seen some great rarities, including Red-backed Shrike, Blackburnian Warbler, Bluethroat and Arctic Warbler" - Holly Page


North Ronaldsay and Orkney in Autumn for Birders 

"We're just rounding off a highly successful week on North Ronaldsay, where the rain has fallen at night on easterly winds, and as a result, the migrants have kept appearing! As well as the commoner migrants - Little Stint, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, 'Greenland' Wheatear, White and Yellow Wagtails, Common Rosefinch, Barred Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler and Lapland Bunting, we have had excellent views of both Arctic and Greenish Warblers, had fun trying to pin down an elusive Blyth's Reed Warbler and an elusive Little Bunting, and had Merlin, Kestrel and Hen Harrier 'in the hand' within a couple of hours of each other! Only on North Ron! Apart from the quality of the birds, we have felt very welcomed and enjoyed superb hospitality from the bird observatory staff, and great camaraderie with the other guests staying here. We mustn't forget the flight in either on the eight-seat, twin-propeller Islander - a big hit with all the guests! All in all a top week!" - Mike Coleman 


About Heatherlea Holidays

Contact Information

The Mountview Hotel, Nethybridge,
PH25 3EB Scotland

T: +44(0)1479 821248