Early Spring Migration



Early Spring Migration (New)

Dates: 13th - 18th April

White-fronted GooseGreat Northern DiverLapland Bunting

Early spring in the Outer Hebrides is an exciting time as north-bound wildfowl and waders begin to flock through the islands. Geese heading for Greenland such as White-fronts and Barnacles begin to move through whilst waders bound for Iceland such as Black-tailed Godwit and Golden Plover, resplendent in their summer plumage can occur in large numbers as they pause before they cross the North Atlantic. Many other birds associated with winter are also still around with Long-tailed Duck, Glaucous Gull and Snow Bunting all likely. It's also a good time to pick up the scarce Lapland Bunting as they head back north. Wheatears, White Wagtails and the first of the warblers are also often on the move whilst many scarce birds have also been found or have hung on until this time of year; and have included Snowy Owl, Pied-billed Grebe, Harlequin, Richardson's Cackling Goose and Glossy Ibis. The supporting cast of residents is very strong with 8 species of resident birds of prey which are often very active at this time of year as well as Corn Bunting, Twite and all 3 species of diver. Otters are often easier to find than in the summer whilst both Grey and Harbour Seals are common. Smaller delights include the rare Belted Beauty moth that shows a very broken distribution throughout Western Europe despite the females being flightless.

White-tailed EagleIceland GullBlack-tailed Godwit

Short list of species: Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Barnacle Goose, White-fronted Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Whooper Swan, Black-tailed Godwit, Golden Plover, Purple Sandpiper, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Great Skua, Pomarine Skua, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Merlin, Red-throated, Black-throated and Great Northern Divers. Black Guillemot, Corn Bunting, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting, Twite, plus many more. Red Deer, Grey and Common Seals, Otters. If the weather’s calm enough we will set a moth trap to have a peek at some of the local night life. We may also catch up with the local and scarce Belted Beauty moth.

For a full printable itinerary please click here

Dates: 13th - 18th April

Tour duration: 5 nights / 6 days on the islands.

Cost: £670 per person

Accommodation is provided in some of the best local guesthouses for 5 nights.

All meals are provided with evening meals taken in local hotels. If you have special dietary requirements please let us know when bookng.

Group size: 8 (maximum)

Booking: Please email: steveduffield70@gmail.com

Where to meet: The tour begins and ends in Uist. If you arrive by plane or as a foot passenger off the ferry we will be there to meet you and take you to your accommodation. If you arrive early and are already in the islands on the first day then you'll be picked up in the morning and we'll explore local habitats and wildlife whilst others arrive during the morning. On the last day we'll continue to search for wildlife until everyone has departed on their various flight / ferry connections.

Getting here: It is possible to reach the islands by both air and ferry. Flybe operate regular flights from Glasgow to Benbecula although the earlier you book the cheaper the fare. Alternatively Calmac operate ferries between Uig, Skye - Lochmaddy, North Uist and from Oban - Lochboisdale, South Uist. Once on the islands I will be there to meet you and take you to your accommodation before we head into the field.

Trip reports: 2015