Date(s) - 19/04/2024 - 26/04/2024
Over the last two decades I’ve implored my guests to visit Orkney in the Springtime! During mid-late April the seabirds and Summer migrants start to arrive back in their breeding grounds, yet at the same time, all our Winter birds are still here, resplendent in their breeding plumage. Great-northern divers and Long-tailed ducks spring to mind but there are very many birds to enjoy in the Northern Isles at this time of the year in both Orkney and Shetland alike.
This tour visits the best sites of both archipelagos and uses first-class accommodation with excellent fine dining and customer care in both locations. You may be out all day in our fresh weather, but it’s important to know that a cosy and comfortable welcome awaits you on your return from the field.
In Shetland we visit sites at both ends of the county, from the southernmost tip of Shetland at Sumburgh Head (along with Spiggie Loch RSPB reserve and St. Ninian’s tombolo beach) to the island of Unst at the top of Britain with its large gannetry and Bonxie colony. Other sites visited include the volcanic splendour of Eshaness and the wilds of Ronas Hill, to the gentler coastal fringes of Mainland where we’ll search for Otters.
In Orkney we’ll look at the unrivalled 5,000 year-old Neolithic archaeological sites of Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar, before exploring the high island of Hoy and its Old Man and the southernmost island of South Ronaldsay. The sea duck and maritime history of Scapa Flow will provide the backdrop for much of the Mainland Orkney part of the tour, with many RSPB reserves providing locations for sky-dancing (displaying) Hen harriers, seabirds and wetland waders and wildfowl. Orkney is a very noisy place in the Spring, with Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Redshank and Snipe all calling and displaying!
Expect to see about 90 species of birds, and if we’re lucky we may catch a passing cetacean or Otter or two if sea conditions allow.
This tour will comprise a maximum of six guests and will start in Lerwick or Sumburgh in Shetland and end in Kirkwall in Orkney, for 7 nights and 8 days. All accommodation, meals, transport, guiding and travel within and between Shetland and Orkney is included. Travel to Shetland and from Orkney is excluded. Cost £1,895 pp.