Scottish Winter Wildlife 2019
Scottish Winter Wildlife Tour
The Cairngorm National park in Scotland is breathtaking, a vast area of mountains that covers an area of 4,528 km (1,748 mi). The Cairngorm Mountains are a spectacular landscape with snow capped peaks and breathtaking scenery and it’s the place of this amazing Scottish wildlife tour.
This 5 day photographic trip is designed so that you get the best chances to see and photograph these Scottish specialists within their natural environment, the Crested Tit, Mountain Hare, Ptarmigan and of course the Red Squirrel in this stunning setting.
Your tour begins in the Grant arms hotel this will be your base throughout the week. We will meet on the first day, settle in and I will give a brief outlay to the forthcoming days. This is where you we need to travel to, the nearest railway station is Aviemore. So if you’re traveling by rail on the Monday then you can be picked up not a problem. Once everyone has arrived on the Monday and settled in we will head out for Crested Tits and Red Squirrels hopefully before our evening meal.
The following morning, we will leave for the Cairngorms and spend the remaining days working in the Highlands looking for the beautiful Mountain Hares in their winter coats and Ptarmigan. Visiting sites for Crested Tits and Red Squirrels also this trip has it all.
The pattern throughout the week will be weather dependent but we will spend as much time looking for these iconic Scottish species as we can in their various strongholds throughout the week.
Cairngorms is Britain’s largest mountain range and at this time of year, a large part of this national park will normally be under snow. A truly spectacular place in winter where images of wildlife will be all around us.
Once each day is over its back to our lovely hotel, freshen up and then enjoy our evening meal. I will be on hand to go through your images and adventures that you’ve had in the day before we all retire to bed and the same is repeated the following morning to maximise your time there.
On arrival at the hotel we will meet for introductions and discuss the layout of the days ahead and expectations for the following day’s events and experiences. Once settled in we can then head out to the nearby Red Squirrel and Crested Tits sites not far from our hotel. We then return to the hotel to refresh for our evening meal, then relax in readiness for our early start.
An early start to capture the iconic Ptarmigan. once parked up the walk to where the birds are known to be is less than an hour, though this depends on the weather and the conditions underfoot. Once we've located the birds we will make the most of the opportunities given and work with the birds. There may also be opportunities to photograph Snow Buntings and Mountain Hare within the same area. The once the day is over its back to our hotel for dinner. Sit back and review and discuss the day’s images, sharing valuable best practices and tips, enabling everyone to develop their approach, skills and technique.
After our breakfast we will head out early to find another iconic species in this area, the Mountain Hare. At this time of the year they’ll be in their thick white winter pelage, and fingers crossed, we’ll have the opportunity to photograph them in snow. I will be on hand to guide you to the best hares in the best locations. You’ll learn about fieldcraft and how to approach these wonderful mammals and also learn about their the behavior, When then head back to our beautiful hotel for our evening meal and review the days images before bed.
After breakfast we head out to visit some other Red Squirrels and Crested Tit sights within this amazing landscape. There will also be many opportunities to take some landscape images also. We may also find Red deer along with many other winter visitors and migrants that live in this national park. Then once more its back to our wonderful hotel to freshen up and our evening meal and review the days images before bedtime.
Today is the last day of this amazing tour and depending on the week’s sightings of either Crested Tits, Red Squirrels, Mountain Hare or Ptarmigan you can decide which one you want to spend the morning looking for, this is weather related though. Anything can turn up along the way so we will always be ready for what nature throws up. The tour then ends at midday on the Friday.
Please note the activities in Cairngorms are dependent upon the weather conditions, in particular when heading to the higher grounds for Mountain Hares and Ptarmigan. John Poyner who has lived and worked as a guide in the Cairngorms for over twenty years will be guiding for my group alongside myself this will help you make the most of this place and Johns extensive knowledge of the wildlife here.
The walking involved will be over uphill, uneven terrain. A reasonable level of fitness is required as there maybe some hiking in deep snow.
Scotland in the winter will be mostly cold, so adequate winter clothing is absolutely essential. A carefully layered system is best as you can add or peel off to suit your body temperature. Dark or muted clothing is ideal and something to cover your face and hands is also a most. Waterproof housing for your camera and lens covers is a must as rain/snow can be upon you in minutes.
You will need to provide your own photographic equipment, a 500mm lens is ideal but a 300mm with convertors should meet your needs A tripod is also essential. The landscape of the Cairngorms will present you with many opportunities so if you have a wide angle lens then this would also give you a chance to capture some beautiful landscape images
6 people maximum
Cost includes: All accommodation, all meals, packed lunches, use of hides. All photographic tuition and professional guiding. All transport during the tour.
Cost excludes: Transport to Cairngorms/Hotel meeting point. Alcoholic beverages and other sundries not mentioned in the itinerary. Insurance
Trip cost: £925.00 - No Single supplement charge
Dates: Monday 28th January 2019 –Friday 1st February 2019