The Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, nestled in the Cairngorms National Park, is one of the finest areas in Britain for wildlife. If you would like to experience some of the Highlands unique wildlife and habitats in the company of an experienced professional guide, then look no further.
DAY GUIDING SERVICES
Half, full or extended day tours available - whether you want to find one or two local specialities or a general taster of Highland Wildlife, a day trip can be hugely rewarding. My local knowledge of the area and the special species that live here can make all the difference between going home having seen what you always wanted to... or not.
A standard day guide would start around 9a.m. We would pick you up from your accommodation and take you into the field until around 5p.m.
A half day guide would be the same exept we would end the day around 1p.m.
Extended days can be arranged if longer distances are involved or an early start needed for your chosen species, or you just want more time in the field. I like to tailor the day to your requirements so extended days would need to be negotiated , but would roughly be around 7a.m. to 6p.m.
SOME SUGGESTED ITINARIES
Enter the last surviving tracts of Caledonian Pine Forest left in the Highlands to look for it's iconic species: Crested Tit, Scottish Crossbills, Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Pine Marten and Red Squirrel.
Scan the Lochs and fast flowing rivers for Red and Black-throated Divers, Slavonian Grebe, breeding Goldeneye, Dipper and Osprey.
Walk the summit of Cairngorm, looking for the three high-tops specialists: Ptarmigan, Dotterel and Snow Bunting.
Drive the Moors and Glens to see Golden Eagle, Red Deer, Mountain Hare, breeding Waders and Raptors.
Visit the nearby Moray Firth or the Black Isle for sea birds, Gannets, Auks, Terns and Bottle-nosed Dolphins (in the summer); Long-tailed Ducks, Common and Velvet Scoter and possible King Eider (in the winter).
An extended day guide means we could explore the wild west coast to look for Golden and White-tailed Eagle, Otter, Great-Northern Diver, Black Guillemot, Skuas, sea-bird colonies and Cetaceans. Any of these could take a day on their own to explore, but it's possible to do several habitats in a day and an itinerary tailored to you can be organised, so e-mail or ring today to arrange your own unforgettable wildlife experience.
STANDARD DAY GUIDE:- 9a.m.-5p.m. £95
HALF DAY GUIDE:- 9a.m.-1p.m.
EXTENDED DAY GUIDE:- 7a.m.-6p.m.
(Approx time, can be negotiated to suit your needs)
Add a fun competitive edge to your birding
I've stolen this idea from the angling world, where three iconic specified, species are caught in a day. Swap this for birds and here we are! If successful you'll get a certificate & entered into our hall of fame, all for the same price as a standard or extended day tour.
High-Tops Grand Slam
Ptarmigan, Dotterel, Snow Bunting
Forest Grand Slam
Capercaillie, Scottish Crossbill, Crested Tit
Grouse Super Slam
Caper, Black Grouse, Red Grouse, Ptarmigan
Sea Duck Grand Slam
Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck
Diver Grand Slam
Red-throated, Black- throated, Great Northern Divers
Raptor Grand Slam
Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Osprey
Tracking & Fieldcraft skills
Add an exciting and fun element to your interest in wildlife with this introduction to identifying tracks and signs. By being able to ID footprints, scat, feathers and other clues, tracking and fieldcraft will give you a whole new perspective to your hobby. By honing a few basic skills you can learn to tell what lives in your area without having to see the animal itself. This in turn will increase your chances of tracking down and seeing that elusive animal.
Tracks and signs can tell you a story and in time you can come a nature detective.
We'll spend three days in the wonderful Cairngorms National Park to explore different habitats and not only find tracks and signs but hopefully the birds and animals that make Speyside so special.
Birdwatching for Beginners
Birding can seem quite a daunting hobby to undertake. So many birds, so many that look the same, so many different plumages... let alone all the different songs and calls!
This workshop is an introduction to bird identificaton, tips on separating similar species, what is "jizz" and how to use it, and a look into calls and songs. We'll spend three days in the field covering numerous habitats from Cairngorm Mountain to the Moray Firth.
Other Areas in the Highlands & Islands
Sutherland & Wester Ross
Ardnamurchan & Morvern Peninsulas
Isles of Islay & Jura
ABOUT YOUR GUIDE
John Picton has been a 'birder' and naturalist all his life. He studied for a Diploma in ornithology then a BSc (honours) in Wildlife ecology, conservation & managment; before working with the Forestry commission as a Ranger, then as a warden with the RSPB. John has always loved the Highlands which he had been coming to visit for over 30 years, so when the opportunity to move here permanently and start a new chapter as a wildlife guide came up he jumped at the chance. He now lives in the wonderful Glen Feshie (where Lanseer painted the Monarch of the Glen) with his wife and their dog Tala.
If you'd like further information on any of the tours or workshops offered please get in touch by phoning, emailing or filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!
07878 409289 or 01540 651383