May 29, 2015, 08:35:41 PM

Author Topic: Scotland trip for birding - advice please  (Read 2388 times)

hufc59

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2015, 03:58:36 PM »
Farne Islands Is Excellent, Usually Early June Is Best When The Puffins Are Feeding Their Young, All Day Boat Trips Are About £30 For 2 Islands But You Have To Pay The National Trust For Each Island, Wear A Hat As The Terns Attack You As You Walk Past Their Nests Which Are Only A Foot Off The Footpaths,

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2015, 03:58:36 PM »

geonix

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2015, 06:16:57 PM »
Farne Islands Is Excellent, Usually Early June Is Best When The Puffins Are Feeding Their Young, All Day Boat Trips Are About £30 For 2 Islands But You Have To Pay The National Trust For Each Island, Wear A Hat As The Terns Attack You As You Walk Past Their Nests Which Are Only A Foot Off The Footpaths,

I just returned yesterday from scotland. It was magnificent. Although I haven't been on the Farne Islands. But I am planning my next trip already and farne Islands are on the list.
This time I visited "only" the Cairngorms, the area around Inverness, Eastcoast around Aberdeen and Edinburgh and the Loathians region. The picture below is from the Isle of May, which is a wonderful place, very similar to what you described about the Farne Islands.

Keith_Reeder

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2015, 02:49:15 AM »
Isle of May, which is a wonderful place, very similar to what you described about the Farne Islands.

I live within fifty miles of the Farnes, and I have no problem in saying that the Isle of May is much, much better, photographically, than the Farnes.

On the Farnes you're depressingly restricted in where you can go; and most of the routes couldn't be worse for photography if they were designed to be - the Sun is invariably in the wrong place, angles and points of view are terrible, and the lack of choice means that you end up taking exactly the same pictures that everyone else takes.

For context: as I say, I live close to the Farnes, and the best skipper (Andrew, who runs the Serenity tours) is a friend; yet I can only bring myself to do the Farnes about once every three years...

geonix

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2015, 05:45:08 AM »

I live within fifty miles of the Farnes, and I have no problem in saying that the Isle of May is much, much better, photographically, than the Farnes.

On the Farnes you're depressingly restricted in where you can go; and most of the routes couldn't be worse for photography if they were designed to be - the Sun is invariably in the wrong place, angles and points of view are terrible, and the lack of choice means that you end up taking exactly the same pictures that everyone else takes.

For context: as I say, I live close to the Farnes, and the best skipper (Andrew, who runs the Serenity tours) is a friend; yet I can only bring myself to do the Farnes about once every three years...

I took the Isle of May Photographic Trip provided by the Scottish Seabird Center in North Berwick. On that trip the group of twelve people are the only visitors on the Island. Still you are not free to move where you want, instead you are lead to two points/areas where you can take photos. On the way inbetween you are of course allowed to take photos as well but the golden rule is to stay on the paths.
I totally agree with that policy as some nests of Eider, Puffins and Terns are really one step aside and the Eider won't move at all relying on ther camouflage.
These two photo areas are well picked and you see all the birds you want and for a small group there is enough space to move.
We were eve so lucky to have a very sunny day with mostly blue sky and a calm sea. However the boat trip with a speed boat to the Isle is an attraction in itself (at least to me as a landlubber).

DavidR

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2015, 06:31:46 AM »
Hello
I live in Connel, near Oban on the west coast of Scotland.
I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Lunga, one of the Treshnish Islands.
There are organised trips that involve a ferry trip from Oban to Mull then a bus journey and a boat to Lunga and Staffa (famous for Fingal`s Cave).
The most important birds on Lunga are puffins and there will be huge numbers of them there just now, many of them approachable to about 1m! Also shags, guillemots and other sea birds.
If you go to Oban please also look into the Thursday sailings to Coll and Tiree for a visit to these Hebridean islands.
There are also trips to Iona which is very photogenic.

Farther north, consider Handa Island to which there are boat trips. The island has good sea cliffs. I`ve also even seen a lizard there.

However, perhaps the most spectacular place to see birds is on the day trip to St Kilda. After visiting Hirta, the main island, the boat we were on went past Boreray, a huge sea stack which has thousands of gannets. Be aware that this is an expensive trip and needs a lot of planning.

For more ideas look at the Scottish Wildlife Trust website.

Keith_Reeder

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2015, 07:24:08 AM »
Quote from: DavidR
I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Lunga, one of the Treshnish Islands.

I did (or tried to do) Lunga at the end of April last year, and the skipper was far more interested in bouncing around in front of Fingal's Cave than he was in Puffins - in fact he decided not to land on Lunga: "not enough Puffins yet", he said, despite him being happy to take several wildlife photographers' money, and there being birds everywhere.

I've been doing wildlife boat trips and photographing Puffins long enough to recognise bullsh1t when I hear it.

In addition, the boat was seriously (probably illiegally) overloaded with bodies.

I wouldn't use Turus Mara again if you paid me - worst boat/wildlife/photography experience I've ever had in my life.

Quote from: Geonix
These two photo areas are well picked and you see all the birds you want and for a small group there is enough space to move

Which in itself makes it better than the Farnes. I still maintain that you have far more options on May than on the Farnes - all of the paths on May have always been accessible in my visits.

 


geonix

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2015, 03:26:33 PM »
Hello
I live in Connel, near Oban on the west coast of Scotland.
I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Lunga, one of the Treshnish Islands.
There are organised trips that involve a ferry trip from Oban to Mull then a bus journey and a boat to Lunga and Staffa (famous for Fingal`s Cave).
The most important birds on Lunga are puffins and there will be huge numbers of them there just now, many of them approachable to about 1m! Also shags, guillemots and other sea birds.
If you go to Oban please also look into the Thursday sailings to Coll and Tiree for a visit to these Hebridean islands.
There are also trips to Iona which is very photogenic.

Farther north, consider Handa Island to which there are boat trips. The island has good sea cliffs. I`ve also even seen a lizard there.

However, perhaps the most spectacular place to see birds is on the day trip to St Kilda. After visiting Hirta, the main island, the boat we were on went past Boreray, a huge sea stack which has thousands of gannets. Be aware that this is an expensive trip and needs a lot of planning.

For more ideas look at the Scottish Wildlife Trust website.

Thanks David for this tip. On my next visit to Scotland I will definitely see the west coast. The Scottish Wildlife Trust website I know, very informative.

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Re: Scotland trip for birding - advice please
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2015, 03:26:33 PM »