Pembrokeshire in Early Summerwith Barry OxleyA 4-day holiday to enjoy Pembrokeshire's spectacularseabird colonies, marine-life and other wildlife.By June, the remote south-western tip of Wales is teeming with arich diversity of wildlife, from the mainland out to its famousAtlantic islands. Pink-tinged with swathes of Red Campion, Skomeris transformed during early summer by the arrival of vast numbersof nesting seabirds - over half a million of them! Pembrokeshireis also well known for its populations of cetaceans, while GreySeals and Choughs can be seen in many coastal areas. As well asenjoying Pembrokeshire's impressive marine fauna, we'lladditionally take time to explore some of the peninsula's terrestrialhabitats from our base in St. David's.Sun 9th - Wed 12th JunGBR18Cost: £595Islay & Jura in Summer: Birds & Botany of the Inner Hebrideswith Peter Clement & Malcolm OgilvieA 7-day midsummer visit to the glorious islands of Islayand Jura in search of birds and flowers.The Inner Hebridean islands of Islay and Jura comprise one of themost wildlife-rich areas in Britain. Over 100 bird species breed onthe islands and there is also a stunning variety of flowers whichincludes carpets of orchids and such lovers of marshy ground asBog Myrtle, Grass of Parnassus and sundews. During the summer,flower-filled meadows abound with butterflies, among which canbe seen the rare Marsh Fritillary, and the islands are noted for theirpopulations of Otters, seals and Red Deer. In midsummer,breeding birds such as Lapwing, Redshank, Curlew anddrumming Snipe dominate the open grasslands, while Corncrakesutter their rasping calls from meadows. Resident Choughs will bebusy feeding youngsters hidden in sea-cave nest sites, and bothislands support important numbers of birds of prey with nestingspecies including Hen Harrier, Golden and White-tailed Eagles,Merlin and Peregrine. Fri 14th - Thu 20th Jun GBR27Cost: £1,095The Magic of Mullwith Dave PierceA 7-day exploration in search of Mull's birds, mammals and marine-life.Mull's varied landscape includes extensive forests, craggy hillsand a glorious coastline - all habitats that will be explored indetail during this midsummer tour. The island is home to White-tailed Sea Eagles and Golden Eagles, as well as breeding HenHarriers and Short-eared Owls. Red-throated Divers can be seenon both freshwater and sea lochs, while the latter are the home ofOtters. Both Grey and Common Seals can be seen from the shoreand we'll make a boat trip to search for Minke Whales and othercetaceans. A highlight of the tour will be landing on the island ofLunga, where we will observe masses of Kittiwakes, Guillemots,Razorbills and posing Puffins just metres away! Mon 17th - Sun 23rd Jun & Sat 6th - Fri 12th JulGBR16Cost: £1,095Flora of the Hampshire Downswith Jon Stokes A botanical weekend exploring chalk habitats.Chalk downland represents some of the finest plant habitat inBritain, and the Hampshire chalk downs are one of the bestexamples in the country. This short break will take in a variety ofchalk habitats focusing on the plants, butterflies and other wildlifethat they support. We hope to find a wide variety of orchidsincluding Bee, Frog, Musk, and Fly Orchids, butterflies such asMarbled White and Dingy Skipper, and birds such as LesserWhitethroat.Fri 21st - Sun 23rd Jun GBR01Cost: £295The Wild Flowers of UpperTeesdalewith Dawn NelsonA 4-day exploration of the botanical treasures of thisunique and scenic limestone region.Upper Teesdale, in the North Pennines Area of OutstandingNatural Beauty, is a plant lover's paradise. Here, dry-stone wallscontain flower-filled hay meadows and roadside verges supportshowy Melancholy Thistle, Meadow Crane's-bill and Sweet Cicely.But there is far more to explore, for this upland region with itsrugged scenery has a broad range of rare species in its Arctic-alpine flora, a result of its complex geology. We will visit a variety ofhabitats, from low-lying hay meadows, rough grazing pastures andjuniper woods to limestone grassland, blanket bogs and thesummit heaths of the high fells, in search of the species thatcomprise the Teesdale Assemblage and many other interestingplants. We'll also enjoy such breeding birds of these remote moorsas Red Grouse, Lapwing and Curlew and walk along the RiverTees to the famous waterfalls of Low and High Force. With such adiversity of rare habitats and plant species in one location, this is atruly unique place. Fri 21st - Mon 24th Jun GBR29Cost: £450Shetland's Wildlifewith David McAllister A 9-day holiday in search of Otters, seals, and thebreeding waders and seabirds of the Shetland Islands. The Shetland archipelago is among Britain's most exciting wildlifedestinations. We begin this holiday by taking the overnight ferryfrom Aberdeen to the capital of the Shetlands, Lerwick. Among thebreeding species we hope to see from our first base at Sumburghwill be Eider, Fulmar, Gannet, Storm-petrel, Golden Plover, Greatand Arctic Skuas, Kittiwake, Arctic Tern, Razorbill, Puffin, BlackGuillemot, Rock Dove and Twite. Grey and Common Seals andOtters are among the mammals we'll be hoping to see and we willalso explore such fascinating historical sites as Jarlshof. Next wetransfer to the Island of Unst, home to Red-throated Diver andCommon Scoter, then on the island of Fetlar we'll look for suchbreeding specialities as Whimbrel and Red-necked Phalarope.Mon 24th Jun - Tue 2nd Jul GBR24Cost: £995The Yorkshire Coast & Moorswith Peter Dunn A 4-day birdwatching holiday exploring the Yorkshirecoast and North Yorkshire Moors.Yorkshire is blessed with an amazing variety of wildlife habitat, allwithin easy reach during a long weekend tour. We'll enjoy thetowering chalk cliffs of Flamborough and Bempton, where theRSPB safeguard over 200,000 nesting seabirds, including Britain'slargest mainland Gannet colony, plus Guillemots, Razorbills,Puffins and Kittiwakes. Then we'll visit Filey Brigg and Filey DamsNature Reserve where Corn Bunting and Tree Sparrow remainquite common in the surrounding countryside. On our second daywe will explore the North York Moors. Here, Red Grouse, GoldenPlover, Wheatear, Merlin and Ring Ouzel all breed on the moors,Crossbills and various scarce birds of prey such as HoneyBuzzard may be seen in the forest at Dalby, and small boggystreams are home to carnivorous Sundew plants, Golden-ringedDragonflies and even the scarce Large Heath butterfly. Finally, atdusk, we'll will listen out for 'churring' Nightjars and 'roding'Woodcock to complete the magic of our Yorkshire experience.Tue 25th - Fri 28th Jun & Tue 2nd - Fri 5th Jul GBR28Cost: £450White-beaked Dolphins, Lyme BayBlack GrouseWild Gladiolus, New Forest18
Wildlife of the Isle of Manwith Chris MurphyA 4-day holiday in search of birds, mammals and othernatural history. This short break offers the opportunity to explore the island's wildcoastline, extensive moorlands and scrubby wild flower meadowsin search of a rich natural history. Weather permitting, we will alsotake an offshore boat trip to look for seabirds, cetaceans and, insome years, Basking Sharks. Orchids, Grey Seals, feral Red-necked Wallabies, Mountain Hares, rare moths, Choughs, HenHarriers, Storm-petrels, Manx Shearwaters, migrating waders andcoastal and cliff-nesting seabirds are among the island's manywildlife attractions.Fri 28th Jun - Mon 1st JulGBR12Cost: £495The Alpine Plants of BenLawers, Scotlandwith Paul Harmes or Dawn Nelson A 4-day botanical break in search of the very specialalpine flora of Ben Lawers.Long regarded by botanists as one of the foremost sites for alpineplants in Britain, Ben Lawers, at 1,214 metres, is the highest peakin the British Isles outside the Ben Nevis and Cairngorm ranges.This 4-day break will give us the opportunity to visit the threeprincipal locations of botanical interest in the area, with some quitestrenuous mountain walking. We'll look for such species as CottonGrass, Bog Asphodel, Snow Gentian and Net-leaved Willow. Anumber of Britain's rarer sedges and ferns grow on the easternside of the mountain, as well as Scottish Asphodel and AlpineSaw-wort. We'll also explore Creag an Lochan, where it may bepossible to find Purple Saxifrage in flower, Yellow MountainSaxifrage and, if we are lucky, the diminutive Moonwort.Fri 2nd - Mon 5th Aug GBR26Cost: £435Islay & Jura (see page 117)with Peter Clement A 7-day tour in search of the birds and mammals offScotland's ruggedly scenic west coast.The island of Islay was described by the late Sir Peter Scott as 'themost important place in the British Isles for wild geese, and one ofthe most important in Europe' and, with up to 40,000 BarnacleGeese and 10,000 Greenland Whitefronts invading every winter,this avian spectacle remains one of Europe's most special. Jura,by contrast, is notable for its rugged grandeur, its dramaticwhirlpool in the Gulf of Corryvreckan, great herds of Red Deer, anda remarkable variety of raptors. It is also one of the best places inEurope to observe Otters. Visiting both islands, we will relish thevast flocks of geese and other wildfowl that include smallernumbers of Greylag, Pink-footed and Brent Geese alongside theBarnacles and Whitefronts, Whooper Swans and both GreatNorthern and Red-throated Divers. We will also look for such otherspecialities as Chough, Golden Eagle, Peregrine, Merlin and HenHarrier, as well as for Roe Deer and both Grey and CommonSeals, during our exploration of these truly wild wildlife havens.Thu 25th - Wed 31st Oct 2012 & Thu 24th - Wed 30th Oct 2013 GBR10Cost: from £895Islay & Mull ... In Style! (see page 118)with Peter Clement A 7-day holiday to enjoy the birds, mammals,spectacular scenery and rich autumn colours of two ofthe Inner Hebrides' most beautiful and rewardingislands.The beautiful Inner Hebridean islands of Islay and Mullcomplement each other perfectly. On Islay, a varied landscape ofmountains, open moorland, pastures, windswept lochans, andmore gentle woods and farmland is home to a wealth of breedingbirds, but even more wintering wildfowl, with up to 40,000 BarnacleGeese and 10,000 Greenland Whitefronts presenting one ofEurope's finest avian spectacles. The mountains and moorlands ofMull, by contrast, are wild, rugged and unforgiving; the island'svast western sea-lochs are beloved of Otters, divers, grebes andsea-duck. There is no more dramatic time to visit than in earlyNovember. when glorious autumn colours are at their best, theRed Deer are rutting, and vast numbers of wildfowl and winterstorms move in, enhancing skies and landscapes. For birds ofprey - their numbers enhanced by summer youngsters - andother predators, the hunt begins in earnest! Best of all, for thisholiday we have chosen to explore these magical wildlife havensfrom two of the most comfortable of hotels in the Western Isles.Thu 1st - Wed 7th Nov 2012 & Thu 31st Oct - Wed 6th Nov 2013 GBR31Cost: from £1,195Norfolk in Winterwith Tom McJannet A winter birdwatching weekend exploring Norfolk'swetlands, including a visit to its premier raptor spot. In November, Norfolk's extensive wetlands are teeming with largeflocks of migrant geese, huge numbers of duck and most of thecountry's wild swans. We will spend time watching these, not tomention some of Britain's largest wader concentrations and manyof the country's more unusual winter visitors, like Slavonian Grebe,Velvet Scoter and Smew. We'll also spend an evening at thecounty's premier raptor spot. Fri 9th - Sun 11th Nov '12 & Fri 8th - Sun 10th Nov GBR04Cost: £29521Food and accommodation:Please refer to the specifictrip itinerary for details.Transport:Transport is provided during each tour.Single room supplement:Provided - as cheaply as possible! - on request.Hampshiredays outWinter Wildfowl & Waders of PaghamHarbourwith David Shute & Jon StokesBeginning at 9am from the Siddlesham Ferry car park, we willspend much of the day walking along the harbour edge to ChurchNorton, focusing on the wealth of waders and wildfowl in theharbour. At Church Norton churchyard we'll check the bushes forpossible wintering Firecrests and other passerines, and from thebeach nearby we'll scan the sea for such species as SlavonianGrebe, Red-throated Diver, Common Eider, Common Scoter andRed-breasted Merganser. Fri 25th JanCost: £38 per person (includes expert guiding, picnic lunch &soup, plus coffee & cakes)NB. The cost does not include transport or additional food.An Evening in the New Forestwith Jon StokesIn the company of local expert Jon Stokes, we will explore aregion of lowland heath, woodland and wet bogs that harbourssome of the UK's rarest birds, reptiles, flowers and insects. Jonwill provide an introduction to the ecology of the New Forest andits natural history, and hope to find such bird specialities asHobby, Woodlark and Redstart. Then, as the sun sets, we willlisten for churring Nightjars and roding Woodcock, watch out fordeer, and identify hunting bats with the use of a bat detector. Fri 12th JulCost: £20 per person (includes expert guiding)NB. The cost does not include transport or food.A Day with Dormice & other Small Mammals with Lee MorganMeeting in Old Basing, we will enjoy a gentle woodland naturalhistory walk with expert local naturalist, Lee Morgan, checkingnesting boxes in order to look for and learn about Dormice. Then,after a pub lunch, we will spend the afternoon focusing on othersmall mammals (checking Longworth live traps which can containa wide variety of them) and learning a little of the local ecology.Adjourning at 4pm, we'll then drive to the Naturetrek HQ atCheriton Mill for a BBQ and bats. Fri 26th JulCost: £48 per person (includes expert guiding, tea, coffee &cakes, plus a BBQ dinner)NB. The cost does not include transport or the cost of the publunch and drinks.A Hampshire Bat Eveningwith Jon StokesMeeting at Cheriton Mill for a BBQ, we'll then drive to the GreywellTunnel, site of one of the most important winter bat roosts in theUK. Although many of these bats disperse into the surroundingcountryside in the summer, this spot is nonetheless one of thebest places to see such species as Daubenton's, Whiskered,Brandt's, Brown Long-eared, Noctule, Natterer's, Pipistrelle andSoprano Pipistrelle Bats... and we'll be learning to recognise themwith the help of Jon and his bat detector. Fri 9th AugCost: £25 per person (includes expert guiding & BBQ dinner)NB. The cost does not include transport.Autumn Migration on the New Forest Coast with Paul Stanbury & Jon StokesMeeting at Keyhaven at 9am, we will spend the morning exploringthe coastal marshes and lagoons of Keyhaven and Pennington insearch of autumn migrants, amongst them a good variety ofwaders, passerines and wildfowl. Migrant raptors such as Hobby,Osprey and Marsh Harrier are also possible. Then, in theafternoon, we will look for Dartford Warbler, Woodlark and otherspecialities in the New Forest before offering a BBQ and batdetecting at Naturetrek's Cheriton Mill offices. Wed 19th Sep '12 & Wed 18th Sep '13Cost: £38 per person (includes expert guiding & BBQ dinner)NB. The cost does not include transport or the cost of the publunch and drinks.19New Programme of Full-day & Evening Wildlife Walks & Activities DormouseStarlings, Somerset LevelsPlease phone 01962 733051 for further information about the above excursions.