Highland Wildlife and Birdwatch Safaris, Guided wildlife excursions, Aviemore, Scotland
Highland Wildlife and Birdwatch Safaris, Guided wildlife excursions, Aviemore, Scotland

Wednesday, June 20, 2007




Mid-June saw me take a trip to Sutherland on the North West coast of Scotland to visit the Scottish Wildlife Trust's beautiful Handa Island Wildlife Reserve. Just a 10 minute ferry crossing from Tarbet, during which we saw Black Guillemots and Seals, sees you land on one of the small, uninhabited island's many unspoilt sandy beaches. A short walk through heather moorland provided Meadow Pipits, Stonechats, Wheatears, Sedge Warbler, Skylarks, and a super close-up of a family of Red Grouse, and aroused plenty of interest from the nesting Arctic Skuas & Great Skuas, though thankfully, they were not particularly aggressive on this occasion!


The main attraction of Handa though is the island's 300ft+ high sandstone cliffs and the huge (200,000!) numbers of seabirds that nest on them. From our clifftop viewpoint we saw, heard (and smelt!) Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, and most popular of all, good numbers of Puffins (see pic),often at close range - a breathtaking spectacle that I highly recommend.

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