Sound of Taransay

 

Lewis and Harris Wildlife

Dates: 11th - 17th August 2018

White-tailed EagleOtter in Harris

This summer tour will be split between two bases with two nights in Harris and four in Lewis which will allow a thorough exploration of these islands. Although both Harris and Lewis are connected; and in reality they are the same island, they have quite a different feel about them. Harris is in particular hilly and supports the highest point in the islands with the Clisham reaching to 799 metres. It also has stunning beaches at Horghabost and Luskentyre which both lie on the shores of the Sound of Taransay and has been voted one of the most spectacular places in the UK to visit. Lewis by contrast has large areas of moorland with small, hidden beaches at places such as Dalmore and North Tolsta that are equally as striking although perhaps less well known. The cliffs along the north and west coast are also a feature of Lewis with the contorted rocks and faults creating a dramatic coastline too.

Harris could perhaps be known as eagle island with North Harris supporting the highest density of Golden Eagles in Western Europe as well as an ever increasing population of White-tailed Eagles. It is also a good place to catch up with Common Scoter that can be found in the Sound of Taransay along with the odd Surf Scoter - a regular visitor from the other side of the Atlantic. There's also a good chance of spotting Otters and possibly the odd Harbour Porpoise or even a dolphin or two off the island of Scalpay. Lewis also supports good numbers of eagles although its accolades are for a smaller raptor - the Merlin which is found in a higher breeding density on the moors here than anywhere else in Europe. These moors also support good numbers of breeding waders and both Red-throated and Black-throated Divers. Great Skuas are a regular sight in Lewis and other seabirds such as Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Gannets will be seen in good numbers around the coast. The coast of Lewis and more specifically the north-east coast between Tiumpan Head and the Butt is becoming better known for their sightings of whales and dolphins with a resident pod of Risso's Dolphin frequenting the area and at this time of year regular sightings of Minke Whale and Common Dolphin. Hopefully with a bit of luck and some calm weather we may see at least some of these as well as the chance of spotting Basking Shark.

Lewis Autumn Bird TourRisso's Dolphins

Short list of species: Common Scoter, Surf Scoter, Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Storm Petrel, White-tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Golden Plover, Ruff, Great Skua, Arctic Skua, Gannet, Fulmar, Otter, Grey Seal, Harbour Seal, Common Dolphin, Minke Whale and Basking Shark.

For a full printable itinerary please click here

Dates: 11th - 17th August 2018

Cost: £950 per person.

The price also includes accommodation, all meals (if you have special dietary requirements please let us know when booking).

Group size: 8 maximum

Booking: Please email: steveduffield70@gmail.com

Where to meet: Stornoway airport of ferry port.

Trip report: 2017