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The Following Reports are available from Mainland Scotland :
Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?

Scotland reports from:  
Mainland Scotland (this Page) Including Speyside, Tours of Scotland, Moray, Ardnamurchan, Dumfries.....
The Northern Isles Shetland, Orkney, Fair Isle
The Hebrides Inner Hebrides, Outer Hebrides

Capercaillie Short Break
on this Heatherlea short break to remember, our main target is Capercaillie.

Birders Scottish Year List
maximise your 2013 list with Heatherlea as we seek Scottish specialities, northern winter visitors, and rarities.


Speyside wildlife
Bird and wildlife watching experiences to suit everyone, in Scotland and around the world.

RSPB Aberdeen Local Group Trips to Glen Tanar 8th - 9th June 2011

  • Along the way, many woodland and hill birds were in evidence, including Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, Redstart, Green Woodpecker and Meadow Pipit...Hilary MacBean reports.

Speyside, Scotland 6/6/08 - 9/6/08

  • It would be an unlucky birder indeed who went away from Speyside and the Cairngorms disappointed. Just a glance at the birds I have listed should tempt even the hardened twitcher to make a first (or repeat) visit to this amazing area...Mike Dawson reports.

Seeking the Speyside specialities:

  • Birders wishing to see Crested Tit, Scottish Crossbill, Capercaillie, Ptarmigan in the UK have little choice but to travel to Scotland, and for the first two species especially there is little choice but to visit Speyside...John Girdley reports


Photographer: Pete Cairns



Bird watching and whale watching around Ardnamurchan June 2nd - 8th 2005

  • The weather continued to improve and we spent an hour in the morning at the lighthouse where the highlights included single Arctic Skuas and Storm Petrels....Chris Cameron + Julie Dawson report.

Dumfries and Galloway

The Solway Firth 20th - 25th March 2011

  • By now it’s nearly lunch time at nearby Bellymack Farm, where fifty plus graceful Red Kites ‘drop in’ every day...Chris Hall reports.

Port Logan Bay Galloway 30 March to 7th April 20/07

  • Black Guillemot were everywhere and Red Throated Divers were seen at every point on the west coast as they steadily moved North...Mike Graham reports

Dumfries & Galloway 22nd to 29th October, 2005

  • The tranquil water of Loch Ken made a perfect mirror for reflections of the gently rolling autumn gold landscape of this quiet corner of Scotland. Along the trail a Red Kite in a nearby tree gave promise of some good things to come. Numerous Goldcrests and Chaffinches were spotted but a restless Lesser Redpoll remained elusive..Chris Hall reports

Tours of Scotland

Scotland May 24 - June 4, 2003

  • When I reached the center people were excitedly gathered around a handful of scopes trained far out in the open pine woods.  Unexpectedly, the bird seen that morning was still around and visible, and after a few moments I was delightedly viewing the prize of the trip, a male Capercaillie!  I was well aware of how outrageously fortunate I had been, a stranger to Scotland....Chris Spagnoli reports

Scotland 31 May to 9 June 2002

  • We eventually arrived at the lay-by overlooking Gruinard Island at about 13:00 hrs.  It was still raining but the mist had lifted leaving a quite clear day.  The island and surrounding sea could be scoped clearly.  Almost as soon as we arrived an immature White tailed Eagle (Y) drifted over our heads from the mainland....John Jennings reports.

Scotland 3rd to 11th January 2002

  • Andy Wraithmell reports on a whistle stop tour of Scotland, taking in lots of good sites.

Return to the Highlands 23 - 27 May 2001

  • This was only my fifth visit to Scotland and I have to say that each time the weather has been exactly like it was now, 23c and not a cloud in the sky, the weather would stay pretty much like this for my whole visit. Just past Pitlochry on the A9 I had my first sighting of, not one but two of my favourite birds, a pair of Common Buzzard. To me this is the one bird that represents Scotland. I was so overjoyed by this site I pulled in to a convenient lay-by and watched enthralled as the pair circled right overhead...Graham Mee reports

How to see all the winter specialities of Scotland

  • Two weekends spent with Lee Evans the foremost twitcher/bird logger in Britain...John Broadbent's personal diary and extensive site and bird notes.....Well over 1000 miles covered at a frenetic pace...and not a bird missed!

All the Scotish Summer specials in one trip

  • Again John Broadbent visits Scotland in the company of Lee Evans, this time looking for Corncrake, White-tailed Eagle, Slavonian Grebe, Osprey and all the other Summer specials. Extensive site and bird notes.

Finding The Scottish Specialities

  • After an early flight from Luton (too early) we were birding on the Ythan estuary by 8.30am. Hundreds of Eiders were around with a scattering of other ducks and waders and it took us a little while before the King Eider was found...

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Where to Watch Birds in Britain








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Some Useful bird books for Mainland Scotland:
Do you have a good book for this region that we haven't featured? let us know


RSPB Handbook of Scottish Birds
Peter Holden et al: Buy from or

  • Over 250 species are covered in detail with a page per species. The species accounts include concise information on identification, voice, habits, habitat, food, breeding ecology, seasonal movements, population and conservation. Detailed maps have been specially created to show distribution when breeding, wintering or on migration. Superb colour illustrations from some of the world's leading artists have been integrated into the text for easy reference.

Where to Watch Birds in Scotland
Mike Madders: Buy from or

  • Scotland has my favourite birding in the whole of the UK. This book, now updated, contains more than 140 key sites and numerous additional sites accompanied by maps and line drawings. It concludes with an up-to-date list of local birds Recorders and reports, useful addresses and a code of conduct for birdwatchers. The guide has become indispensable for anyone birdwatching in Scotland.

Collins Guide to Scottish Birds
Valerie Thom, Norman Arlott (Illustrator): Buy from or

  • Aimed at both the birdwatching market and at tourists visiting Scotland, this guide describes all the species commonly found in this country. Each section has an introduction describing the habitat illustrated with colour photographs, followed by a guide section describing all the birds found in that habitat. Each bird is illustrated in full colour. The text is written for beginners as well as to inform keener birdwatchers. The end of the book has a "places to go" section arranged by area (Highland, Western Isles, south-west, etc): it details over 70 of the best sites for birdwatching, describing how to get to them and what to expect to see once you are there.

Days with the Golden Eagle
Seton Gordon: Buy from or

  • I really like this book and it truly stands the test of time. First published in 1927, Seton Gordon's narrative is vivid and so evocative of the Scottish mountains and glens that I can almost believe that I am there. Seton follows the lives of a pair of Golden Eagle and their two young, Cain and Abel, by close observation of the nest. His fascinating "highland stories" of Eagles around Scotland are a joy to read. Also available direct from Whittles Publishing.

Where to Watch Birds in Britain
Simon Harrap, Nigel Redman: Buy from or

  • A superb and well researched update of the original book. Lots of new sites have been added. The experts have been consulted. An indispensible guide to British twitcher or foreign visitor. All the key sites are covered, usually with good maps complete with a season by season guide of what to see where.

The Complete Guide to the Birdlife of Britain & Europe
Rob Hume, Peter Hayman (Illustrator): Buy from

  • This is quite simply the best illustrated guide to Europe's birds that I have seen. Every bird is pictured at least five times (and sometimes twenty times) in varying poses within its habitat. Seeing the birds in context, really gives this book the edge.
    More than a field guide, the book is coffee table size, and certainly deserves to be in the collection of every serious bird watcher.

Recommended travel books for Scotland:

Lonely Planet Scotland (Lonely Planet Country & Regional Guides)
Neil Wilson, A. Murphy: Buy from or

  • The Scottish Highlands are one of Europe's last great wildernesses, with a wealth of mountains, lakes, rivers, moors and dramatic coastal scenery. This guide to the country has separate chapters detailing the historic Highlands, and provides information on climbing, fishing, golf and walking.


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