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Photography Tour in the Highlands

Day 1

Our tour starts in Inverness.  You will be collected from Inverness train/bus station or airport and transferred to our accommodation on the outskirts of Inverness.

Depending on your arrival time and after you settle in, we might visit the shores of the Beauly Firth, where you might have the opportunity to photograph Curlew, Oystercatcher and Redshank.

In the evening, we will visit a local restaurant for a scrumptious meal, where we will also have the opportunity to discuss the time table and our activities for the next four days.   

Day 2

In the morning, we will concentrate our efforts on photographing Red Grouse.  These birds display throughout the year and, although spring is probably the best in term of their activities, photographing them against the snow cover in winter can be equally rewarding.  We will photograph them from the car, by the side of the road.  The car serves well as a hide. 

From here, we continue further to photograph Mountain Hare.  Similar to Ptarmigans, they change their grey-brownish summer plumage to pure white in winter, but if the snow melts early in spring, they can stand out beautifully against the brown background.  To reach their location, we will take a walk up the hill.  It could be wintry and inhospitable here, so waterproof clothes, hats and mittens are necessary.  However, in the adverse weather conditions, we will swap this activity for another day.   

Day 3

Today, we will have a contrasting change to the scenery and will visit Britain’s largest national park, proudly embracing the spectacular Cairngorm Mountains.  Here, we will undertake about an hour’s walk up the mountain in search of Ptarmigans.  We will take it easy, but reasonable fitness is necessary.  In spring, a well defined footpath is usually visible, but in winter it could be covered in snow and care has to be taken.  Ptarmigans in their white winter plumage might not be easily to see, and photographing them against white snow can be a challenge, but very rewarding.  We will spend a few hours photographing. 

The Snow Bunting is a winter visitor and can congregate in flocks at the bottom of the mountain.  They can be very active and action photography is highly likely.  If we encounter these birds, we will spend some time getting them into focus.  

In spring, Ring Ouzels breed here, and photographing them posing on fence posts is possible. 

On the way back to Inverness, we will stop at a road-site café, where Red Squirrels and common forest birds frequently visit the restaurant’s feeders and allow some successful photography. 

Day 4

Today, we will take it easy and concentrate our efforts on photographing Crested Tit and Red Deer.  Both species are inhabitants of the old Caledonian forest, regarded as relicts of the original woodland of the Highlands, with only 18,000 ha left in Scotland.  We will have the opportunity to photograph Crested Tits from a hide, where other woodland species are also possible, including three species of tits, Robin and Siskin.  The Red Deer, on the other hand, which congregate in big herds outside the forest in the open, will be photographed from the cover of our vehicle. 

We will conclude our tour with a lovely evening meal at one of the top restaurants in Inverness. 

Day 5

In winter, this will be your departure day and we will drop you off after breakfast at the train/bus station or airport.   

In spring, however, the whole morning will be devoted to Black Grouse photography.  This species has undergone a large decline in recent years, but they are still found in certain areas.  A lekking site, where several males gather together to perform courtship behaviour, is truly spectacular, but we will have to visit the site before breakfast.  You will be in the hide with birds displaying close by. 

By 8-9 am, it will be all over and we will return to the hotel for breakfast.  This is when your spring tour ends, but, as with the winter tour, we will drop you off after breakfast at your required departure point.  whenever it is required. 

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Snow Buntings

Crested Tit

Ptarmigan in the Highlands of Scotland

Black Grouse

Red Deer in the Highlands of Scotland

Red Grouse in the Highlands