As many of you will have noticed, my four tours are now on my web site. From the first mailing of my mini-brochure, three of the tours are more or less guaranteed to run, Mull, the Scottish Highlands and the Vercors. Having said that, there are still places available on each of these tours so if you are considering joining any of my tours, it may be worth booking soon or at least sending me an email to reserve your place.
All of my tours go to places Liz and I are really familiar with. Corsica we first visited in 2000 to do a recce. We have led tours there almost every year since. A lovely moment occurred there a few years ago when two gendarmes saw us during our pre breakfast walk. We were watching some warblers in trees close to some housing. As I was concentrating on seeing all of the birds and identifying them, I had not realised that the birds were close to some upstairs windows. As the gendarmes left their car and began crossing the road towards us, the closeness of the windows to our viewing area dawned on me and I immediately thought we might be in trouble! However, the gendarmes asked if we were bird watching. When I said that we were, they suggested we go down the road 1 kilometre as there were three White Storks to be seen. With a sigh of relief, hand shakes all round and a genuine ‘merci’, the gendarmes left and we went down the road and saw the storks. The only time we have seen the species on Corsica.
Tours to the Vercors also began with a recce at the invitation of the local tourist board. During this fairly brief visit I quickly realised that the ‘Parc Naturel du Vercors’ was a superb area with lots to be seen including plenty of birds and flowers. The re-introduced Griffon Vultures have gone from strength to strength though one of my favourite species, the Red-backed Shrike, has declined somewhat. Golden Eagles nest on some of the cliffs as do ever elusive Wallcreepers. Alpine meadows and roadside banks are strewn with flowers of various colours and there can be up to 35 species of wild orchids to be seen including showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids. Add in the stunning scenery and you realise this is a very special area indeed and it can all be visited in an easy- going tour.
As for Scotland, I have been going ‘north of the border’ for more years than I care to remember! So I guess I don’t need to say that I know many of the best wildlife watching sites to be found there. So we could find everything from Ospreys to Otters and Dotterels to Dolphins.
Do consider joining one (or more!) of these specially designed tours.