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  • Writer's picturekatemennie

Holiday Highlights of 2022

Every year since Speyside Wildlife began, we have runs holidays exploring each corner of the UK and overseas as far as New Zealand and Antarctica. With the restrictions of recent months, we have managed to run our scheduled holidays as planned this year, making memories for many of our guests and guides alike. In this blog we will look back at our years adventures and relive some of our highlights from the year so far.

Starting on familiar soil, we look back at our UK holidays from the year, taking in the remote landscapes of Sutherland, islands off the west coast of Scotland and rich coastlines of Yorkshire and Cornwall. Starting off the year in Norfolk, Moray Coast and Spring Birds. Our annual trips to the Outer Hebrides are always a highlight and often give surprise sightings. This year was no exception with male Ruff in breeding plumage, numerous Short-eared Owls and magnificent views of Corncrake for almost an hour. Summer weather arrived just in time for our Speyside and Sutherland holiday, where highlights included Ring Ouzel, Crested Tit, the seabird colonies on Handa island and all three diver species throughout the week. Highlights from our week on Shetland included Red-necked Phalarope, Mousa island at midnight to watch the Storm Petrels coming in from sea and Gannet city by boat trip. Roy led our local Bonanza week filled with wildflowers, Dragonflies and so much more. We reached all corners of the UK from Orkney, Kintyre and Cornwall. Our Raptors of the Highlands trip saw ten species of raptors seen during the week, with a highlight always being the boat trip to see White-tailed Eagles up close. Simon and Craig led a group to the Isles of Scilly where rarities can be seen, with Great Shearwater, Swainson’s Thrush and Wryneck just some of what was seen.

So as we reach the end of our season, with two fantastic holidays to Alladale and Forth and Fife just finished and Solway and Northumberland still to look forward to, we hope that you have enjoyed seeing our adventures.

Overseas now, where we managed to run many more great holidays after moving them forward from last year. The year started in Spain, where Kate led a trip to Extremadura for our Botany and birds holiday with 19 species of orchid and some great bird sightings. Simon explored Tarifa where the weather didn’t stop them seeing many species including Iberian Lynx. We have gone to two African countries this year, with Darren exploring Namibia seeing some of the ‘Big 5’ including Lion, Desert Elephant, Black Rhinos and bird species like Double-banded Sandgrouse. Roy was in Tanzania visiting sites like the Serengeti and Lake Victoria, seeing African delights all from the comfort of their safari trucks. Sally headed to Romania where time in hides paid off as they witnessed Brown Bears spending time amongst the mountains watching Nutcrackers then to the Black Sea Coast seeing all sorts of sea birds and raptors. Final two trips lead by Roy took him first to Spitsbergen, where Polar Bears were top of the list, Walrus basking on the shore and Ivory gulls. Then off the Pantanal filled with its colourful landscapes and bird like Toucan, Macaws and Hummingbirds. But the true highlights were the eight Jaguars seen and the breath-taking Iguazu Falls.

It has certainly been a very varied year and has been good to get back exploring some of the countries we love and of course share the wildlife with our guests. With most of next year's UK and Long-haul holidays now launched on our website, take a look at some of your bucket list countries and start planning your next trip. Follow us on social media for regular updates from guides as they lead future holidays and share your holiday highlight with us. Speyside Wildlife hopes to see you soon!

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