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Papay Wildlife Club: Be a Better Birder

15/09/2016 - 19/09/2016

£50 – £495

Few places can compete with Papay in offering such a varied and distinctive birdwatching experience in such a characterful and compact area. This is the perfect holiday for birders wanting to immerse themselves in the birds of the far north, at the most ornithologically-exciting time of the year.

This is a holiday for everyone with a passion for birds. Birders of all abilities will find plenty to learn. Our time will be particularly tailored to increase the knowledge and confidence of those with little experience of coastal birds or finding and identifying passage migrants.

Your leader, Julian Branscombe, has an equal passion for Papa Westray’s birds, and helping visiting birders deal with the day-to-day challenges of the exciting birdwatching to be enjoyed here. What falcon is that? How do I sort out ducks in eclipse plumage? Are small waders really that hard? Is that a chiffchaff? How can I tell Twite and Linnet apart in autumn? What’s that dot passing out to sea? Come and unravel the mix of knowledge of skill and experience that is required to answer questions like these.

This holiday is timed to give us a chance of seeing the first Yellow-browed Warblers of autumn, on their now regular passage through the northern isles. Pink-footed Geese and Whooper Swans will be coming through from Iceland and beyond. The last of the breeding Bonxies (Great Skuas) should still be on North Hill, while resident species such as Tysties (Black Guillemots), Eiders and Fulmars will abound. If the winds are right, we can expect an interesting passage of shearwaters, and perhaps a petrel or two.

Papay has an enviable record of attracting vagrant birds from the Americas, the Arctic, the furthest reaches of Asia or the Mediterranean. Whilst scarce or rare visitors can never be guaranteed, the potential for surprise adds much to this Papay Wildlife Club holiday. And as always with PWC, guests will also have the chance to experience the island’s archaeology, see scarce plants like Scottish Primrose (Primula scotica) and Northern Yellow-cress, and find out about the island’s great variety of other life, from fungi and lichens to moths and seals.

Each evening will include talks about Papay’s birds, and the particular identification challenges which we’ll face. Fieldcraft tips and insights into identifying tricky species and help with bird calls are the perfect complement to putting these skills into practice the following day. The full Papay Wildlife Club library and resources, from hand lenses to a microscope, will also be on hand for anyone wishing to be diverted by the isle’s other natural history fascinations.

Price: £495 per person. £50 Single Supplement.

For further information and booking please contact Jonathan Ford (Papay Ranger).

Tel – 01856 252028. Email – papayranger@gmail.com Facebook – papay ranger.


£50 – £495


Papay Development Trust / Papay Ranger
01856 252028
papayranger@gmail.com, Facebook - papay ranger.


Papa Westray