Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Papay Wildlife Club: Finding Migrants

19/10/2016 - 24/10/2016

£50 – £495

The open landscape of Papa Westray provides an autumn treasure trove for the migrant ‘hunter’. This holiday is designed to give guests the best chance of seeing an eclectic mix of species, while learning the secrets of finding birds on passage.

All are welcome on this holiday, be they experienced birders wanting to hone their skills in the unfamiliar setting of a remote island with a good record for the unexpected, or those just starting out in birdwatching and wanting a new challenge to further their skills and enthusiasm.

Your leader, Julian Branscombe, is inspired by the thrill of finding birds as they visit Papa Westray on their journey. Identification challenges will be tackled and you will join him in carefully quartering the island, trying to see as full a possible a cross-section of the birds which are here at any moment.

This holiday coincides with the first anniversary of the first sighting of Britain’s first Chestnut Bunting on the island in October 2015. Rare birds are rare – and cannot be expected – but Papay has an enviable record of attracting vagrant birds from the Americas, the Arctic, the furthest reaches of Asia or the Mediterranean.

The range of migrants present will depend largely on the weather patterns. This is a good time to see a rush of Redwing and Fieldfares, heading south. Amongst the smaller passerines, the typical late autumn fare of Goldcrests, Blackcap and Chiffchaffs could be augmented by something scarce like a Black Redstart or a Great Grey Shrike. Seabirds can provide further interest, particularly in the aftermath of a storm from the north-west, and the island’s lochs and shores also support a good range of waders and wildfowl.

As ever, the island’s rich archaeology will be on show, and due note will also be paid to all other forms of wildlife to be found. This is a great time of year for fungi. Late-flowering plants and each morning’s moth trap contents are also amongst all that will be on offer.

Each evening will include talks about Papay’s birds, and the challenges of bird finding up here on the edge of the North Atlantic. Tips on fieldcraft, and how to best ‘work’ the terrain, combined with insights into identifying tricky species and help with bird calls, are the perfect complement to putting these skills into practice the following day. The expertise and identification resources will also be on hand to identify any other wildlife encountered, from cetaceans to Sepsid flies.

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