Orkney Wildlife Tours in Scotland
Orcadian Wildlife has been offering Orkney Wildlife Tours since 2004, lead by Steve Sankey.
Why a wildlife tour in Orkney with us? We pride ourselves on the attention given to you, our guests, in blending Orkney’s wildlife and culture. We live here and know that you will witness memorable lifetime sightings in our beautiful archipelago with its 5,000-year-old monuments. The weather will be fresh, the days long and the sights and sounds of our Simmer Dim will remain with you forever.
Wildlife tours in Orkney highlights include Long-tailed duck, Scaup, and Great-northern divers, close up and breath-taking in their summer plumage. Lapwings, Curlews, Snipe, and Redshank will be calling and displaying. Hen harriers will be ‘food-passing’ and White-tailed eagles on Hoy will be incubating eggs and when feeding young. In early June the cliff-tops will shock with their pinks and blues: Thrift and Spring squill. Other delights include large seabird and auk colonies on RSPB reserves; the Arctic and Little terns, Arctic skuas and Bonxies; and perhaps even Orca or other cetaceans in Scapa Flow or the Pentland Firth. Orchids are in bloom in the moorlands and sea turf.
During an Orkney Wildlife Tour guests may expect to see around 100 species of birds, even though many common passerines are absent here. Migrants are interesting and almost anything can (and does!) turn up. Recent rarities have included a Siberian accentor and Red-flanked bluetail. But please don’t be put off by rarities, we’re very happy with novice birdwatchers and we’re delighted to pass on our skills.
A local saying is that Orkney soil bleeds history. Orkney abounds with ancient Neolithic monuments like Skara Brae over 5,000 years old, and our many standing stones like the Ring of Brodgar speak for themselves. Our circular Pictish brochs are awesome in construction and siting. Our Viking past is very much alive in our place names and accents. Indeed Orkney is often described as a little piece of Norway beyond Scotland.
In short, after nearly 20 years of operation, we know that you will love Orkney and look forward to welcoming you to our small Orkney Wildlife Tours of only 5 guests, staying in a beautiful hotel by the shores of Harray Loch, and being guided around in our emission-free electric tour vehicle.
Orcadian Wildlife was founded by your guide Steve Sankey almost 20 years ago in 2004. Orkney was chosen as a base owing to its unique combination of wildlife and 5,000 years of history, and he takes special care to blend and explain the two in a typical tour here. Steve has been interested in birds since childhood, and is one of Orkney’s most experienced and all-around naturalists, and particularly interested in birds and cetaceans (whales and dolphins). He likes nothing more than to show Orkney’s specialist seabirds and raptors to visitors and is especially pleased to work with beginners. An experienced photographer is more than happy to pass on photographic tips as part of your Orkney experience.
Orcadian Wildlife participates in annual Orca Watch Programmes operated by Seawatch, and has planted 3,500 native broadleaved trees in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
For a fuller description of our Climate Emergency actions see: Climate Emergency Actions – Orcadian Wildlife
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