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Orkney Birding & Wildlife Tour, Scotland - 7 Days

Orkney Birding & Wildlife Tour, Scotland

Orkney Islands Birdwatching Tour in Scotland

This 7-day Orkney Birding & Wildlife Tour is a relaxed tour of the archipelago available as a set departure. You can expect to see up to 100 species of bird, including seabirds such as Puffins and raptors such as Hen Harriers. Out at sea we’ll be looking for seals and if we’re lucky, cetaceans such as Harbour Porpoise or even Orca. Orkney’s special 5,000 year-old Neolithic and more recent Viking past forms a backdrop to our wildlife enjoyment.

This Orkney Birdwatching Tour represents good value-for-money for a small group tour, and is all-inclusive of the high quality 3* accommodation, meals, transport within Orkney, and most important of all, the years of experience of your guide.  A small group size means that you are guaranteed more personal attention in our zero-emission electric tour vehicle. All you have to do is to get here, and we will do the rest!

During this Orkney Birding & Wildlife Tour, you will visit 3 islands in the archipelago (Hoy, Westray and South Ronaldsay) and spend two full days touring the Mainland of Orkney. Many RSPB reserves will be visited, along with the major 5,000-year-old archaeological sites of the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, and the Tomb of the Eagles. We wouldn't dream of letting you leave Orkney without showing you a puffin and a hen harrier, and lots of other magical birds, flowers, and sea mammals.

Orkney Birding & Wildlife Tour highlights include:

  • Orkney Wildlife in June
  • Seabirds: Gannet, Shag, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Great Skua (Bonxie), Arctic Skua,Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot (Tystie), and Puffin
  • Raptors: Hen Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Peregrine and Short-eared Owl
  • Waders: Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe
  • Cetaceans: Possibility of Orca, Risso’s Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise

Note that exact accommodation will depend on availability and that a single supplement will apply on booking if applicable.

Alternative Tour Name: Orkney Wildlife & Culture Tour
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival on the Shores of Harray Loch

Arrival at your hotel after being collected by your guide Steve to relax in its surroundings on the shores of the Loch of Harray, where red-throated divers call and fish, along with a variety of waterfowl and other wildlife.

Steve will also give a briefing on the week ahead in the late afternoon. Perhaps if you’re an early bird, otters may be sighted near to your hotel in the week ahead.

Day 2
Day 2 - North to Westray, the Queen of the Isles

A ferry ride through sheltered waters out to Westray, the Queen of the Isles. Expect to see auks and skuas en route, and a scenic journey through Orkney’s northern archipelago with islands either side of our passage. On Westray we’ll visit the Castle o’Burrian for puffins, followed by a look at the RSPB reserve of Noup Head for auks and gannets.

If we’re lucky we may see some cetaceans. We’ll visit the 16th century Noltland Castle, and one of Orkney’s finest beaches, haunt of a large colony of Arctic terns. Westray is a great opening gambit!

Day 3
Day 3 - Back 5,000 Years in Time

A round of West Mainland, closer to your hotel, for a look at some incredible 5,000 year-old stone monuments – the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae. The monuments themselves are breath-taking, and some of the finest Neolithic sites in NW Europe, but they’re also great birding spots and so we’ll see Orkney’s wildfowl and waders, and superb coastal scenery.

For a change of scene we’ll also head into the hills and look for hen harriers from the comfort of a hide – if we’re lucky we may see a food pass.

Day 4
Day 4 - South Ronaldsay via the Italian Chapel

Southbound today to South Ronaldsay and its Tomb of the Eagles, calling at the Italian Chapel en route. Both these sites are ‘must sees’ for any visit to Orkney, and we’ll complement these sites by a walk around Hoxa Head to look across the Pentland Firth and Scapa Flow for seabirds and cetaceans. If we’re lucky we may encounter Orca.

If there’s time we’ll visit a local nature reserve in East Mainland at Mull Head, home to breeding Arctic Skuas and bonxies.

Day 5
Day 5 - Your Time

A ‘day off’ today, to do your own thing. Relax and walk by the hotel, or else go into Orkney’s capital of Kirkwall to look at the St. Magnus cathedral, museum and shops. Steve will explain your options and facilitate your day.

Day 6
Day 6 - West Mainland Seabirds and Wildfowl

An alternative circuit of West Mainland, this time focussing on wildflowers, seabirds, and wetland birds. We’ll look out for breeding waders at The Loons RSPB reserve, and visit the scenic Marwick Head for Orkney’s largest seabird colony.

Day 7
Day 7 - Across Scapa Flow to the Hills of Hoy and its Old Man

Another ferry ride, this time across Scapa Flow to Hoy, where we’ll hope to see hen harrier and white-tailed eagles, and walk out to the Old Man of Hoy, our famous 450’ sea-stack. Hoy is an upland island, quite different to the rest of Orkney, and the scenery is stunning.

Day 8
Day 8 - Departure

Departure after breakfast to either Kirkwall airport or ferry port for your journey home.

Wildlife in Orkney in June with hardly any darkness revolves around seabirds, birds of prey and breeding waders. The cliff-top and wetland flowers are colourful and a coastal delight. We will always have one eye out to sea to look for seals which are common, and whales and dolphins, which are more prone to chance and a good sea-state. I’d encourage everyone to rise early before breakfast to check the lochshore for otters, red-throated divers, and other wildfowl. Here’s a summary of what we may encounter during the week – expect to see around 100 species of birds:

Seabirds: Gannet, Shag, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Great Skua (Bonxie), Arctic Skua,Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot (Tystie), and Puffin.

Raptors: Hen Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Peregrine and Short-eared Owl.

Waders: Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe.

Cetaceans: Possibility of Orca, Risso’s Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise.

What is included?

  • 5 days guiding with experienced Orcadian Wildlife Guide Steve Sankey
  • Pick-up and drop-off at Kirkwall airport or ferry port of choice
  • All internal ferry fares and site entrance fees
  • All accommodation and meals including packed lunch and drinking water in the vehicle
  • An emission-free electric tour vehicle shared with a small group of just five
  • Guaranteed window seat

What is not included?

  • Travel to and from Orkney
  • Items of a personal nature such as souvenirs, phone calls
  • Soft drinks and alcohol with meals except for drinking water
  • Anything that is not inlcuded in "What is include"
Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 1  reviews
  1. Great Birding in Orkney with Steve
    Phil Blatcher09 May 2012







    Much obliged to you again for the effective Orkney bird watching visit you coordinated for the SE Herts RSPB Group. With your extensive local knowledge we saw a greater number of birds than we expected to. You gave us a phenomenal insight to Orkney, the untamed scenerary as well as destinations of interest including Skara Brae were exceptional. We are thankful for all that you did to make it so charming and to guarantee we had an awesome birding trip in Orkney. You 'exceeded everyone's expectations' and I would surely recommend Orcadian Wildlife to anybody needing to visit these unique islands.

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Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
28/05/2022 - 03/06/2022 guaranteed GBP 1,750
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7 Days

Price & Availability

GBP1,750 / per person
Single Supplement GBP 300
This tour is operated by: Orcadian Wildlife
5 based on 1 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

5 Based on 1 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Orkney Islands, Scotland
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 5px
  • 7 Days
  • April to July
  • +12 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Kirkwall Airport
  • Kirkwall Airport
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