We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Spectacular birding in Andalucia, Spain”
Review of Birding Ecosse

Birding Ecosse
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Half day and full day bird watching tours throughout the Highlands of Scotland. Transport and tour guide provided for all trips. Cost vary however a guide would be £60 for half day and £100 for a full day tour. We look forward to meeting you!
Reviewed 29 April 2018

Birding Ecosse is based in the Highlands of Scotland but has established creds for birding in Spain. What you need to do right now is email birdingecosse@hotmail.co.uk
and get yourself on the list for the next birding adventure in southern Spain.
Have just returned to US from an extraordinary week of non-stop birding, immersion into remote Andalusia countryside and lots of laughs with exceptional birders who do not take themselves too seriously. Last summer in the Highlands I learned that when you sign on with BE/David Slater you not only get his extraordinary expertise but that of the other birders in your small group as well. David attracts skilled birders. A mediocre birder on a good day, I felt like I was in an advanced avian seminar in Spain. Tony and Lynda and Richard, all from the UK, have birding skills and patience and experience that added immensely to the whole experience. Luis, Malaga native, lifelong birder and guide, repeatedly put us in the right place at the right time. He and David have teamed up previously and demonstrated a partnership that worked well on many levels. Scenic drives, exceptional birds and continuous good humor were punctuated with stops in obscure villages for morning coffee and traditional lunches in non-tourist restaurants.
Over four days of birding from Tarifa to Osuna to the mountains near Malaga, 131 species were seen. With the exception of Luis, all of us added to life lists.
Memorable moments include;
-Dozens of raptors migrating from Africa over the Mediterranean at the nearest point, about ten miles. Bonelli's eagle, black kite, griffon vulture, short-toed eagle and more.
-Hundreds of Greater Flamingos feeding and breeding in the lakes and ponds at Fuente de Piedra. Among the stunning pink birds, black and whiskered terns, three varieties of grebes, avocets and stilts.
-On a little used dirt road, in olive groves, European bee-eaters, European rollers and my favorites, the Hoopoes. Same day, the azure winged magpie.
-Montagu's harrier over expansive open fields of grain, great and little Bustards in same area.
-While lunching at Safo Beach bar near hotel, Tony spotted a flock of 60+ flamingos flying low along the shoreline. Even the bar regulars took notice with us.
-David will never forgive me if I don't mention the White-headed duck. Oh, and the endangered Bald Ibis that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.
There's more. So much more. You should see it for yourself.
Base of operations was the Melia Sol Hotel in Guadalmar, a suburb of Malaga. Right on the beach, with pool and all the amenities. Walking distance to spectacular birding at the mouth of the Guadalhorce river.
Do you travel for birding? Put this one on your list.
David Slater is a Scot to his core but he seems to have succeeded in giving his birdy persona a Spanish accent.

2  Thank _emckeefe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (51)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"golden eagle"
in 6 reviews
"handa island"
in 3 reviews
"birds including"
in 3 reviews
"bird watchers"
in 3 reviews
"great company"
in 3 reviews
"tail end"
in 3 reviews
"great birding"
in 2 reviews
"mountain hare"
in 2 reviews
"day trip"
in 2 reviews
in 11 reviews
in 9 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 7 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 24 reviews

5 - 9 of 51 reviews

Reviewed 25 December 2017

As usual we went to some interesting places David always seems to find places I have never been before. Had some really good birds including local rarities. If you are thinking of booking get in soon he is booking upcast for 2018 but its always worth trying to get in

Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2017

We are so glad that we contacted David, from Birding Ecosse and booked a half day birding trip with him. Although we are keen bird watchers, we had never experienced going out with a guide and so didn't know what to expect. Right from the start, David answered our emails promptly and was very flexible about what we might hope to see. In fact, we were lucky enough to see everything on our list including crested tits, golden eagles and a white tailed eagle. What we didn't expect was to have coal tits feeding from our hands, captured on video, which was much appreciated. Thanks to David's extensive knowledge of this area, we also saw red grouse and even a mountain hare! Apart from the excellent birding experience, David showed us some wonderful highland scenery and was great company throughout. We would certainly contact David again for another tour if we return to Scotland. We booked several months in advance which is advisable as David is very much in demand.

1  Thank krhBedfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2017

Visited the Highlands for two weeks in August-September, Based in Grantown-on-Spey. Birding primary motivation. Signed up for five days with Birding Ecosse. Would have done more had he been available. David Slater is a first class birder with a lively sense of humor and keen ability to read his clients.
David limits his tours to three guests which allows for birding tailored to level of obsession, quick pivots caused by weather or other surprises and adaptation to quirky birders. You know who you are.
Full birding days ranged all over the Highlands; the Moray Firth and due East to Troup Head, The Black Isle, Cairngorms National Park, dozens of lochs and hides and RSPB reserves. Highlight was the Caledonian Ferry MV Loch Seaforth from Ullapool to Stornoway, Outer Hebrides. Back and forth on the ferry for a total of six hours of stunning pelagic birding from the comfort of a well appointed ferry. Sooty and Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels, Gannets, Puffins, both Skuas, Guillemots, Razorbills. David was on top of it all, calling out what he spotted and just as excited as we were. Another highlight was Troup Head, the largest Gannet colony on mainland Scotland. First we trekked across fields of barley to the dizzying cliffs where thousands of Gannets of various ages filled the air with their cries. Then we boarded a sturdy little boat at MacDuff and motored east to see the colony from the water. Acres of craggy expanse covered by gannets, their nests and their young. It only gets better. On the return trip to MacDuff, a pod of 15 or more bottle nosed dolphins surrounded the boat, coming so close that long camera lenses were unnecessary. Very young dolphin calves, just a few days old, stuck closely to the adults. The boat captain killed the engine, the dolphins came closer and we were speechless in awe.
All of these trips include tailgating from the back of David's SUV, usually while looking at some well populated birding habitat. He puts on his barista hat and makes coffee or tea. Cakes and biscuits are served. We do the same for lunch; bring your own. No time wasted. Birding never stops.
Nor do the laughs and good humor. As the days progressed running gags expanded in detail and hilarity. Yes, you had to be there.
A day with David Slater is a day of non-stop excellent birding, unexpected duck-filled ponds at the end of one-lane roads and the occasional glimpse of castle ruins ("Today's culture on the right. That's it.") You will laugh, you will find yourself saying "Aye" instead of "Yes," you will learn about threatened raptors, you will wonder how David found that White-tailed Eagle sitting in the rain atop Gruinard Island, you will call a Great Skua a Bonxie and you will wonder what the dreadful orange soft drink is that David is drinking. At some point, you will know that you must return to the Highlands and Birding Ecosse.
Practical info:
-sturdy shoes or boots a must
-warm hat, scarf, gloves, extra fleece or sweater. Yes, it's August. It is also Scotland.
-water resistant, wind proof jacket with hood.
-good binoculars (David has scope and tripod)
-camera, if part of your birding experience
-lunch, water.
-peanut butter M&M's for David, if you are visiting from US. Not available in UK.

Check out the Birding Ecosse website, newsletter, etc. for further details on the August 2017 trips described above. And what's coming up for those brave and hardy enough to go birding in Scotland in winter.

7  Thank _emckeefe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 23 September 2017

I was one of the birders who recently went on the first Birding Ecosse to Spain and what a fantastic week it was. 130+ stunning different birds and the migration of thousands of raptors going south to Africa is a sight I will never forget.
In addition to the birding we had such fun with Dave Slater and his wife-to-be Linda, the perfect hosts.

Thank Karribubbles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Birding Ecosse also viewed


Been to Birding Ecosse? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing