Coll Bird Festival

Event details

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Is the corncrake your nemesis? Has your best sighting just been a fleeting glance and you didn't get that photo? Did you know that one of the best places to see the corncrake, along with a host of other fantastic and often rare wildlife, is the Isle of Coll?  And, the best time of year is late April to mid-May which is why we host Coll Bird Festival at this time of year.

Over the course of a 3-day weekend, Coll Bird Festival (in partnership with the local RSPB reserve) offers a variety of guided walks, boat trips, and talks. They also host a ceilidh and organise a beach clean with BBQ to finish off the weekend. Visitors can book a package deal or pick and choose individual events.

The programme this year offers:

  • Skydancer Walk (Saturday) – a unique opportunity to observe and learn about Coll’s breeding pairs of Hen Harriers.   This wonderful, and protected species, must be treated with care, and our RSPB guide will ensure you get the most out of your viewing experience while also affording this magnificent bird the respect it deserves.
  • ‘Off the Beaten Track’ walk led by local RSPB staff (Friday) – for 2018 the RSPB team created an exciting new walk which showcases more of the Coll bird life than has been seen in previous years and let you see parts of Coll that the average visitor will never see.   This is a longer walk, estimated at 3-4 hours, although not difficult and you will not be walking for 4 hours.   Guests should plan to take a packed lunch with them.
  • Walk Arinagour (Saturday) – is back and lets you explore Coll’s only village, where the different landscape, from the bay to the trees, offers habitat for birds not commonly seen elsewhere on the island.
  • Dawn Watch (Saturday) –  Spend time on the RSPB reserve enhancing your identification skills by listening to the magnificent dawn chorus, and find that elusive corncrake. Despite the early start, this session (with hot drinks and croissants) has proved very popular and rewarding, year on year.
  • Boat trips (Saturday/Sunday) – our popular guided boat trips are back again, and the firm favourite, the puffin, is on the programme again with our trips to Lunga.   For 2019, we are also visiting Gunna, our neighbouring island.
  • Talks (Friday/Saturday) – over the course of the weekend there will be 3 talks on a variety of bird-life and wildlife-based topics.
  • Ceilidh (Saturday)– offering a chance to unwind and enjoy some traditional Scottish music  (and dancing)
  • Beach Clean (Sunday) – the beach clean is a great way to wind up the weekend and make a contribution to Coll which, being on the Atlantic, naturally ‘collects’ debris from all over the world.   You never know what interesting items you might find.



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