Hi All, My hubby and I shall be visiting Orkney for 2 weeks from 15th August. Can anyone advise me on best places to visit for short eared owls (i've yet to ever see one!) and will the puffins be gone by then (2 trips to Scotland and 1 to Ireland and yet to see one, darn set holidays!!) What else can i expect to catch sight of whilst we are there. We are able to travel about whilst there as we are in a vw camper and would like to try and see the otters as well :).So looking forward to our first holiday without kids for 23 years and Orkney certainly looks a beautiful place to take it!!
The puffins will be long gone I'm afraid, they have already started heading away from their colonies and most will be already gone.
I had luck with short-eared owls along hillside road (the road that crosses the moors from Stenso to Dounby) and also saw several along the A961 (think it was around Burray). You'll have a good chance of seeing hen harriers especially with the young now flying, again Hillside Road is good for them (I saw a male at Click Mill) but they can be seen pretty much anywhere. Bonxies are also a likely spot, watch for them around the coast. Otters are apparently very secretive on Orkney but you may be lucky to spot one, I have heard that there is one at the Loons so that would be a good place to start. You may also see red throated divers from the Burger Hill Hide (also good for owls and hen harriers).
Orkney is lovely, we went the first time last August and returned in June for a whole week! Planning on going back next year too :-)
Mille & Fly on Facebook
Thankyou for your reply KatTai, we love Scotland and have done central and western coast but this is our first holiday without children and we decided what better place than Orkney, Beautiful, serene, gorgeous landscapes, with a wealth of history and above all an abundance of birds and wildlife:)
Had to look up Bonxies, i never knew thats what the Great Skua was also called, thankyou for that. I have taken note at the places you have suggested and will reply when i return on what i saw:)