COVID-19 


In line with current guidelines we can take a maximum of 3 separate bookings in the minibus (depending on numbers).


Once the minibus is full we can accommodate one further booking at a reduced rate of £50pp (discounted for 2 adults) for one family group to follow in their own car. This isn’t an ideal scenario but feedback from doing it last year was good, and it’s the only option to help as many people as possible to see our fantastic wildlife and run at close to our normal capacity.


Sadly we have had to discontinue lunches due to the Covid Pandemic.

Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours

If you have ever wanted to see a Golden Eagle cruising a mountain ridge or an Otter hunting the shoreline, then you have an excellent chance of making your dream come true on one of our day tours around the dramatic Isle of Skye.


The Isle of Skye is truly one of Scotland’s best wildlife locations for the birdwatcher and wildlife enthusiast. And you never know, on your trip you might get one of those truly amazing moments that we’ve had out:


A Golden Eagle swooping just metres overhead, two pairs of White-Tailed Sea Eagles having a territorial dispute, a female Otter teaching it’s cubs to hunt, or even watching an Otter hunting the along the coast while a Golden Eagle cruises along the hillside behind . . . . which way to turn!

“Andy is a very personable, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and persistent guide. He really knows his stuff and the bonus of being out all day with him is you get a familiarization tour of the island whilst searching for wildlife. We had excellent sightings of white tailed eagles, golden eagles, seals and otters. And red deer in the distance.


He really has COVID proofing sorted.


“Andy is one of the most enthusiastic people we've come across in ages who is so lucky to be able to do a job he loves whilst passing on his knowledge to others! We had a super day visiting sites where we saw otters, many many different species of birds and the highlight of our visit - a golden eagle.
Nothing was too much trouble for Andy....he knew where the best sites were to see the wildlife....without Andy's help we would have been looking in the wrong places for days! Thanks Andy for one of the best days we've had out for a long time.


“Fantastic day out with Andy. The tour was excellent with good sightings of otter, Golden Eagle and sea eagle with some seal and red deer thrown in for good measure! Andy is very knowledgable of the area and the wildlife and we learned a lot. Great pack lunch too! Andy provided good binoculars and his scope was amazing affording great sightings without risk of disturbing the wildlife. Highly recommended”


About Us


Andy will be your Tour Guide. He has been watching and photographing the wildlife in North West Scotland for over 30 years. He is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and never tires of seeing the stunning wildlife that Skye has to offer.


Wendy looks after bookings and enquiries. She is a photographer and videographer. She is also knowledgeable about the wildlife, so will be only too happy to help plan your tour.

Wildlife We Can See


Visiting various habitats we have the chance to see-

Golden Eagles

Otters

White-tailed Sea Eagles

Basking Sharks

Dolphins

Hen Harriers

Short-eared Owls

Peregrine Falcon

Merlin

Grey and Common Seals

Porpoise

Great Northern Divers

Red-throated Divers

Hares

Great Skuas

and many many more, even the odd Minke Whale!

The Tour


Don't be put off by bad weather as these days can often surprise you with some of the best sightings.


With our top of the range Swarovski Telescope you will be able to see wildlife in amazing detail.


Bring binoculars if you have them, although we do have some you can borrow.


Certain Sightings are of course dependent on the time of year but all seasons provide a wealth of wildlife.


Tours depart from the Long Stay Car Park at Lisigarry Court, down by the shore. 


Departing at 9.45am and returning around 5pm (around 4pm during winter).


Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and bring binoculars if you have them.

Conservation


The Isle of Skye is a beautiful but fragile environment, as such we take great care on our tours not to disturb any of the wildlife we see.


The majority of our sightings are made from public roads or on short walks on well trodden pathways. Considering the persecution much of our wildlife has suffered in the past, at the hand of man, we do all we can to protect them now.

We will not show you any nest sites or visit sensitive areas, that's not to say we don't get close views, just that the views we have are on the animal's terms not ours.


We will also endeavour to teach you where and how to look for the amazing animals that inhabit North West Scotland, so that not only will you be able to find them for yourself in the future, you will do so in the knowledge that the wildlife you see remains undisturbed.


We work closely with the local RSPB office, especially with the recording of Sea Eagle sightings and distribution.

Booking is Essential

£54 per person

£25 per child

up to the age of 12yrs

Under 5's free





For other enquiries please email us at skyewildlife@gmail.com


or call on +44 7972 260249 (9am to 7pm)

If no answer then please email, leave a message on the answerphone, or send us a text message.


Please bear in mind that Wendy will not always be available as she is a working Mum with school runs to do during the day. Please leave a message and she will return your call as soon as she is back at her desk.


*Payment at time of booking to secure your place

Children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.


Dogs can be accommodated with prior booking. A £5 charge will apply

Bookings

Already on Skye?


- text us on 07972260249

We know how bad the mobile signal is on Skye, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Open All Year

Tours start at 9.45am in Portree, and end by 5pm

(earlier during winter hours)

Otters and Eagles

White Tailed Sea Eagles


The Isle of Skye has Scotland’s biggest population of White-tailed Sea Eagles with 16 pairs, and numbers of this re-introduced bird are still growing!


This magnificent bird of prey is found all over Skye.

It might be surprising to learn that although mainly a bird of sea and loch, White-tailed Sea Eagles are also found inland, one Skye pair in particular hardly venturing to the coast at all.


This habit of hunting all terrains is good news for our Tours, as we often see White-tailed Sea Eagles sat in favourite vantage points where we can get the telescope on them.


To see a White-tailed Sea Eagle filling the telescope, it’s golden eyes glinting in the sun, is some sight!

With a wingspan of over 2m you’d think that these huge birds of prey would be easy for a birdwatcher to spot, but it’s not the case. There is a lot of wilderness in Scotland and on Skye and the landscape can swallow up even a White-tailed Sea Eagle. The birds also have the habit of just wandering in search of a meal, so can be less predictable than say a Golden Eagle.


But we do have a lot of success seeing them, to date 13 different Sea Eagles in a day is the record for sightings, and I personally have seen 11 White-tailed Sea Eagles together on carrion – a stunning thing to witness.

Otters


Everyone loves Otters, although it should be remembered that the Otter sits at the top of the food chain, and is a top carnivore.


The rocky coasts of Skye are an ideal habitat for Otters, the seaweed beds holding a plentiful supply of fish. Otters can be found on Skye’s rivers and inland lochs as well, although they are a little harder to see in these locations.


As with all wildlife, patience is required to spot these beautiful mammals.


The tides, weather, and sadly an understanding of human disturbance, are all factors in trying to locate the shy Otter.


On our Tours we’ve got an excellent record of spotting Otters, and regularly are lucky enough to get more than one sighting in a day.

Golden Eagles


With around 30 pairs of Golden Eagles, the Isle of Skye has probably the densest population of this magnificent bird in the whole of Scotland.


Golden Eagles can be found throughout Skye, from the high peaks of the Cuillins to the rolling moors of Sleat, from the Trotternish ridge to the high sea cliffs.

That said Golden Eagles are still elusive birds and many a birdwatcher has failed to track down this huge raptor. To be successful seeing a Golden Eagle requires knowledge of the bird’s habitat and habits, an ability to read the weather conditions, a lot of patience, and a little luck.


As I write this we’ve seen 36 Golden Eagles on the last 7 Tours, and the most Golden Eagles we’ve seen in a single day is 10.


So whether you are a keen birder on a dedicated birdwatching holiday, or a wildlife enthusiast who’d just love to see Scotland’s iconic bird of prey, then the Isle of Skye is without doubt the best place in Scotland to see a Golden Eagle.


Frequently Asked Questions

What wildlife will we see?


We have an excellent record of seeing two of Scotland's most iconic species, the Golden Eagle and the Otter. Skye has Scotland's biggest population of White-Tailed Sea Eagles, and we usually see these magnificent birds on our Tours. Although land based we still see plenty of aquatic life, the Summer being particularly good for Basking Sharks, Minke Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoise. We get frequent sightings of Red Deer, Seals, Hen Harriers, plus a whole host of other wildlife. Some sightings are common, such as Great Northern Divers, others rarer like a wandering Osprey.


As all the wildlife is "wild", and we don't lure anything with food or visit sensitive breeding areas, then nothing can of course be guaranteed. That said every Tour has so far had a number of memorable highlights, and many have had moments that stay with you forever.

Will we do any walks?


The Tours are designed to see wildlife from the roadside without the need for long walks. We do though tailor each Tour to the abilities and interests of the group. So if someone has mobility problems then we don't have to leave the side of the minibus.


But if everyone is up for a walk then we may well head off on a short stroll.

What should I bring with me?


Please come suitably dressed for the outdoors. Walking boots or stout shoes are preferable, even if we don't do a walk the ground is normally uneven everywhere we stop. A waterproof coat (even if the weather looks good). Bring binoculars if you have them. We do have drinks available at lunchtime but you may like to bring a bottle of water or something similar.


Please note that there is limited storage space in the minibus, so please consider the size of any bags that you bring with you.

What about toilet stops?


Skye isn't blessed with many public toilets but we do aim to stop at any we pass (you won't have to ask!), and will certainly make at least two stops during the day.  There are also toilets 2 mins walk from our meeting place.

Dogs on Tours 


As dog lovers and owners ourselves we understand that you may bring your dogs on holiday too. We will take well behaved dogs with prior agreement. Please note however that as there is limited room in the minibus any dog would need to stay on the floor. A £5 charge will apply.

Why do you ask for payment at time of booking?


We can only take a maximum of 8 people on a tour, so with numbers limited we take bookings on a first come first served basis. We have occasionally had group bookings that filled the minibus with one enquiry, so we felt the fairest way to deal with places was simply to guarantee them once payment was made. Of course there are times when you will find we have availability the next day, but equally some days are filled months in advance.

Why do I have to book in advance and can't just turn up on the day?

 

This is simply down to the practicalities of catering for lunches, so we need to know numbers in advance.

What's the itinerary for a tour?


Where we go is dictated by the weather, wind direction, tides, and time of year, on any given day, to give us the best chances of sightings. There is no set route, although we cover quite a bit of Skye in a day so see many of the sights.


I'm a keen photographer, will I be able to photograph the wildlife?


The Tours are aimed at seeing wildlife, keeping a sensible distance with no disturbance at all. Cameras are welcome and if you look at our Facebook page and website you will see that photo opportunities do frequently arise, but obviously they can't be guaranteed.


What you do get though is information of where, and how, to look. You may like to use this in your own time to sit quietly and patiently waiting to get that "shot", if you don't happen to get it out with us.

What if the weather is bad on the day?


We have run Tours in low cloud, heavy rain, and gale force winds, and still had great sightings - particularly of Otters. In reality it's rare to have a whole day of bad weather, and often we get spectacular sightings as the weather finally breaks and the wildlife comes out.


We're happy going out whatever the weather and don't see poor conditions as a particular drawback - in fact it can be an advantage at times. That said you are on holiday and supposed to enjoy yourself, so if the weather is absolutely appalling on the day and we can move you to a tour on a different day we will.

What about lunch?


Due to the pandemic we have had to discontinue providing lunches.  Please bring a packed lunch.  

You say the Tours aren't really suitable for young children but can I bring my child?


We're happy to have children along and have had 5 year olds who have come with us and enjoyed their day. Ultimately it's a day in a minibus looking at wildlife, if you think your children will enjoy that then they are more than welcome.

When is the best time of year to see the wildlife?


All seasons offer great opportunities to see wildlife. Golden Eagles, Otters, Sea Eagles, Seals, Red Deer, Hen Harriers, are year round residents. The Summer months bring animals such as Basking Sharks and Minke Whales to the coasts. Spring and Autumn offer the chance of seeing migrants such as Arctic and Long-tailed Skuas, and Whimbrel. Winter visitors include Great Northern Divers, Barnacle Geese, and Slavonian Grebes. In fact Winter can be a great time to visit. Both eagle species start displaying in the new year, and with fewer people about the often shy Otter can be more easily spotted.


Testimonials

Highly Recommended


“Had a brilliant day looking for wildlife on Skye with some excellent action from the Golden Eagles. Would highly recommend to anyone who is considering booking a wildlife tour as your guide Andy is enthusiastic and very well informed on the local wildlife and how to find it.”



Wayne

- September 2020

“We had a brilliant day with Andy. his spotting abilities are ridiculously good. saw great views of eagles, dolphins and a merlin. and he was very happy to answer our hundreds of questions. would recommend this for people of all ages and levels of wildlife knowledge.”


Trish

Fantastic day out


“We had a fantastic day out with Andy who was extremely knowledgeable about the island and its inhabitants. His passion for the wildlife on Skye was contagious and we would love to do another trip in the future. We saw golden eagles, sea eagles, deer, dolphins, otters and many more of the island's resident species. We were made to feel welcome, and Andy made sure that all of our party, including children, saw the animals. Fully recommend.”



Jimmy

- August 2020

“A brilliant day out with such a knowledgeable guide. Andy showed us a family of otters playing, sea and golden eagles and red deer, as well as explaining the landscape and animal habits. Thanks to this new knowledge we spotted more wildlife over the following days of our holiday, which I'm sure we wouldn't have otherwise.”


Catriona

“We loved our day with Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours. We saw so much wildlife including otters, dolphins, seals and 3 golden eagles among many other animals. Andy was friendly and very knowledgeable and went to great efforts to ensure we saw lots of wildlife and enjoyed our experience. It really opened our eyes to what we could see on Skye. The tour provided good quality binoculars which meant we got a lot more out of our experience. We also felt very safe considering the current coronavirus situation with measures in place to protect everyone. We would definitely recommend this tour.”


Emily

“The aim of our trip was to see eagles. Andy, the tour guide, didnt disappoint and by the end of the day we had over 10 sightings under our belts. The kids now think eagles are common. Great day had by all.”


Mark