COLL BIRD FESTIVAL

8/9/10 MAY 2020

Coll Bird Festival, first held in 2014, is a unique opportunity to explore the diverse and often rare birdlife of Coll, with our expert guides on hand to help you get the most from your experience. Suitable for beginners as well as experienced birders, you will learn how our local habitat is managed to support the wildlife, and will witness an incredible selection of birds over a short period.

In 2019, at least 90 bird species were spotted in one weekend, including corncrake, hen harrier, white-tailed eagle, and so much more.   According to the world’s leading corncrake expert (Prof. Rhys Green), Coll is the best place in the UK to spot the elusive corncrake, and with the bird being a key species for Coll we host this festival at the peak time to view the corncrake.

Over the course of a 3-day weekend, our guests are treated to guided walks, guided sea-safaris to neighbouring islands and evening talks by a range of experts. The weekend is topped off ‘Coll-style’ with a buffet and ceilidh at An Cridhe, and a beach clean and free BBQ. Some customers visit us again and again, so we keep the festival fresh with new topics, new walks, or the latest research, each year. Previous walks have included a Skydancer walk and an ‘Off the Beaten Track’ walk, showcasing parts of Coll that many visitors will never see, and our talks, while always including a local theme, are also varied each year. We are grateful to have the support of the local RSPB teams and volunteers, without whom this event would not be possible.

For 2020, we are delighted to have Professor Rhys Green back with us, to speak about the corncrake and the spoon-billed sandpiper. Rhys is currently leading a research project on the spoon-billed sandpiper and has previously regaled us with the latest and most fascinating new insights on the corncrake. John Bowler (RSPB Tiree) will also be back with us bringing a local theme to the talks.

View Programme

As part of the Bird Festival there will be a substantial buffet (with bar) accompanying the Saturday evening talk (booking required).

Both the Island Cafe and Coll Hotel serve lunches and evening meals and both use a variety of local produce as part of their menu. If your events take place over lunchtime you have the option of an early lunch at the Island Cafe, or you can book a packed lunch from the Coll Hotel and Tigh na Mara Guesthouse.

In 2019 we are delighted to be able to support a new and local business venture, IsleGO.

You will travel to Lunga and/or Gunna in their Redbay Stormforce 8.4 Rib, ‘Stormbringer II’.

Please note that guests on our boat trips should be comfortable with walking over rough terrain and prepared to access the vessel via a series of steps or a ladder, depending on tide conditions. Please contact us if you have any concerns over accessibility and we will be happy to help.

Lunga is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its abundant plant life. Many rare and endangered plants are native to the island. The flora includes Primroses, Birdsfoot Trefoil, orchids, Sea Campion, Thrift and Tormentil. Atlantic Grey seals inhabit the waters surrounding the island while birdlife includes Storm Petrels, Kittiwakes and Manx Shearwaters. Guillemot, Puffin, Corncrake and Razorbills breed on Lunga and on the Harp Rock, a sea stack separated by a narrow gut, which you can walk to on your visit. A trip through the Sound of Gunna provides the opportunity to see as variety of sea birds, stunning scenery and the possibility of seeing dolphins.

Most visitors take advantage of the puffin-therapy afforded by a trip to Lunga, where you can sit within a few feet of these iconic little sea-parrots and watch them interact. Lunga attracts over 2000 breeding pairs of puffins within a small area on a grassy plateau overlooking the sea, which makes for a fantastic spectacle.

Accommodation is available in the village of Arinagour at Coll Bunkhouse from £22.00 per person per night.

Further accommodation is available in the village of Arinagour at the Coll Hotel, Tigh na Mara Guest House and Dun Fraoch B&B. A extensive list of accommodation options on Coll, including self-catering properties, is available here: Visit Coll.

A number of events are run over the course of the weekend and customers can choose individual events or a package rate.

For visitors booking accommodation at Coll Bunkhouse there is a discount of 10% on bookings of 3 nights or more.

Package rate and individual prices:

The package rate includes 3 walk tokens, 1 sea safari, entry to all the talks, entry to the ceilidh and beach clean & BBQ. Additional walk tokens (£5 RSPB members, £3 non-RSBP members) or boat trips (£45 each) can be purchased separately.

The Saturday buffet is £12 per person and is not part of the package. The buffet must be booked in advance.

ITEM RSPB MEMBERS NON RSPB MEMBERS
Full Package £60 £68
Additional Walk Tokens £5 £3
Additional Sea Safari £45 £45
Saturday Buffet £12 £12
Evening of Talks
(kids free)
£5 £3
Ceilidh Ticket
(adult)
£10 £10
Ceilidh Ticket
(child up to 16)
£10 £10
Ceilidh
(2 adults & 2 kids)
£25 £25

To register interest, please call Coll Bunkhouse on 01879 230217 or email: info@collbunkhouse.co.uk.

For a handy guide to getting to Coll, look no further than the Coll page on the Caledonian MacBrayne website which offers advice on travelling to Coll by car or public transport.

For those of you arriving by public transport and/or without your own vehicles we will provide options for transport to/from events using local transport providers which will involve a small fee. Please contact us for further details.

John McLaren, a previous visitor to Coll Bird Festival, has very kindly combined some video excerpts from his time on Coll and Lunga. Other than the boat trip to Lunga it doesn’t feature the Bird Festival events, but it gives you a real flavour of Coll and what you might expect from a visit:

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COLL BIRD FESTIVAL

8/9/10 MAY 2019

Coll Bird Festival, first held in 2014, is a unique opportunity to explore the diverse and often rare birdlife of Coll, with our expert guides on hand to help you get the most from your experience. Suitable for beginners as well as experienced birders, you will learn how our local habitat is managed to support the wildlife, and will witness an incredible selection of birds over a short period.

In 2019, at least 90 bird species were spotted in one weekend, including corncrake, hen harrier, white-tailed eagle, and so much more.   According to the world’s leading corncrake expert (Prof. Rhys Green), Coll is the best place in the UK to spot the elusive corncrake, and with the bird being a key species for Coll we host this festival at the peak time to view the corncrake.

Over the course of a 3-day weekend, our guests are treated to guided walks, guided sea-safaris to neighbouring islands and evening talks by a range of experts. The weekend is topped off ‘Coll-style’ with a buffet and ceilidh at An Cridhe, and a beach clean and free BBQ. Some customers visit us again and again, so we keep the festival fresh with new topics, new walks, or the latest research, each year. Previous walks have included a Skydancer walk and an ‘Off the Beaten Track’ walk, showcasing parts of Coll that many visitors will never see, and our talks, while always including a local theme, are also varied each year. We are grateful to have the support of the local RSPB teams and volunteers, without whom this event would not be possible.

For 2020, we are delighted to have Professor Rhys Green back with us, to speak about the corncrake and the spoon-billed sandpiper. Rhys is currently leading a research project on the spoon-billed sandpiper and has previously regaled us with the latest and most fascinating new insights on the corncrake. John Bowler (RSPB Tiree) will also be back with us bringing a local theme to the talks.

View Programme

John McLaren, a previous visitor to Coll Bird Festival, has very kindly combined some video excerpts from his time on Coll and Lunga. Other than the boat trip to Lunga it doesn’t feature the Bird Festival events, but it gives you a real flavour of Coll and what you might expect from a visit:

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy.
I Accept
Coll Bird Festival

As part of the Bird Festival there will be a substantial buffet (with bar) accompanying the Saturday evening talk (booking required).

Both the Island Cafe and Coll Hotel serve lunches and evening meals and both use a variety of local produce as part of their menu. If your events take place over lunchtime you have the option of an early lunch at the Island Cafe, or you can book a packed lunch from the Coll Hotel and Tigh na Mara Guesthouse.

In 2019 we are delighted to be able to support a new and local business venture, IsleGO.

You will travel to Lunga and/or Gunna in their Redbay Stormforce 8.4 Rib, ‘Stormbringer II’.

Please note that guests on our boat trips should be comfortable with walking over rough terrain and prepared to access the vessel via a series of steps or a ladder, depending on tide conditions. Please contact us if you have any concerns over accessibility and we will be happy to help.

Lunga is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its abundant plant life. Many rare and endangered plants are native to the island. The flora includes Primroses, Birdsfoot Trefoil, orchids, Sea Campion, Thrift and Tormentil. Atlantic Grey seals inhabit the waters surrounding the island while birdlife includes Storm Petrels, Kittiwakes and Manx Shearwaters. Guillemot, Puffin, Corncrake and Razorbills breed on Lunga and on the Harp Rock, a sea stack separated by a narrow gut, which you can walk to on your visit. A trip through the Sound of Gunna provides the opportunity to see as variety of sea birds, stunning scenery and the possibility of seeing dolphins.

Most visitors take advantage of the puffin-therapy afforded by a trip to Lunga, where you can sit within a few feet of these iconic little sea-parrots and watch them interact. Lunga attracts over 2000 breeding pairs of puffins within a small area on a grassy plateau overlooking the sea, which makes for a fantastic spectacle.

Accommodation is available in the village of Arinagour at Coll Bunkhouse from £22.00 per person per night.

Further accommodation is available in the village of Arinagour at the Coll Hotel, Tigh na Mara Guest House and Dun Fraoch B&B. A extensive list of accommodation options on Coll, including self-catering properties, is available here: Visit Coll.

A number of events are run over the course of the weekend and customers can choose individual events or a package rate.

For visitors booking accommodation at Coll Bunkhouse there is a discount of 10% on bookings of 3 nights or more.

Package rate and individual prices:

The package rate includes 3 walk tokens, 1 sea safari, entry to all the talks, entry to the ceilidh and beach clean & BBQ. Additional walk tokens (£5 RSPB members, £3 non-RSBP members) or boat trips (£45 each) can be purchased separately.

The Saturday buffet is £12 per person and is not part of the package. The buffet must be booked in advance.

ITEM RSPB MEMBERS NON RSPB MEMBERS
Full Package £60 £68
Additional Walk Tokens £5 £3
Additional Sea Safari £45 £45
Saturday Buffet £12 £12
Evening of Talks
(kids free)
£5 £3
Ceilidh Ticket
(adult)
£10 £10
Ceilidh Ticket
(child up to 16)
£10 £10
Ceilidh
(2 adults & 2 kids)
£25 £25

To register interest, please call Coll Bunkhouse on 01879 230217 or email: info@collbunkhouse.co.uk.

For a handy guide to getting to Coll, look no further than the Coll page on the Caledonian MacBrayne website which offers advice on travelling to Coll by car or public transport.

For those of you arriving by public transport and/or without your own vehicles we will provide options for transport to/from events using local transport providers which will involve a small fee. Please contact us for further details.

Coll Bird Festival

OUR PARTNERS

Once again the Coll Bird Festival is brought to you in partnership with one of Scotland’s leading wildlife organisations. We’re very grateful for the support of the variety of people who help us to organise this event. Please use the links below to read more about the work of our partner organisations.

This festival is sponsored by CalMac and would not be possible without the support of our local RSPB teams on Coll and Tiree. We are delighted to use IsleGo, a new Coll business venture, for our Sea Safaris, and we are grateful to Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust for their participation in this year’s festival.

Caledonian MacBrayne
RSPB
IsleGO
Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust

OUR PARTNERS

Once again the Coll Bird Festival is brought to you in partnership with one of Scotland’s leading wildlife organisations. We’re very grateful for the support of the variety of people who help us to organise this event. Please use the links below to read more about the work of our partner organisations.

This festival is sponsored by CalMac and would not be possible without the support of our local RSPB teams on Coll and Tiree. We are delighted to use IsleGo, a new Coll business venture, for our Sea Safaris, and we are grateful to Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust for their participation in this year’s festival.

Caledonian MacBrayne
RSPB
IsleGO
Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust