Papa Westray

The Holm of Papay

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Lichen Julian Branscombe - Birder Bird Book

7th to 11th September 2017: mushrooms & migrants

Papay holds a wealth of wildlife in autumn. Bring your binoculars, and we''ll arm you with a hand lens. Together we'll scour the island for natural history excitement. Papay is wonderfully compact, providing a very distinct and diverse birding experience. What's more, you'll also be in the right company and right place to learn about everything from toadstools to the lichen-covered rocks.

Birders of any ability will find plenty to learn. In September, depending on the weather, just about any avian visitor is possible, from any quarter of the compass. Birds - from hen harriers to passing migrants en route from the Scandinavian forests to Africa - always grab our attention, but there's so much more to look at.

Papay's habitats include an inch-tall 'forest' of Creeping Willow on North Hill! Mushrooms such as brittle-gills, poison pies and milkcaps come up around the willows, in celebration of their symbiotic relationship. More fungal interest is offered by stunning waxcaps and bizarre earthtongues.

Lichens on coastal outcrops, dykes and fence posts will grab our attention. The delicate beauty of mosses & liverworts will enthral us - learn to find Sphagnum and identify the wondrous Big Shaggy-moss (seriously, that's its name, though you can call it Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus if you prefer). We'll introduce you to slime moulds - if you are already acquainted, so much the better!

This is a time when the seasons are on the cusp. Some of our breeding Arctic Skuas and Bonxies (Great Skuas) should still be around on North Hill, although the Puffins will have gone a month previously. There's a chance of finding the year's last exquisite and tiny blooms of Scottish Primrose (Primula scotica). Then of course there is the resident wildlife, such as Grey and Common Seals and our elusive Otters.

Each evening you'll have a choice of opportunities. There's always a place for time to yourself, but we also offer talks on fieldcraft tips and insights into identifying tricky birds, to sessions on microscopy and the mysterious worlds of fungi and lower plants. The full Papay Wildlife Club library will be on hand. Finally, Papay's dark skies, are a sight to behold on clear nights - with or without the Aurora Borealis!

Price: £495 per person. £50 Single Supplement.For further information and booking please ring 01857 644215, email - or contact Papay Wildlife Club through Facebook. Papay Wildlife Club is run by Papay Development Trust (SC029585), the island's community development charity.

2017 Papay Wildlife Club holidays

About Papay Wildlife Club
Fulmars & flowers
8th to 12th June 2017

Mushrooms & migrants
7th to 11th September 2017

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