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Malcolm O'Reilly

Malcolm’s passion for the natural world began early. As a child, he reveled in escapades in the local countryside, the company of his many pets, and a bedroom full of bones, fossils, feathers and old bird nests. Malcolm went on to complete a degree with honors in Animal Biology at Bangor University in North Wales, where he studied octopi, learned to climb and ski in the mountains, and took up kayaking on the Welsh west coast, leading to a job teaching adventure sports and field studies on the Isle of Arran. Since then, Malcolm has built a career as an outdoor education instructor and wildlife guide, working as a seasonal ranger in the famous Abernethy forest reserve, developing depth in osprey interpretation, and winning professional awards for his expertise in teaching

Malcolm worked as a seasonal ranger and holds special expertise in osprey interpretation. He makes his home in Scotland’s wild Cairngorms region. He holds a number of professional awards for instructing mountain and paddle sports and continues to work year-round in wildlife guiding and outdoor instruction. He loves to help people discover the wildlife and landscapes of the most remote sectors of the Scottish Highlands and islands, whether on foot, bicycle, skis or by boat. For practical reasons, however, he has had to swap his octopi for a collie.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

A. Martin
"Malcolm was a wonderful guide. He explained the activities clearly and the time frames. We always knew what we were going to be doing and when. He did, however allow for group preferances especally when it came to time. We were never hustled into the van before we had completed our experience. Malcolm was very well informed about the history of the areas we visited, the birds, animals and land forms. He has a fine sense of humor that kept the atmosphere fun and relaxed. Malcolm was at all times attentive to the needs of our group and offered good options to those who couldn't walk as far as the activity required. In my case, he was careful to let the restaurant staff know about my dietary needs. Then he checked back with me to make sure my meal was satisfactory. Malcolm gave us leave when appropriate to explore the area on our own. He gave us the information about what we could experience and then backed off. I always felt very safe with Malcolm. Aware that many of us have a hearing loss, Malcolm was mindful to speaking with appropriate volume and diction."

R. Smith:

"This young man is a winner! He knows the birds, the bird calls, the flowers, the GEOLOGY (few leaders do), the trees, the clouds, the mammals, the shells, and he is a VERY safe driver. Nat Hab should have him as a full time guide! He was VERY helpful to me on any walks which included irregular surfaces, slippery rocks, etc. He is personable and friendly."

J. Heidelberg
"Malcolm did a great job. We got a great amount of information on the natural history, birding, geology, culture and history."

E. McCrea
"Malcolm was the reason that I would rate this trip a huge success. He was unfailingly friendly and helpful. Both guides were both quite knowledgeable on the history, natural history, and cultural of the areas we were in. Good depth on just about any aspect of natural history, but I appreciated Malcolm's superior knowledge on birds. Since my traveling companion was a bit unsteady on her feet and had low endurance, he went out of his way to be helpful without neglecting the others in the group. From minor experience as a small tour organizer and leader, I know how much time he must have spent in the evenings and nights taking care of details and ensuring that the next day would go smoothly. The workload never showed and resulted in an extremely smooth and well planned program. His flexibility and willingness to accommodate interests and preferences were much appreciated. He seemed to tune in to my interests quite quickly and ensure that anything we saw along those lines was pointed out to me. Nice job all around."

T. Nolle
“Fantastic guide! We had asked him if it would be possible to see The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland and as it turned out, it was on our way. It is a really interesting feat of engineering. So glad that he could accommodate that request."


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