The iconic Forth Rail Bridge and the birdwatching tour starts here. Picture by Nigel Duncan Media

Bird watching has fast become one of the hottest pastimes with millennials so Maid of the Forth has launched its Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) birdwatching cruises.

The three-hour trip in the Firth of Forth on June 4 and July 2 (6pm) has some of the richest pickings of birdlife and expert live commentary is provided by RSPB staff.

They will help spot the various species of seabird as the tour passes a range of the inner islands of the Forth.

Birds likely to be spotted include puffins, guillemots, razorbills, gannets, kittiwakes, cormorants, shags and eider ducks,

Duncan Macrae, skipper of the Maid of the Forth, said: “Our cruises are definitely not just the preserve of the traditional birdwatcher.

“Each season we see more young people taking up wildlife watching and I wasn’t surprised to read that a nationwide survey of Britain’s hobbies and interests revealed that nearly a third of young adults had been birdwatching.”

The cruise starts at Inchgarvie under the Forth Rail Bridge and travels dowenstream to Inchcholm and on towards Inchkeith. The cruise stops-off at Inchmickery.

Refreshments are available from Maid’s Bar and prices are £16 for adults, £15 for concessions and £7 for children.

Tickets can be booked online at www.maidoftheforth.co.uk or by calling 0131 331 5000.