Hill walking was a mixed bag, after last year where we had terrible weather, last week was exceptional. The plan never materialised, the first part did, we climbed Gulvain but it was harsh, it completely destroyed my legs. It was around a five mile walk in, then straight up – it was one of the steepest ascents I have ever done and in retrospect too much for a first hill of the year. I could hardly move my legs when I got back down they were completely cramped up and I still had a five mile walk back to the car! Its funny but I can tell my wife a joke and she hardly smiles, hit my thumb with a hammer and she’s in stitches. That 90 minute walk back to the car kept her well amused.
The second part of the plan didn’t happen I was walking like a polio victim so on Tuesday my brother his wife and Joy climbed three of the Fannichs that I had done years ago with my two lads. I drove and had a days birding on the north-west coast near Guirnard Bay. There were several Great Northern Divers, but no White-tailed Sea-eagles. I carried on round the bay and had the pleasure of watching an Otter for over an hour. There were few migrants around and it was rather quiet but I did pick up a few year ticks during the day.
I travelled to Fife of the Wednesday seeing a good few birds including Whimbrel, Long-tailed Duck, Common and Velvet Scoter but not a lot else.
On Thursday we climbed Sgurr Mor which is north-west of Fort William down a long glen called Glen Arcaig, it took ages and the road was more like a ride at Alton Towers. We had to climb into Glen Kingie and then another steep pull saw us at the summit in around four hours. The views from the top had to be seen to be believed. You could see over to Skye and as far as the Cairngorms away to the east. There were also a couple of Ring Ouzel near the summit.
Anyway back to Shustoke, after spending nearly all weekend and the bank holiday gardening Joy informed me she was going shopping with No.2 son, so I snuck out and did a quick circuit. It looked really quiet until I picked up a summer plumage Black-necked Grebe at the east end. Hopefully it will hang around.
|Gulvain, we had been walking nearly an hour at this point.|
|The summit of Gulvain with my brother and his wife.|
|Ben Nevis from the summit of Gulvain|
|On the summit of Sgurr Mor with the one I love and the wife! Please note I always have binoculars with me|