Sunday, 7 October 2012

6&7 October and the last week of Hillwalking!

I managed to get over a couple of times over the weekend and it was again rather poor but at least I had a couple of species that I haven’t seen for a while. Off the car park there was a single Common Gull whilst I had a couple of flyover Skylark. In the woods there was a Treecreeper in with the Tit flock but not much else. The only migrants were two groups of Swallow which totalled seven.

In the afternoon Joy dropped me off near Water Orton I made my way alongside the Sewage Outfall which has proved interesting in the past. However, at the start of the walk there were a number of examples of flytipping which didn’t help my mood. Worse was to follow as the path that runs towards The River Tame was muddy, wet and uncomfortably to walk along, in no small part to the amount of people that had been up there on Trail bikes, the path was that badly churned up that I was covered in mud by the time I got to the end.

Following the river to Ladywalk I had a single Chiffchaff, whilst at Ladywalk itself there was a single Little Egret, good numbers of wildfowl and I had around half a dozen Swallow through, whilst the feeders had both Willow and Marsh Tit. I also met up with a couple of old friends who were interested on my Munro’s challenge was going (they regretted asking).

I have added a couple of photographs of what will probably be my last hillwalking trip of the year. On Saturday 21 September we tackled the Fisherfield Mountains a remote area of Scotland about the size of the Lake District (unfortunately there are no roads or vehicular access – I should say fortunately) the only other person we met that day was wild camping overnight. We being soft southerners hiked in and out in a day. We started walking around 8am and got back to the car at 7.30pm just as the sun was setting. It was an impressive landscape and very remote.

I managed a days birding on the Angus coast on the Tuesday as there had been a big storm overnight with lots of trees down in the Tayside area. The gale was unusual in that the wind was easterly which is good for the Angus Coast. Unfortunately there were showers during the coarse of the day but I managed a 50 or so Manx Shearwaters, two Sooty Shearwaters, Arctic Skua and Bonxie. The highlight though was a Grey Phalarope which flew past me very close in at Arbroath. I have seen quiet a few Grey Phal over the years normally on puddles I have even seen a couple at Shustoke but I have never seen one flying properly and let me tell you they are quick! Much quicker than I was expecting.

On the Wednesday we tackled the impressive mountain of An Teallach (it is a massive mountain that contains two Munro’s – complicated I know) if you have ever been towards Gairloch via the road to Ullapool it is that frightening beast that fills the sklyline as you drive down Desolation Road towards Dundonald. The cloud was rather low and visibility was poor, and as daylight was at a premium we decided that we would only tackle the two Munro’s rather than the ridge and a succession of tops. Fortunately the Munro’s are at the same end of the ridge and we avoided any difficulties as a result. It was a shame as the weather was that poor that we never got any views.

On the Thursday my brother dragged me out for a game of golf (not a game that I play). Fortunately there were around a dozen wrecked Guillemot on the River Tay off the North Inch a strange sight!

Loch a’Bhraoin with our Munro targets in the centre still several miles away.

Sgurr Ban in the Fisherfields

The view west from Beinn Tarsuinn with what is known as the “Tennis Court” on the ridge

Joy and I on top of Beinn Tarsuinn just the ten miles back to the car!
Todays earlier hills Sgurr Ban & Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair from Beinn Tarsuinn

Four days later and totally different weather. Bidein a’ Ghlas Thuill on An Teallach

Sgurr Fiona on An Teallach

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