Thursday, 16 July 2020


Braeriach from Carn Ban Mor
A reasonable weather forecast today so had a nice morning bike ride from the house up Glenfeshie. A beautiful road to bike and despite my late 9am start, the road was mostly quiet. It's quite satisfying to bike to the hills from my house. Especially when you travel up one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland.  I reached a busy Sgor Gaoithe carpark, a big campervan and about 8 cars. I have been up these hills numerous times I have lost count. Never seen more than about 4 in the past..
Bog Asphodal just in flower
 The whole walk from glen to the tops of the hills is so varied and beautiful. Scots Pine gives way to open moorland. The flowers in the hills this season have been beautiful. I guess with it being such a dry and hot Spring/early Summer coupled with some welcome light rain, has given us such a glorious array of flora.
Heath Sptted Orchid
My aim today was to photograph Dotterel and maybe see that elusive Ptarmigan. Carn Ban Mor is well noted to be a popular place for the Dotterel to spend their Summer and breed their young. The path up to Carn Ban Mor is excellent all the way to the plateau. I only saw 3  folk all morning. There were many more folk heading up to Sgor Gaoithe that I could see in the distance. I decided I didn't want to join the crowd today. The Dotterel much prefer flat ground.
Beautiful Sphagnum Mosses

High and remote dwelling from the past
I left the path and weaved around the vast plateau in search of wildlife. It was a breezy day which doesn't help hearing out for birds such as Golden Plover which also frequent this hills. The early cloud lifted and I got some decent views. The view from the edge of the plateau overlooks Loch Einich and the massive bulk of Braeriach, the UKs third highest mountain peak.
Weather station? Carn Ban Mor
New signage at start of the hill

A trio of Dotterel

In the afternoon I spotted a nice trio of Dotterel, 2 female, 1 male.. Nice to spot the male as he's usually out of sight, looking after the eggs or chicks whilst the female is off looking for other mates! They even head off to other countries such has Norway in search of hooking up with other males.

It was sad to see litter on the path today. Especially bad was toilet paper/tissues just strewn on top of the heather. Not even the decency to bury it. Crisp and sweetie wrappers and a tracky  top just abandoned on the trail. When I reached the carpark rather was even motor vehicles parked up, about 20.
Obviously I m all for getting new folk out in the hills. Excercise and mental well being for new folk can only be welcomed after being locked away in their town and city homes. How do we educate folk who don't know how to respect the countryside and mountain environment? A lot of it is just decency and 'doing the right thing'. New signage near the start of the hill is great. Have people read the Countryside Code? Have regular hillwalkers even read it? Let's hope this new surge of folk heading into the countryside can learn to treat the countryside like their homes. 

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