Thursday 9th: The early ferry from Lochmaddy to Uig, Skye was quite productive with 3 sightings of Common Dolphins (at least 10 in the closest group); a Minke Whale just off Skye and around 8 Storm Petrels amongst other seabirds. The rest of the day was taken up by a nice drive through Skye and Glen Shiel before an afternoon shopping in Inverness - what fun! Well actually it turned out to the best shopping trip I've ever had as Tizos in the centre of town was having a closing down sale which was unfortunate for the staff but fantastic for us with everything reduced by 50%.
Friday 10th: First stop was emptying my moth trap (a small Heath trap) that I set in a area of birch and coniferous plantation near to Braefield. The day had been nice and hot but the early morning was cool with low-lying mist and temperatures down to 5 degrees but there was still plenty in the trap including numerous Mottled Beauties, Barred Red and a single Welsh Wave amongst others.
|Mam Sodhail from Tom a'Chonich|
The valley bottom was alive with insects with hordes of Scotch Argus butterflies as well as Dark Green Fritillaries and Large Heath. Dragonflies hawked along the path and both Golden-ringed Dragonfly and Common Hawker posed for photos on the way back to our meeting point.
|Common Hawker (female)|
Finally a quick jaunt to a small loch near Dog Falls produced a couple of cracking Emerald Damselflies and Black Darters.
Sunday 12th: The moth trap (set in the woodland by Loch Ness at Drumnadrochit) had a few goodies in it this morning - well at least a couple of beasties that I'd not seen before including Plain Clay and Square-spotted Clay amongst others.
The car was re-packed, well more like everything was thrown in and breakfast consumed so we could get to Glen Shiel in plenty of time for my final ascent along Am Bathach to Ciste Dhubh. It was a bit cloudier today which was great as hiking up the steep ridge in the baking heat wouldn't have been much fun. Still the cloud was high enough to allow some excellent views and I was quietly patting myself on the back for reaching the summit of Ciste Dhubh in just over 2 hours when a couple of young(ish) girls turned up; one of which had just done the Cuillin Ridge over two days and only had 6 Munros left to complete the set. Ah well, I only have another 226 to go!
|Looking down from summit of Ciste Dhubh (one of them in red has only 6 Munros to do)|
|Looking west from Ciste Dhubh|