Monday, 25 June 2012

Scottish Break

I have wanted to experience The Jacobite steam service from Fort William to Mallaig for some time so decided on a short break in Scotland to achieve my ambition. Caught the early express train to Glasgow Central station then transferred to Queen Street Station for the all stops service to Fort William. Did not really see much from the very fast express service just good views of the Lake District but from the slower West Highland train the highlight of this part of my journey had to be the stunning views of forests, glens, lochs, rivers, mountains, moors and bogs and though I have driven in the area a few times it has no comparison when you are able to just sit there and absorb it all in - magic. I had more chance of seeing something when we slowed or stopped for signals or stations and managed Short-eared Owl hunting along the marshy edge of the Clyde Estuary east of Dumbarton Castle, Hooded Crows at Bridge of Orchy, Rannock, Corrour and Tulloch, female Redstart at Rannoch Station and many Red Deer along the more remote parts of the route. With the Highlands bathed in glorious sunshine I alighted at Spean Bridge hoping for a late Chequred Skipper though none were seen but managed a couple of roadside Small pearl-bordered fritillary, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Clouded Border moth, Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Siskin, Redpoll and Wood Warbler before finishing my journey to Fort William. In the evening I had arranged a boat trip on Loch Linnhe seeing the hoped for Otter, a female with 2 young, plus Goosander and Common Sandpiper then ended a very long day staking out a peanut butter loving Pine Martin. Best of the moths flying in the evening was my first Clouded Buff.

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