I have wanted to experience The Jacobite steam service from
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 .
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 Fort William 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.