Who doesn't like Scotland? Well, without getting political, there's plenty that don't care too much about the wee midges and then there's the unpredictable weather, but when you can wake up to this sort of thing of a morning its worth putting up with both.
The Ardnamurchan peninsular lies just to the north of the Isle of Mull, just as rugged and scenic, but just that little bit more remote and thus a good choice for a trip up to Scotland in the height of the holiday season! In terms of good birds I have to say it was pretty pants with not a sniff of Golden or Sea eagle, no Hen Harriers, Crossbills or anything like that, no Otters either but it mattered not because we had a campfire, good food and music every night and spectacular scenery to tramp around in every day. So here's my Scottish wild camping week in pics ...
|The Falls of Falloch, nr Loch Lomand|
|Loch Sunart, 21/08/16|
|The bothy at Loch Sunart|
|Any chance to dry out a pair or 2 of favoured walking socks!|
|Ariundle forest, Strontian, 22/08/16|
|Old Man's Beard, Ariundle, 22/08/16|
Plenty of Argus butterflies though, in fact we saw many of these with several Mountain Ringlets throughout the trip.
|Scottish Argus, Ariundle, 22/08/16|
|Scabious, Ariundle, 22/08/16|
|Stonechat, Loch Linhe, 21/08/16|
|Camping spot nr Loch Shiel|
Migrating Swallows and resident Raven, Sparrowhawk & Buzzard here but all the watching of the skies for eagles was in vain.
Fantastic camping location though ... this was our view after making camp!
|Loch Shiel, 22/08/16|
|Kilmory Bay, 24/08/16|
|Eigg from Kilmory Bay, 24/08/16|
|Painted Lady, Acheteny nr Kilmory, 24/08/16|
It was yet another stunning place to camp and we were blessed with the best weather of the trip with warm sunshine and clear skies. A Campfire on the beach and even a decent bird record in the shape of a couple of juvenile Whinchats was marred only by a small accident - I managed to give myself a bloody eye and nose whilst gathering wood for the fire and everything was blurred for 24hrs after that!
|Rocky headland around Kilmory, 24/08/16|
|Camping spot, Kilmory|
|Whinchat (juv), Kilmory, 24/08/16|
|Much better Argus than mine!|
|That'll be me doing my James Bond impersonation!|
|Best wild camping spot ever!|
Like I say, not the abundance of wildlife we expected, I guess we finally managed to get most of the common species - Grey Wagtail, Hooded Crow, Rock Pipit, Coal Tit, Shag, Eider, a handful of Willow Warblers & Blackcaps, lots of Meadow Pipits of course but very few raptors (not a single Kestrel!) and maybe even more surprising not a single Dipper! Birding isn't the be all and end all for me on these trips though and my week of wild camping with all its challenges will live long in the memory.