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Diary Notes - Snippets of Sights & Sounds

Here you can scroll through a history of walks and sights seen on Morvern during the past few years, as it expands and new items are added, it will include links and photographs. If you would like any more detail on this subject, please contact us. Details can be found on the contacts page.


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Diary Notes

29th September 2003
In woodlands heard a fox barking, also heard stags roaring on the Isle of Mull.

30th September 2003
Lovely warm sunny day walked towards Aulston Point. Saw Goldcrest and Blue Tit feeding in a large Sycamore. Hazy views but a good day, walked onto the trig point by Cnoc na Staing heard a stag roaring appeared to be solitary, located on the distant ridge near to a fence and gate on the horizon.

After listening for a while heard a second stag roaring; closer along the ridge although not sighted at first, closer observation revealed the stag was lying down with ten hinds, moved onto slightly higher ground in between the ridge and watched for some time. Every so often the stag with the hinds roared, the hinds got up and grazed for a while and then they all settled down.

Spotted a hind near to the solitary stag, but not clear if there was a herd or not.

Two hinds and two fawns were spotted on the Aulston Point side of the track.

27th December 2003
5.50pm spotted a wildcat leaping from the Lochaline / Drimnin road into the embankment in the car headlamps, definite rings on tail and a stocky greyish body.

White Tailed Eagle flew over Bonnavoulin, white tail feathers, wing feathers very splayed.

1st May 2004
Cuckoo heard in the woods, also heard woodpecker and saw a Swallow.

4th January 2005
Otter spotted on the rocks at Port nan Freumh.

15th - 18th July 2005
Common Seal on the shoreline looked like catching fish, surfacing then throwing the catch about, swinging its head and making strange noises almost as if blowing water; sounded more like a dolphin.

Pine Martin crossing road.

26th September 2005
Aonididh Mhoir, South of Loch Arienas Forestry Commission site. The walk starts in mixed woodland then changes to conifer woodland, which opens up where felling has taken place. The day was very wet with strong winds but the walk was very enjoyable. An area called the Township has been cleared by the Forestry Commission, revealing the remnants of a village which use to belong to the Cameron's and there are plenty of ruined buildings with interpretation boards.


28th September 2005.
Savary - Forestry Commission; walked along the cycle route which runs parallel with the Savary River, due to the wet weather plenty of waterfalls, although not easy to get to. The route is mainly in Forestry Plantation apart from the immediate start and where areas have been cleared; Red Deer Stag present.

29th September 2005
Rahoy Hills Wildlife Reserve walked up from Acharn Bridge to Crosben. The path is through mixed woodland; predominantly Oak until it reaches open moorland. The path runs parallel to the Blackwater River with a number of waterfalls and the river in spate. Once beyond the tree line and over the bridge the area opens up to a U-shaped valley called Gleann Dubh, an interesting ruin exists to the side of the track and further along almost at the end of the track an isolated white house and out buildings called Crosben exists. This was a lovely walk albeit initially wet and windy however beyond the ruin could hear Red Deer Stags roaring.

27th December 2005
Walk through coniferous woodland, frozen conditions; over cast with periods of broken sunshine. Lots of Deer tracks and Roe Deer barking, plus fresh bark rubbings on a couple of conifers by Deer. Lots of Coal Tits flitting in the trees and a flock of other birds not identified.

3rd January 2006
Rahoy Hills, overcast conditions. Saw a herd of Red Deer between the ruin and Crosben about 20 hinds with one or two young males. Remnants of a kill by the ruin, lower leg bone still had wool on and looked freshly gnawed, lower jaw bone was bloody.

15th August 2006
Walked up through Mungosdail onto the ridge Cros Bheinn. The weather had been misty and rainy with a few downpours. The ridge is full of peat bogs and there are two fences to negotiate. Although low cloud; views began to clear and could see up Loch Sunart & Loch Shiel, on reaching the Ridge Cairn at the Western end of the ridge could see the Cullins on Skye. Beautiful evening albeit couldn't stay long due to midges. The walk back over the various ridges towards Drimnin dropping down onto the Diorlin track by stream and gate. Good views could be spectacular on a good clear day.

16th August 2006
Glen Savary Walk - Took the high route, paths on the OS Map no longer match what's on the ground. Cut up near fence line and then followed stream in a mini gorge up to Creag Bhan Ard. The top area is larger than anticipated; 2 Red Deer Stags grazing. The route back followed the mini gorge down to the track by Savary Bridge; area decimated by felling.


23rd August 2006.
Walk up to Crosben; Glean Dubh from Acharn following the Black Waters. Mixed weather overcast with bright sunlight every so often. Near Crosben on the open moorland saw Stonechats plus other birds flying.

4th May 2007.
Mature Oak woodlands Wood Warbler identified displaying unusual flight, gliding from upper tree to lower one.

5th May 2007.
Watched two Cuckoos flying over river valley from Conifer woodland to open moorland, one bird would perch on prominent Conifer and sing. Almost stood on Meadow Pipits nest in a small outcrop of Heather, cylindrical hole with four / five small dark brown, possibly speckled eggs.

8th May 2007
Again watched two Cuckoos flying over open moorland landing periodically on heather and being mobbed by a pair of birds possibly Meadow Pipits. The Cuckoos continued flying from one spot to another, frequently calling and being mobbed.

Lots of Skylarks calling and Red Deer present on the Moors, plus saw a couple of Stonechat in a small river valley and a pair of Wheatears on rocky outcrops.

10th -28th August 2007.
Some areas of moorland and river valleys during this time are badly covered in bracken, this makes for difficult walking conditions and a high risk of picking up ticks from deer.

16th October 2007

Interesting find whilst walking in woodlands of mixed deciduous trees; Oak, Beech, Birch and Hawthorn. On the latter tree a mouse had been impaled on a thorn on a branch. The mouse possibly a wood mouse had not been eaten at all just impaled. The only reference the author can find to this type of activity is a Great Grey Shrike or Red Backed Shrike!

17th October 2007
Mungosdail, Crois Bheinn, Lochans, Stone Cairn, Drimnin. Please note there is a Forestry Commission fence / gate to climb over before reaching Crois Bheinn.

In the Forestry Commission woodlands at Mungosdail a small mammalian skull lay on the side of the track; approximately 4-5 inches in length, the teeth were still present particularly the incisors with flaps of skin. Throughout the woods particularly by the main track there were plenty of droppings; Pine Martin and Fox. Flocks of Coal Tits were present accompanied by a few Goldcrest.

Once onto the moorland the effect of the heavy rains was evident, lots of boggy areas and very wet under foot with quite cold strong winds. On areas where there was a thin soil layer over rocks, Fir Clubmoss was present.

From the ridge to its Western point marked by a stone cairn good views to the North and West across Sunart towards Loch Sheil and beyond to the West the islands of Rhum and Eigg, plus the Cullins on Skye were all visible. Descending back down heading South West towards Drimnin, stopped by a large stone outcrop facing South West startled a Pine Martin sheltering in the rocks. The Pine Martin scampered to the top of the outcrop and then disappeared down a bolt hole hidden by tussock grass back into the outcrop. The Pine Martin made no effort to leave the shelter of the outcrop. Two Stonechats later appeared on the outcrop and a flock of Thrush flew over. Whilst on the Moorland plenty of Red Deer were present; either all stags or a group of hinds sometimes with a stag in attendance, plus on a number of occasions Snipe (possibly Jack Snipe) suddenly took flight.

On Port Nam-Freumh Beach at Drimnin a set of fresh tracks went across the black sand; 5 toes and a padded area, the latter being very light. The animal seemed to be leaping as opposed to walking as the paw prints were grouped with a large gap in between.

18th October 2007.
Night time approximately 9-10.00pm a low repetitive churring noise possibly from two different areas could be heard; possibly from open grassland areas.

19th October 2007.
On a headland found evidence of a fox's earth, two holes existed in the slope with peaty soil spread out below in a fan shape. No sign of current use as some vegetation was beginning to grow back and no fresh paw prints; albeit it may have been used earlier in the year.

In a deciduous woodland found another hole with fresh soil being excavated in front this time on a much smaller scale possibly a wood mouse.

25th November 2007.
Whilst walking on moorland came across a Red Deer's head in tact tucked under heather by the side of a moorland stream. It looked as if the head may have been removed after being shot and a fox perhaps has come across the head and carried it off. There were marks around the nose area and small amounts of blood as if this was where the fox had got a grip of it.

28th December 2008.
Disturbed early morning 4:00am by the sound of what appeared to be two animals screeching, almost cat like. After further examination a Pine Martin was up a birch tree which also had a seed feeder on it for birds. Whilst a second animal was not seen it did appear from the noise created that there were two animals. After a while one animal left and that up the tree descended and started eating bird seed.

 

February 2010

Tawny Owl pellet found on rock under tree, 2 rib bones, a vertebra and a ribbed tooth all possibly a vole.

 

 

24th September 2011

Always keep an eye open! Whilst in the Lochaline Hotel a sharp eyed Orcadian; a native of the Orkney Isles spotted a fin in the water in the entrance to Loch Aline. A number of us rushed out to see more fins, which were identified as Harbour Porpoises.

 

 

10th April 2012

A walk on Beinn Bhuidhe provided a rare and beautiful sight. First there was one, two and then four White Tailed Eagle flying overhead..

 

 

30th March 2013

Driving along a single track road, at different locations over a five mile stretch, 12 individual Woodcock flew up from the verges, possibly feeding in the ditches at the side of the road. .

 



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