Monday, 28 April 2014

Beinn na Seilg

We don't often walk with a dog, but Saturday's expedition up Beinn na Seilg with Bedw was a pleasure.  He was obedient, inquisitive, energetic and enthusiastic, though there was a moment when....

....we breathed a sigh of relief that his enthusiasm had taken him elsewhere - a duck rose suddenly from her nest, leaving her ten eggs.  We think she was a teal as she had a bright green flash in her wing feathers.  The nest, hidden under heather with a lining of duck down, was some distance from the lochans.

We felt bad about disturbing her, and hope that she returned to her eggs.

We circled to the west of the twin lochans and then climbed to where there's a plaque attached to a rock outcrop.  It's a memorial to the two Hawker Hurricane pilots who were killed in February 1944: in appalling weather, one, a New Zealander, flew in to the dark cliff seen beyond the lochans, and the other crashed on Coll.  The plaque was placed so that, from it, both crash sites are visible.  For more information, see blog entry here.

There's a large, well-built cairn on the summit of Beinn na Seilg, from which there are fine views, but with the weather beginning to close in and rain forecast, we moved....

....quickly across the saddle which separates it from another summit - un-named on the OS map so we call it Beinn na Seilg 2.

Between the two we came across this juniper with a bright orange fungus growing on one of its branches.  It may be Gymnosporangium clavariiforme, a rust fungus which alternately infects juniper and hawthorn.  There's more about it here.

From Beinn na Seilg 2 we looked north across a darkening Ardnamurchan, with Muck, Eigg, Rum, and the distant mountains of Skye visible, and Lochan an Aodainn, which is at the back of the Sonachan Hotel.

We made out way back to Ormsaigbeg by walking along the north slope of Beinn na Seilg and round the eastern end of the twin lochans.  Along the way we came across this caterpillar, which I can't identify.