Sunday, 27 September 2015

East of Ockle

With the sun out and the promise of a fine day, we set off early this morning to walk in the area to the east of the tiny township of Ockle, starting by following the track that leads from Ockle to Eilagadale. A kilometre or so along the track stands this cairn. From it one can look northeast towards Mallaig and the distant hills of Moidart.

One of the reasons for choosing this walk today was to enjoy the the flowering of the heather which is usually at its peak at this time but, while some is still in flower, most is finished for the year.

Shortly afterwards, we left the track and turned inland, working our way uphill into the....

....wonderfully open and empty landscape formed by the erosion of the underlying billion-year old Moine Schists.

From the top of the hill we looked down into the wide glen occupied by the meandering Allt Eas a' Ghaidheil, the burn of the Gael's waterfall. We dropped down into this valley and walked upstream, stopping once to listen to a red deer stag roaring in the hills away to our right.

We left this glen after about a kilometre to follow a small tributary burn, seen here on the right. As we traversed the steep slope above its bank we almost....

....trod on an adder who was sunning himself on a patch of shingle. The adder was none too keen to move out of our way, so we were obliged to walk round him.

The burn drains this little lochan, another of the many which aren't named on the OS map. It sits at almost the highest point in the hills between the glens of the Allt Eas a' Ghaidheil and the Allt Ockle. By this time a strong southeasterly wind had got up, so we found a sheltering rock where we could enjoy our lunch and the warmth of the sun.

As we left the lochan and began to descend towards the Allt Ockle, we walked....

....straight into a stag and a small group of hinds. This is something we try to avoid, particularly at this time of year with the rut in full swing. To our surprise, the deer's headlong flight was led by the stag....

....who left most of his ladies behind, wondering where on earth he'd gone.

As we descended into the glen of the Allt Ockle the wind died away, enough for some late-flying butterflies to come out, including a peacock and this speckled wood, the first we've seen this year.

Map courtesy Streetmap - here.


  1. Love these hillsides, beautiful scenery.
    Nicely captured.

  2. Thanks, Rick. Conditions for photography were almost ideal. Jon