Sunday, 14 August 2016

Coire nam Bothan

The BBC forecast promised sunny intervals for this morning, and the Norwegian YrNo predicted wall-to-wall sunshine, so we headed for the already-sodden hills where.... it rained.

Evolution is a wonderful thing, and one adaptation that would save the local butterflies would be to learn to be active in the rain - something which the green-veined white is working on, as we saw several flying in today's drizzle, and one in rather heavier rain last week.

We've seen examples of this wonderful artwork before but still don't know what builds it. Can anyone help?

Coire nam Bothan, the corrie of the bothy, is an open bowl of land just to the east of Meall an Tarmachain, on the spine of the peninsula. One of the purposes of today's walk was to see if we could find the bothy after which it is named, but we found no sign of any structure.

The lochan in the picture is another which hasn't a name on the OS maps, though logically it should be Lochan nam Bothan. By walking beyond it....

....we came to Lochan na Cloiche, the stone lochan, and views across a grey Minches to Muck, Rum and Canna. By this time the rain had ceased but this was a signal for the midges to appear. This may be bleak, open, windswept hillside but it's home to a small army of the wretches, which harassed us all the way back to the car.

On the bright side, the ling, which has been coming into flower steadily over the last few weeks, is showing considerable promise. The forecasters are saying that there's some sunshine on the way this week - do we believe them? - and, if it happens, the hills should become of a blaze of purple.

In another sign of the changing season, the red deer stags are walking around proudly showing off this year's antlers. This was one of a small group we saw on our drive back to Kilchoan, all of whom ignored us even though we stopped and climbed out of the car to take their pictures.


  1. Is the web conical - like a hat? If so, it could be the spiderling quarters of the nursery web spider Pisaura mirabilis. She builds these shelters when the egg bundle is about to hatch and then stands guard over them until all have moulted and gone. Those black dots may be some of the discarded carapaces. If it is this spider, you are lucky as it is common in the UK south but rarer in Scotland.

  2. I love these shots of the butterfly, stag and scenery. Another great post!

  3. Many thanks, Rick & Jonathan, for your kind words.
    Derryck - the 'nest' was flat.