Sunday, 2 October 2016

Sron Mhor

With another beautiful day forecast we were up and out early, driving round the north side of Ben Hiant where we stopped briefly to take this picture looking up the glen of the Allt nan Gabhar, the landscape colours softened by the dew on thousands of autumn cobwebs.

We left the car at the entrance to the track that leads up to the Beinn Bhuidhe wind turbine and followed the path which walkers take to the summit of Ben Hiant but, after a short climb, turned to follow the 350m contour along the top of one of the series of scarps that form steps along Ben Hiant's southeastern face.

On such a gloriously fine and clear morning the views were spectacular, changing from those looking down into the Basin, with Camas nan Geall, Ardslignish and Loch Sunart beyond, to....

....more and more distant views across the Sound of Mull. Loch Sunart is at left, with Auliston Point on Morvern at centre left beyond which is the highest mountain on Mull, Ben More, with its head in the clouds, while Tobermory Bay is towards the right.

Following the contour leads to this bowl of land formed between the slopes of Ben Hiant and the lump of Stachan Dubha to the left. As we crossed this area....

 ....a kestrel hovered away to our right before dropping to the ground, but it rose again without anything in its talons.

On the far side of the bowl one passes through a gap and out onto the top of the headland called Sron Mhor, and the view along the coast to the west opens up. This picture was taken while we sat on a rock on a shelf of land above Maclean's Nose looking almost straight down to the Marine Harvest fish farm.

The magic of modern cameras enables one to zoom in on a view. Mingary Castle is at bottom right, with Kilchoan beyond it and, running round the far side of Kilchoan Bay, Ormsaigmore and Ormsaigbeg, with Beinn na Seilg rising above them.

We sat for some time in the sunshine and the silence, very conscious of the privilege we have of being able to enjoy views like this one. When we finally, reluctantly turned back and made our way round Stellachan Dubha, we could see the whole of the ridge that rises to the summit of Ben Hiant.

The annual red deer rut has started, and the stags can be heard roaring through the night. We passed four groups of hinds, each patrolled by a stag. This fine stag had the largest harem, of at least four dozen females. We're cautious of the stags at this time of year, so steered well clear of this group as we made out way down the hill.

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