Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Morning at the Beach

The air temperature dropped to 2C last night, bringing another ground frost, but with a gloriously sunny day in prospect we decided to spend the morning at the beach.

The beach we chose is the one that runs from Maclean's Nose to Camas nan Geall, easiest reached by parking by the bridge that crosses the Allt Torr na Moine just to the east of Camas nan Geall and then walking over the ridge called Torr na Moine, passing the remains of several buildings associated with the clachan of Tornamona, which was cleared in 1828. These buildings are some distance from the main grouping of houses, and it's not clear whether they were occupied before 1828 or whether they were built after the settlement was cleared, perhaps to house the shepherds who worked from the big sheep enclosure which replaced it.

It isn't a single beach but a series of curved strands, each ending in a small promontory. There are two things special about these beaches: they have remarkably little rubbish washed up on them, and they're usually wonderfully lonely places - in winter, the chances of meeting anyone else are extremely low.

Having said that, as we walked back along this section of the beach we met a couple and their collie going the other way.

The beach here belonged to the clachan of Bourblaige and it, like Tornamona, has buildings well away from the clachan - in this case, two on the beach. The hill behind this one shows the characteristic striping of the rig-and-furrow arable system, and.... we climbed the hill we spotted an eagle flying along the crags towards Maclean's Nose. It was some distance away, but it looks like a golden eagle.

This picture look eastwards into Loch Sunart, towards Camas nan Geall and Ardslignish, and it was shortly after this that we saw a lapwing, which passed over us too quickly for a photograph. Lapwings are occasional summer visitors here, so this one is a very early arrival.

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