Monday, 27 February 2017

The Ormsaigbeg Stags

During the night we had a mixture of snow, sleet and hail, and the temperature dropped to 1C, so by morning we had a thin covering which had settled right down to sea level.

Snow isn't common here so I walked down to the bottom of the croft to take this picture, looking along to Kilchoan, with the more thickly covered slopes of Glas Bheinn rising above the township.

Walking back up to the house I noticed two stags where we have seen them before, just above the common grazings fence, so....

....I walked up to the common grazings to see if they could be approached. This view looks across the boundary fence westwards, towards Maol Buidhe and Mull.

Following the fence I met two stags - not the same ones as I had seen earlier - coming along the croft-side of the wire. They must have had a shock as they didn't see me until they were within ten metres.

This picture illustrates something we have noticed before, that the junior stag leads until it's a matter of running away, when....

....the senior partner goes first.

We have always assumed that the Ormsaigbeg deer, of which there are at least five stags and several hinds, spend their day in the forestry inside the common grazings fence, but these two made their escape by jumping the fence and heading uphill, where....

....they were met by a third stag before disappearing over the crest of Druim na Gearr Leacainn. This leaves one wondering where they spend their daylight hours, as there is no cover higher on the hill, unless they walk a couple of kilometres to the forestry in Garbh-dhail, towards Sonachan Hotel.

With the sun warm on my shoulder, I walked on eastwards. This picture looks across Ormsaigbeg and Ormsaigmore to the houses in Glebe Hill, with Meall Tarmachain and Meall nan Con along the horizon.

As I dropped down to the road to follow it home, more snow showers were moving up the Sound towards Mull.

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