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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A Trip to the Highlands

A few days away in Bonny Scotland  staying on the shores of Loch Lomand , hotel was only accessible along a 15 mile single track road so it also has ferry access over to the other side ,this was just a few days away and not birding but I still took the bins with me ,the most numerous bird seen would probably be Buzzards in the periods of sunny weather . I was hoping for just a dusting of snow which is what we got but it seems there has been plenty more since we came back, excursions out over Rannoch Moor  which I found totally fascinating in its bleakness, obviously the area is great for photography I only had my compact with me (camera that is) on to Oban with plenty of birdlife along the shore to the town. A visit to the Falkirk Wheel which was the main reason for me to visit this particular area, a great bit of engineering ,the guide asked if there was any questions not to include "what if " or"what would happen if " so the first two questions of 2  youngsters "what would happen if" we dont do those said the guide next question  "why is it called the Falkirk Wheel " asked one very young boy ,"because its a wheel and its in Falkirk" was the answer !!!!

The road down to the Hotel on the shore of Loch Lomand

 Waterfall at the edge of the Hotel the small bridge above and over the falls is part of The West Highland Way, Dipper seen here and other locations
The Hotel from the falls showing the side and down to the ferry landing

 A nice dusting of pure white snow just to set the scene view across the Loch to theWest
 View from the ferry with the hotel acroos the other side
 A brighter day with the ferry just coming in
Nothing to do with anything other than I liked the idea of a photo, the area was very wet with water everywhere even in the woods which lined the road edge lots of Deer seen and feral Goats like those near Cheviot, the trees festooned with Lichens  

 This is made up of  stones taken from all 283 ? Monroes ,we did not bag any ,but I invented a lazy mans  list  of bagging  "Edinburgh Woollen Mills " of which there must be more or you could be more specific and just go for " ***** (add town ) Woollen Mill
 Crossing over Rannoch Moor area and its looking a bit bleak

 Oban from the Folly on the hill ,looking over to the jetty  and towards Mull its many years since I was last here long before I got into birding

Actually the only Hoodie I saw it was on the shore then flew up and landed beside us

Explaining the Falkirk  a boat lift to move boats from one canal to another 

This actually works for a living taking pleasure boats up or down or even both at the same time at a cost of some £15 mil it would never be a commercial success if not for the visitors paying about £8 to travel up to the higher level along through a tunnel turn around and back down , coming out of the tunnel just before going back onto the lift and seeing the view below and the vast scene all around is by far the highlight  ,as it runs so smoothly its actually a bit boring !!!!

 Photos are not in order but show the wheel on the descent with the visitor boat on the upper one, all because of some bloke having a bath one day and coming up with what we now know as
Archimede's Principle 

 One of the spare vistor boats with the wheel in the background and the tunnel just out of sight

Coming back down the exit locks are just in the background two hand operated ones that drop down to the canal below

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