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I had planned to get this second post out yesterday, but I got distracted into the Laver Cup. Having taken out a Eurosport subscription specifically to see Federer’s final, historic match, it seemed not to take advantage of the chance to watch other matches.

Angela joined us on Monday, 12th September, as she did most. This was the day we went off the map to the north-west, via Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and the south west part of Loch Ness. We soon left the famous home of Nessie though, and went along a road parallel to the loch, to its east. (On the way we learned that almost every loch has its resident monster, or suchlike. Jon told us about kelpies, though he didn’t mention the steel ones at Falkirk.)

Our first stop was at Loch Tarff…

… where, despite appearances, it was very cold at the top of a small hill. We saw no kelpie, there or in any other loch that day. But we did see a dor beetle, the Scottish dung beetle.

On route to our next stop, no distance problems to see these sika deer.

Nor they us.

Our next stop was Loch Killin, where we hoped to see a big bird or two. We saw a couple of buzzards, but no eagles.

I got a better picture than yesterday of a dipper though.

It brightened up during our pre-lunch stroll.

A view from our lunch spot

We rejoined Loch Ness. Directly opposite was the second most visited tourist attraction, after Edinburgh Castle, in Scotland. Hmm.

It became a little more recognisable when I zoomed in.

Urquhart Castle

Jon told us we would next visit Loch Ruthven, which rang bells with me, and joined up some dots. I had visited it in June 2019, during my first stay in Grantown-on-Spey, on the eastern side of the country. I had then hoped, in vain, to see a Slavonian grebe. We did so this time, though right across the other side of the loch, only visible in a telescope. But we did see two kinds of fungus, shown here along with one we had seen during our walk along Loch Killin.

I forget the name of the first, the others being birch boletus and fly agaric.

Another headless osprey
I don’t think it was just wind that sculpted this tree!

From here we moved on to our last loch of the day, Loch Mhor. On the way we saw a lapwing,

red kites,

and a red kite accompanied by two ravens.

Once at Loch Mhor we saw a hare, though it was rather distant.

Finally, on the way back to Glenloy, the sun going down, we passed through this lovely view, which, we were told, is called ‘Cumins Seat’, presumably with reference to the Clan Comyn/Cumming, which according to this article can have 18 different spellings.