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Wednesday, 14th September. Today was to include our first boat trip.

But first, before breakfast, it was time to examine the moth trap, set up overnight because conditions were thought likely to be favourable. This time there were some temporary captives, of which to my eyes this was the prettiest.

Canary-shouldered thorn by name

For today’s tour, we skirted Fort William again, but this time turned west before needing to cross Loch Linnhe. We drove the first part of the Road to the Isles, along Loch Eil and stopping at the side of Loch Eilt.

In the dim distance we could see at least one of the Small Isles, part of the Inner Hebrides, south of Skye. Zooming with my camera, which sadly focussed on the near vegetation, I could see that the sun had picked out one of them, while Eigg (with the apparent knob on, though in fact it’s the end of a range) remained in the shade.

Loch Moidart

Followed a pleasant walk along the River Shiel, mainly in woodland. We were particularly looking for butterflies, but the weather was not really warm enough to bring them out, though I found plenty to please my eyes.

A foreshortened view of Castle Tioram
Sadly by the time we had come close, the sun had deserted it.

No need to walk back to the van. Angela had driven it to the end point of our walk. She took us to Acheracle, where we were take a boat along Loch Shiel, where we hoped to see, particularly, white-tailed (aka sea) eagles.

We did, near the beginning of the trip. As many as five in the air at one time for a short while.

Juvenile. Most uncharacteristic to see one on a fence post

A boatman threw a fish out, and I was fortunate enough to see this eagle come to get it,

and fly off.

Instructor and pupils

The end of the loch came into view, with the Glenfinnan Monument and the Jacobite railway (aka Harry Potter’s train) viaduct at Glenfinnan.

Again Angela was waiting for us with the van, and on our way back we stopped for a walk at Fassfern, again hopeful of seeing butterflies, and also dragonflies. We didn’t, but had some lovely views and one breathtaking one.

Explanation: I did not lie on the ground to take a picture of the sky through the plants. It is reflected in the pool.

We abandoned the pool and started climbing a gentle hill. At one point I turned round and took a sharp, involuntary intake of breath. Ben Nevis was picked out in the early evening sunlight, and gave me my header picture for this post. A little further up, and we had this, the full Nevis range.

No pine marten this evening when I was looking (and knitting), though one or more surely came later, as the bread was all gone in the morning, as ever. The wood mouse, another regular visitor, could not have carried it all off.