Friday, August 26, 2011

Conic Hill and Loch Lomond wildlife

Last evening I had a lovely walk up Conic Hill on the eastern side of Loch Lomond. A quick midweek blast of exercise, some fresh air and a good opportunity to catch up on chat with friends. As summer winds down it is now getting dark around 9 o'clock but the trip up Conic is short steep hike from the Balmaha car park, ideal if you've got a spare hour or two. Last week we walked up as a family in glorious sunshine with a picnic so took ages longer and spent a decent amount of time enjoying the immense views in every direction. On the way down yesterday we met a few local coos, lovely large bulky Highland Cattle, a perfect Scottish scene.




Highland cattle are of course a domestic breed but the goats I saw on my previous lochside walk up near the north end of the loch are feral, there seems to be quite a healthy thriving population and are a common sight for walkers on the West Highland Way.









The next photo was taken rather quickly of an unknown creature in the water. It took a bit of time to realise we were watching a mink swimming just off shore carrying dead prey which appeared to be only slightly smaller than the mink itself. After swimming, the mink scampered across the beach and headed behind rocks to better cover. American mink have no natural predators, save man, in this country and are a result of the generations following escapees from mink farms as far back as the 1920s. The mink population have become a nuisance in parts but I was intrigued to watch it as I've never previously seen one.

And finally, has anyone any knowledge what this skeleton is from? Photographed just north of Inversnaid on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. I spotted it when walking day 3 of the West Highland Way. It seemed far too pristine to be real. Any ideas folks?














9 comments:

jane said...

Probably either a sheep or a goat, boringly. A dinosaur would be a lot more interesting:D

Clare said...

Looking at the teeth - I'd go with sheep or one of those goats. Are those strands of black hair under the vertebrae?

Debs said...

Thanks for your comments, someone else also thinks its a sheep. I didn't think it was exotic however I thought the bones would have been scattered somewhat if an animal had killed it. The bones were amazingly clean.

Debs said...

A ranger from the Scottish Wildlife Trust believes this is a deer because of its size. Thanks to those who responded here and elsewhere. D

Bella Bheag said...

Aye, "the nights are fer drawin' in!" Debs - and lovely they can be too when looking at your first pic.

Autumn is by far my favourite season of the year in Scotland - the light, the changing colours - and then Winter sets in all too soon!

Glad someone sorted out dem bones - had not a clue!

Ian Reeves said...

The cottages look lovely - can i leave you my email details somewhere so you can let me know when they are ready, we'd love to try them.
Ian

Unknown said...

These are beautiful pictures. Have you come across any local history references regarding the East Cambusmoon area? Some of my ancestors, McNaughtans from the 1800s, list East Cambusmoon as their birthplace.

Debs said...

Hello 'unknown'. There is a local history group in the village and I shall ask if they have any records of MacNaughtans here. Our own deeds don't make any reference to them.
Regards D

Ian said...

Oops Debs - I don't know why it listed me as 'unknown' that time - perhaps I didn't sign in properly. Anyways its Ian and I've commented on your blog before. If they were able to tell you anything in the village, please let me know.