Thursday, 29 October 2015

BIKING & WILDLIFE

The wonderful sight of Greylags taking flight
A moody looking Lairig Ghru
Close encounter with a buzzrd on the bike
A lovely sunny afternoon by Loch Garten
Cloud over The Cairngorms slowly clearing
So many geese!
It was a nice afternoon in The Cairngorms, the rain clearing by early afternoon. A nice bike ride over to Loch Garten. Plenty of wildlife, you don't really need to walk far from any track or road to see the abundance of wildlife in this part of the world. The Greylag Geese have just arrived in the north. Today I saw a big flock of 60+. Always a fantastic sight and sound as they take to the air. Look to the skies and you will see lots this time of year. Later in the day there was a very inquisitive buzzard heading straight toward me on the bike. He eventually took his perch for a photo. Loch Garten was the final destination today. Apparently there was a big flock of Mute Swans landed here just a couple of days ago. Well none today but hey, can't be too greedy :)

Monday, 26 October 2015

BIKING UP BRAERIACH

The lovely Coire Dondail & Glen Einich
The nice wee scramble on the bounding ridge of the coire
A great sky for the bike out
Brilliant cloud today
The waterfall at the headwall of Coire Dondail
Love Autumn
The sun was back out over The Cairngorms this afternoon, milder than the last couple of days so any snow now melting away. It was a windy morning and the bike ride up Glen Einich was hard going in the strong SW. This when o the foot of Braeriach is always a treat and a great way to get onto the UK's third highest mountain. The lovely path up to the lonely and remote Coire Dondail is a pleaurse and soon gets you high on the mountain. There is a short, chossy scramble that bounds the coire on the right hand side which is a good way onto the plateau. It's still a long walk to the summit from here. The bubbling cloud from the morning had broken up and the afternoon was glorious. It's virtually all downhill on the bike back down Glen Einich with a superb sky infront. The days are so short now, a bike really does help on the long walk-ins.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

FIRST WINTRY DAY IN THE CAIRNGORMS

Coire an Lochain with a dusting of wet snow
Ptarmigan enjoying this seasons first snows
Looking down the coire from Cairn Lochan
Coire Domhain
Lots of photogenic ptarmigan today
Cairngorm plateau
Ice on the crags of Coire an Lochain
Plenty of ptarmigan, we lost count after 100!
video 


A couple of cooler days over the weekend has brought some snow to the higher summits in The highlands. This is the first 'proper snow' this season. Of course it is only October so don't get too excited as this will melt away no doubt. Having said that you needed to have full winter clothing today, as we went through our 'thinny' gloves and onto the full on winter gloves, hat, couple warm layers, etc by the time we got to 1000m on the Cairngorm plateau. The fresh snow was down to around 850m yesterday, today it was around 900m and the east side of Coire an Lochain even had a drift or two of ankle height white stuff to plough through. We had a great day out, battling in the 40-50 mph winds this morning. Highlight of the day was definitely the amount of ptarmigan we spotted, or rather walked beside. We reckon over 100 of these wonderful, hardy birds. As it was windy they were down on the ground for a lot of the time and seemed to be enjoying the fresh snow, just like us!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

ONLY A WEE CAIRNGORM BREEZE

An atmospheric Loch Morlich
Cloud breaking up. Meall a' Bhuachaille summit
Good spot for a shelter
More atmosphere
Cairn Gorm & Northern Corries
The first real storms of the season last night. Slowly the gales eased through today and the sun gradually made more of an appearance. Meall a' Bhuachaille is a lovely wee half day hill top and gives fantastic view across to the Northern Corries of the Cairngorms, Braeriach and the Feshie hills. All for very little effort. It makes more of a day if you bike in along Glenmore which is what we did today. Timed to perfection, the sun shone on our way up the hill. A few folk on their way down were muttering something about very strong winds on the top. Well 50mph is only a breeze, hello this is The Cairngorms and it's nearly winter so you better get used to it! :) . Very nice lighting over Loch Morlich on the way down and more blue skies.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

ANOTHER DECENT DAY

Loch Avon
Coire an Lochain
Shelterstone Crag
Feithe Buidhe snow patches
A fabulous beach
Beach, water & mountains
A lovely sunny morning gave way to some high cloud in the afternoon. Breezier than of late and high winds by evening, the first high winds of this Autumn. During the day it was a very nice time to be out on the hill. A wander over the Cairngorm plateau today.

Monday, 19 October 2015

BIKING UP CAIRN GORM & REINDEER

A nice couple of hours of blue skies this afternoon
The locals on the Cairngorm Mountain road
Showing off
Traffic chaos
Lovely biking in the sun up Glenmore

A welcome spell of bright sunshine in the middle of the day today. It felt almost summer like again in the Strath. I had a blast on the bike up the Cairngorm Mountain road to the Ciste carpark. The local reindeer herd where out showing off to the tourists on the road. The route up to Cairn Gorm from the Ciste car park is very pleasant and much quieter, with  less skiing paraphernalia to see on the way to the top. There was high level cloud later in the afternoon and a cooler blast back down the road on the descent. Tuesday into Wednesday looks like the end of the high pressure system weve been enjoying for some time now. Maybe a bit of a breeze coming along too?

Sunday, 18 October 2015

CLOUD IN THE CAIRNGORMS? HOW OUTRAGEOUS!



The beautiful clear skies had to end sometime I guess. Over a week of beautiful weather in the Highlands. It was overcast but still a great day to be out today. A wander round the Cairngorm plateau checking out the snow patches.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

CAIRNGORM WEATHER, BEST IN THE UK

clear skies over The Cairngorm plateau & Braeriach
Loch Piyoulish
Cloudscapes
Distant Cairngorm mountains
A few shots from Friday & Saturday  biking in the Strathspey area. The last few days the weather in the Cairngorms has seen some of the best sunshine in the whole of the UK. Cold, foggy mornings with a temperature inversion down in the glens but clear and blue skies up on the hills. Enjoy it while it lasts, it may soon be winter :)

Thursday, 15 October 2015

CAIRNGORM WILDLIFE

Mountain Hare, Cairngorm plateau
Coire an Lochain
The ptarmigan are getting whiter by the day
Coire an Lochain
...........some faster than others
The 'whitest' wee fella I saw today
High pressure firmly in charge over The Highlands still. Cold, clear nights and there was cloud in Strath Spey this morning. Just a hundred metres or so up into Glenmore and into beautiful clear skies. A leisurely day for some wildlife watching on The Cairngorm plateau today. The ptarmigan are really starting to get into their winter plumage now. Some are looking very white and all geared up for the first snow falls. I spent an hour or so in Coire an Lochain, getting some photos of this hardy mountain bird. Up on the plateau and that elusive of mammals (for me to photograph), the Mountain Hare. I finally got a nice photo of him, though he always had his eyes on me I am sure. More settled, sunny, windless conditions right through to the weekend at least.