the eagle and the skylark on beinn tianavaig

Fri, Mar 21, 2008

We had a nice bimble up Beinn Tianavaig on Sunday (16th), after being very lazy and not getting up in time to make for Blaven. The forecast was for 40mph gusts, which is fine for up here at this time of year but it would also have meant Dawn putting on the plastics and crampons as we’ve got a load of hard as iron snow on the tops at the moment. Ideal winter ML logbook stuff but we just fancied a nice day out as it was sunny. So we made for Beinn Tianavaig, just south of Portree.

It’s a cracking little hill and a short walk from Camas Tianavaig, a very quiet “suburb” of Portree, up the south ridge. Park down in the picnic layby at the bay and follow the path marked between two houses and up a good path onto the open hill and some superb walking on short cropped grass. As we walked up the gently sloping hillside, we head the first Skylark of the year. Always a great sign and I always look forward to the stereo singing of these birds on the cycle to work over the Sleat moors. The wide open space of the west face gives way abruptly on the ridge to the vertical drops of the east, overlooking Raasay and it was here, not far from the summit, that we heard a croak, turned round and came face to face with a Golden Eagle hovering not 4 feet from the cliff edge at eye level! What a sight! We could have reached out and touched it, it was so close. Then the source of the croak appeared, a Hoodie (hooded crow), which started to mob the eagle and they both headed up towards the summit, the crow sumersalting and chasing the eagle away, which glided effortlessly over the blue and choppy sound of Raasay. Superb!

Summit ridge of Beinn Tianavaig

It was blowing a gale on the top, as forecast but we got shelter down from the trig point and lazed in warm sunshine for a good long while, soaking up the first rays of the spring sun. Now and then Glamaig would disappear under some pretty impressive clouds and a whole bank of scudding cumulus descended on the main Cuillin ridge and we were glad we didn’t go up Blaven.

The Storr from the summit

The sea round about us was as blue as can be, with white breakers racing up the sound of Raasay, breaking high over the small islands in the deep channel, making for a fantastically invigorating day of blasting, cold wind on one side of the ridge and and warm sunshine on the other. A superb day out and one to be recommended if you’re ever in Portree and need a short walk to blow the cobwebs away.

You can see all the pics here.

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