Posted by: Ross Gardner | August 18, 2017

Edging Southwards

At last, another post on one of the worst kept supposedly active blogs on the internet.  Thank you, lovely readers, for hanging in there.  The stars of Wi-Fi and electricity have aligned once again, so I shall endeavour to get through some more images of the Big Trip.

After the splendours of Glen Coe we headed south west to the shores of Loch Sween.  It was here that we had our first taste of wild parking (doesn’t really seem quite right to call it wild camping)……

At Loch Sween (scaled)

The Big Blue Van goes wild.

Loch Sween 6 (scaled)

The lovely Loch Sween, the haunt of frolicking otters, drumming snipe and watchful Osprey.  Pine Martens too, but we only saw their poo – I shall spare you the photo.

Heading east again took us to the northern fringes of Glasgow to visit friends……

Campsie Fells and distant Loch Lomond (scaled)

…… and where a short hike on the way, up the Campsie Fells near Fintry, surprised me with distant views of Loch Lomond.

Southern Uplands 2 (scaled)

Further south the Southern Uplands of Dumfries and Galloway, while not embodying the raw splendour of the Highlands are stunning in their own right.

Wheatear - male 3 (scaled)

At the Red Squirrel Campsites (and yes, we did see one of the eponymous rodents there) we discovered the peaceful solitude of Glenmidge. Walks up on the nearby hills yielded a number of the usual upland/open country species, including this handsome male Wheatear.

With a special family birthday and previous artistic commitments (Lola’s wonderful pottery) we made our way back towards Essex for a spell, but not without reacquainting ourselves with a couple old favourites, namely the Lake District and The Peak District……

Ullswater (scaled)

The fringing woodland of Ullswater was alive with birdlife, including Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler……

Redstart 3 (scaled)

…… and Redstart, like this very smart male (and doting father), actually snapped in the Peak District, near Bollington. For the short time we watched him, he flitted agitatedly about a tumble-down drystone wall, refusing to reveal the presence of his precious brood and recipients of his beakful of caterpillar.

A brief stop in Essex and The Big Trips heads West………………….


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