For those of us who are sad the snow has now abated, I thought I would share a photo from my walk up Tinto on Saturday (14/01). Knowing how popular Tinto hill is; we decided to walk up the quieter route from Wiston Lodge. We were happy to see only two sets of footprints ahead of us, one set going up and one coming back down. Result! We would have the hill to ourselves (well the south side at least).
I suppose the only downside was the amount of snow; it was up to my knees in places. So for anyone not prepared for that, it may be a bit of a trek to get to the top. I had my binoculars at the ready the whole way up and suffered the usual consequences of hill walking with ‘bins’; having them swinging around all over the place! However it was not in vain, we did get to see a pair of Ravens fly overhead. Sadly no displaying just yet but it was nice to see them soaring above. There was also a wee group of Red Grouse trooping about the place. Often when they are about to land they will make a noise that sounds like they are saying, “go back, go back, go back”.
As we neared the top we began to see tracks all over the place, I kept thinking it looked like a Mountain Hare, but Tinto isn’t a mountain so in my naivety I dismissed it out of hand. It was only when we were heading back down that we saw the culprit. A quick flash of white fur bolted out in front of me, he sprinted away and then stopped at a safe distance to observe us. We took a few photos and headed on our way, leaving the hill to the hares.
Laura Preston – Falls of Clyde Ranger, Scottish Wildlife Trust
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