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Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors


Postby walk aboot » Mon May 02, 2011 10:31 pm

Route description: Coulin Pass - Achnashellach to Torridon

Date walked: 02/05/2011

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On Monday I headed up to Inverness on the train for the start of my week pottering around the Highlands. I was spending two nights in Achnashellach (Tuesday and Wednesday) then two nights in Broadford (Thursday and Friday), so I was looking forward to enjoying the views on the whole Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh train route. I didn’t see any otters along the way (which other people have told me they have seen) but I did see a male osprey carrying a fish at the loch just before reaching Achnashellach. Achnashellach is a request stop, and it’s pretty cool on leaving the place having to stick your hand out on the platform :thumbup: (like a taxi) to let the driver know you want to get on.



I only spent the evening in Inverness, time enough to visit the herons at the RSPB nature reserve beside the canal. I did wander into TK Maxx on the Tuesday morning and bought a pair of sunglasses just because it was sunny and I was on holiday. I don’t like fuss/accessories usually (handbags, jewellery, etc.) but the funny thing was that the first discount designer pair I picked up were actually called ‘Janet’ – they were made for me! 8)

1 Inverness Heron.JPG



I stayed with Hilary and Dave at their Achnashellach Station House B&B for two nights because they have a family of four pine martens who visit daily for jam and biscuits, peanuts, and raisins. Hilary and Dave are a lovely couple, very welcoming, and their home is haven; lots of wildlife in their garden which they don’t mind you exploring, and home-cooking (e.g. homegrown gooseberries crumble). Hilary even let me play on her swing :D .

4 Achnashellach Station House B&B.JPG

2 Scratchy the pine marten.JPG

3 Felicity, Scratchy's Mum.JPG

9 Hilary's Swing.JPG

18 Walk About Wheeee.JPG



I had a fantastic day on Thursday walking along the forest track directly behind the Station House. It was a 9-mile circular walk, taking in part of the Coulin Pass as far as Loch Coulin (sat there for ages watching the trout fry), then turning back to follow the path along to the Tea Hut (bothy) and waterfall. I didn’t see another person for most of the walk, and I was chuffed to bits to hear and see my first cuckoo of the year :D .

1 Walk Route.JPG

2 Walk Route.JPG

3 Walk Route.JPG

4 Walk Route.JPG

5 Loch Coulin.JPG

7 The Tea Hut.JPG

8 The Waterfall.JPG



Achnashellach is a fantastic area; it’s so peaceful the noise of birds singing is actually deafening. I will definitely be visiting Hilary and Dave and the pine martens again :D .

7 Janet Sunglasses.JPG

20 Siskin in the Garden.JPG
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby Dannyboy » Mon May 02, 2011 10:37 pm

Nice! You dont normally see half as many animals in a report!
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby kinley » Mon May 02, 2011 10:48 pm

Sounds like my kind of B and B :D

Pine Martens are near the top of my list of favourite animals 8)
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby walk aboot » Mon May 02, 2011 10:57 pm

You and Hazel would be in your element :D .
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby walk aboot » Mon May 02, 2011 10:59 pm

Dannyboy wrote:Nice! You dont normally see half as many animals in a report!


I've posted it here instead of the wildlife section Dannyboy, just to prove to mountainstar and the rest of that cheeky lot that I really did do a walk as well (they wouldn't believe me otherwise) :lol: :lol: :lol: .
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby Milesy » Mon May 02, 2011 11:04 pm

Nice photos. I like the pine marten and the swing whee shots especially 8)
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby mountainstar » Tue May 03, 2011 8:21 am

walk aboot wrote:I've posted it here instead of the wildlife section Dannyboy, just to prove to mountainstar and the rest of that cheeky lot that I really did do a walk as well (they wouldn't believe me otherwise) :lol: :lol: :lol: .


You forgot to thank me for the photo's I sent, that you have posted on this report of the walk to Loch Coulin that you say you did! :o :wink:
PS Them sunglasses look cool on the rock...but do they look cool on you?
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby malky_c » Tue May 03, 2011 11:44 am

Nice one. I love the area around Achnashellach, although if I'm on my way home I'm usually cursing slow drivers at that point rather than keeping an eye out for wildlife :lol:

Nice pine marten photos. Are they normally that tame? I saw one near Cannich last August, but it scarpered long before I had the camera out (and would've looked like a brownish smudge in the distance anyway!)
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby walk aboot » Tue May 03, 2011 12:22 pm

Slow down then, malky_c, it's definitely wildcat country if you ask me (though you'd be extremely lucky to catch sight of one of them) :D .

Hilary and Dave said they are not as shy as people think, although it has taken them a few years to build up their trust (last year was the first time Felicity and Braveheart brought their young, Itchy and Scratchy to visit too).

If you check out the vids they've posted on You Tube (keywords Achnashellach and pine martens) you'll even see them eating jam and biscuits inches from a labrador in the kitchen!
Last edited by walk aboot on Tue May 03, 2011 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby walk aboot » Tue May 03, 2011 12:27 pm

mountainstar wrote:
walk aboot wrote:I've posted it here instead of the wildlife section Dannyboy, just to prove to mountainstar and the rest of that cheeky lot that I really did do a walk as well (they wouldn't believe me otherwise) :lol: :lol: :lol: .


You forgot to thank me for the photo's I sent, that you have posted on this report of the walk to Loch Coulin that you say you did! :o :wink:
PS Them sunglasses look cool on the rock...but do they look cool on you?


:lol: I was there, see...

14 Walk Aboot Foot Stop.JPG


And Janet sunglasses only look cool on Janets 8)
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby iainwatson » Tue May 03, 2011 12:57 pm

brilliant pics janet! :D

wish i had enough time to go off wandering around these kinds of places :(
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby mountainstar » Tue May 03, 2011 1:35 pm

walk aboot wrote:
mountainstar wrote:
walk aboot wrote:I've posted it here instead of the wildlife section Dannyboy, just to prove to mountainstar and the rest of that cheeky lot that I really did do a walk as well (they wouldn't believe me otherwise) :lol: :lol: :lol: .


You forgot to thank me for the photo's I sent, that you have posted on this report of the walk to Loch Coulin that you say you did! :o :wink:
PS Them sunglasses look cool on the rock...but do they look cool on you?


:lol: I was there, see...

14 Walk Aboot Foot Stop.JPG


And Janet sunglasses only look cool on Janets 8)


Could be me with shaved legs? Ermmm :think: ok it was you then :lol:
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Re: Achnashellach Haven with Pine Marten Visitors

Postby walk aboot » Tue May 03, 2011 4:21 pm

Here's the pine martens and labrador vid...



Daft dog's got a snack on it's head :lol: .
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