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Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig


Postby RicKamila » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:57 am

Route description: Ben Tianavaig, Braes

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ben Tianavaig

Date walked: 01/10/2012

Time taken: 2.5 hours

Distance: 5.6 km

Ascent: 399m

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Ever since we have been visiting Skye, we have always wanted to climb Ben Tianavaig. We imagined the view across Portree Harbour to be something special. This walk wasn't going to disappoint.

We parked at the beach where there is room for 4 or 5 cars and were getting ready to go when Rick realised that his jacket was still hanging up in the cottage. Fortunately it was only a 30 minute return journey to fetch it and we finally set off around 1130am.

Walking up the road towards a post box, we carried on up a driveway and turned off at the path with the small sign marked Hill Path. You have to jump to get up the small hill and ditch, but once over we climbed along a small path lined with Rowan Trees. We went through a couple of gates and eventually turned to the right and started heading along the edge of the hill, gaining height quite quickly. The views of the bay below and the Cuillins straight ahead, with rain clouds lingering around them looked quite spectacular.

01.JPG
The path to the left heads up hill

02.JPG

03.JPG
Cuillins in the mist


We walked past two tors before beginning the climb towards the summit by the third and last one. It was quite easy to find a way up as there is a single person path right through the heather. Eventually we reached the edge of the cliffs, with splendid views of Raasay right in front of us.

04.JPG
The climb begins

05.JPG


The path heads out onto open moorland, with cliffs on the right, and we set a course straight up to the trig point, which we could see easily the higher we got. The Cuillin clouds were getting closer to us, so we stopped and got dressed up for winter, (jacket, waterproofs, beanie, gloves), and carried on. The wind was bitterly cold by now, blowing across the water from the Cuillins.

06.JPG
The trig point appears

07.JPG
Here comes the rain


We reached the summit and as we did, the heavens opened and driving rain hit us from behind. We seeked shelter behind the trig point, there is a lower bit which offered protection, and grabbed a bite to eat as the rain came and went and the cloud started forming around the summit.

As if by magic, the cloud then lifted and the sun came out and bathed Portree in light, allowing for some photos of the Island capital. As Rick was taking the photos we heard a commotion in the skies and saw two birds fighting. A third bird joined in and we realised that we were witnessing a Sea Eagle chasing a Golden Eagle, which then became the hunted as a second Golden Eagle joined in and chased the Sea Eagle away. The two Golden Eagles then headed across the water towards Raasay, but must have seen us and turned back and put on a show for us flying right over our heads and gliding gracefully around the hill.

08.JPG
Portree


Getting photos in the wind was hard, but Rick snapped away hoping for some to turn out.

09.JPG
One of the Eagles

10.JPG
And the other one

11.JPG
This one circled us quite close by


Looking back towards the Cuillins, we saw the next rain band sweeping in, and raced back down the hill in record time. The rain was pelting us all the way down, it actually hurt. As we got back to the Rowan Trees, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Back at the car park, as we were changing, our Golden Eagle friends put on a show for us again. Wonderful birds indeed.

12.JPG
As Annie once sang, here comes the rain again
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RicKamila
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:22 am

Fantastic views for minimum effort on that Hill. Must be one of the best sub 2000 hill there is.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby RicKamila » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:30 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Fantastic views for minimum effort on that Hill. Must be one of the best sub 2000 hill there is.


Indeed, although Brimmond Hill in Aberdeen is even less effort for a magnificent view of Aberdeen and Bennachie.
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RicKamila
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:13 pm

The wee Sub2ks allways make great viewpoints, i for one think they're great for short days out and just as satisfying as climber the bigger ones. :D
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Johnny Corbett
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby litljortindan » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:21 pm

Can't imagine that the encounter with the eagles is a very common occurrence and what a setting to see it in. The inclement weather has yielded some good phtographs for you too so you must have great memories of this walk and cold and painful rain somehow makes for a more evocative report than plain old sunshine!
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litljortindan
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby RicKamila » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:28 am

litljortindan wrote:Can't imagine that the encounter with the eagles is a very common occurrence and what a setting to see it in. The inclement weather has yielded some good phtographs for you too so you must have great memories of this walk and cold and painful rain somehow makes for a more evocative report than plain old sunshine!


This was one of the best walks ever. The rain was pelting us on the summit, then it cleared to provide some amazing views. The Eagles were amazing too. Brings a smile to our faces just thinking about it.
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RicKamila
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:42 pm

Brilliant photies. You could see my croft from there, and the house I used to live in, in Portree. Ah, the homeland... I am currently off the coast of Israel, and pinin' for the fjords somethin' terrible....
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Caberfeidh
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby David-Main » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:13 pm

Great to see the golden eagles Rik and a sea eagle, fantastic birds :clap:
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David-Main
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby Jojo » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:28 pm

Fantastic pictures. We were up there today but the cloud was down low over the higher hills. We saw what we didn't dare hope could be eagles but having seen your post I'm now more optimistic. They were a good distance away . We did see Red Kites , however, so that was a real treat. Even saw one at the foot of Glamaig as we were driving home :D
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Re: Golden Eagles on Ben Tianavaig

Postby KatTai » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:26 pm

Don't want to disappoint you, but your first photo looks very much like a raven to me rather than an eagle.

That aside, great report! Looks like an amazing walk with stunning views!
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