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Wildlife spotting on An Sochar Braemar

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:58 pm
by desmondo1

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Today’s outing was a single Munro, An Socach 944m.
The morning was already hot when we started the walk at Glen Clunie.

Sgor Mor ahead
Already the hills looking fantastic 1st in view Sgor Mor looks imposing but ours is higher still.
We were looking for an easier day and this route gives a long walk up the glen on a stalkers track, gradually gaining height. The waters of the Baddoch Burn are fairly low but still babbling away at times. This burn is a significant site of scientific research as can be seen from the monitoring equipment dotted about.
This is a very pleasant 3 mile walk taking in the views and the birds; oystercatcher; curlew; lapwing; crossbill.

Cracking skies
The skies were amazing with super cloud formations that were constantly changing sadly i do not what to call them.

never ending track
The track constantly twists and turns, seemingly endlessly at times, but we are gaining height.

An Socach ahead
By the time we headed up the ATV track we were already at 600m. As we headed for the steeper climb a sizeable deer herd was seen coming our way until they spotted us and held their ground. On the slopes to our right another small herd, I wonder if they were trying to join them. Quite a few hares around again.

Highest point over there
Upwards on a narrow track the steepest climb brings you out onto a huge plateau. We head south (left) across very stony ground for a kilometre or so to reach the highest point.

Six metres less up there
Absolutely superb all round views of all the tops we have climbed so far. The Cairngorms, The Cairnwell range, even Mount Keen. Down below Glen Ey and its hills with their patchwork coverings.

Sgor Mor on left
Back along the ridge to the other cairn, 6 metres lower, before starting our descent.

They have spotted us
As we descend some of the deer can be seen cooling on a snow patch in Coire Fhearneasg before running off when they spotted us.

Going down
The descent route is another ascent option but much steeper, better our route.
When we joined the track at the burn an adder was sunning itself on the stones. My first sighting for a few years.

Back along the track as the sun continues to beat down.
Another superb walk and the wildlife sightings helped make the day. Although 3 days full walking and not one raptor spotted, makes one wonder.

Re: Wildlife spotting on An Sochar Braemar

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:52 pm
by Phil the Hill
I was up there the previous day, but just went up and down via the Top. Your route looks a bit more interesting.

You did better than me for wildlife, though my friend spent the day exploring lower down and got dive-bombed by ring ouzels. I didn't see any raptors all week.

Re: Wildlife spotting on An Sochar Braemar

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:52 pm
by EmmaKTunskeen
What a tempting report, and great adder pic! How odd, as you say, to see no raptors, especially with so much food around and great soaring and spotting weather. Thank you for the inspiration - your route's on the to do list :D

Re: Wildlife spotting on An Sochar Braemar

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:24 pm
by desmondo1
Thanks for the replies over the 5 days we did not see a single raptor. On our way down the steep descent a deer carcass was lying at the path good or bad food on this estate?
Glad to hear about the ouzels we were buzzed by lapwings and oystercatchers on walk in but missed those. We did get a pair of dotterel elsewhere nice as rare.
A good walk for our 'day off'!