A trip to Easter Ross. Rogie Falls & Tollie Red Kites

The plan on Tuesday was to walk the Shenavall Circuit, a walk we have been longing to do for some time but never quite got around to it. Monday night was spent preparing our pack lunch, packing the rucksack, charging the camera battery & checking the weather reports which were forecasting a dry day with patchy cloud but alas we woke to very low cloud & drizzle boo! Not the weather for admiring the dramatic scenery of An Teallach & the Fisherfield Forest.

So to Plan B.

We decided to head further east to see if the weather was any better over there. Rogie falls on the beautiful Black Water river just outside Garve on the A835 is somewhere that we have driven past many times but never visited, so we thought after the recent snow that dusted the area for just a few days, the river levels would be fairly high.

We weren’t disappointed. The river was very high & the water thundered over the rocks. The trees were soaked from the spray & the noise was incredible, it was all very impressive.

The spot is a well know place for watching wild salmon leap up the ladder during August & September. The suspension bridge hangs directly over the falls & the salmon ladder so it’s a great viewing platform. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a salmon if the river is this fierce during the spawning season.

From the waterfall there are several different tracks heading through the forest. This time we decided to follow our nose (which doesn’t always work) heading in the general direction of  Contin. This took us through the Torrachilty Forest. There are numerous routes running through the forest that are suitable for walkers and mountain bikers alike and its a great location managed by the Forestry Commission.

On  route to Contin we stumbled across Loch na Crann a beautiful wee lochan that was so secluded that it acted like a mirror lake. It was the only time of the day that the sun decided to pop its head out so we were really lucky with our timing. There was also a slight mist hanging over the water which gave it a really atmospheric feeling. We could have spent more time there but we had Charlie, our working cocker spaniel with us, who can’t sit still for more than a couple of minutes so we had to keep moving- or get barked at!!

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Having spent a good 4 hours exploring the woods we decided to take the short 10 minute drive up the road to Tollie to see if the red kites were about. Unfortunately our timing was slightly askew & we arrived half an hour after the RSPB warden had put some food out for them. Apparently it was quite an impressive show with 10 kites coming down to feed. It’s a shame we hadn’t arrived sooner. We weren’t to be wholly disappointed though as 2 were still sitting in the trees close by. No doubt digesting their lunch or rubbing it in for 2 late arrivals! We will certainly return but on the next occasion we will make sure that we arrive before feeding time.

 

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Whilst leaving Tollie we came across this handsome gent posing for us. He was too busy calling out to the ladies to be the least bit bothered by us.

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We had a great day out. Its only 1 hour from the house and is certainly an area to explore again. Next time the weather is brighter on the East side we will no doubt head off again to explore some more of what Contin & Tollie has to offer.

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