TAC 39 Index
Doug Bell of Penicuik reports that the Pentlands are home to Mystery Big Cats. Sightings are regular: around two each year, mostly around Nine Mile Burn. Such creatures are also rumoured in the north-east - eg the Garioch around and beyond Inverurie has its so-called Beast of Bennachie. Any other sightings or reports would be of interest, and your Ed can start things off, since something very odd was noted during a day last winter on Innerdouny Hill (as opposed to nearby Innerdownie) in the eastern Ochils. With Ken Stewart and Fraser Clark on the Muckle Rig forest track, in deep and quite firm snow, we came across a kilometre's worth of neat deep cat-like tracks, made by some creature which had moved along almost daintily, such that its front and back legs stepped in a very narrow line. The tracks were recent, too, although there was no actual sighting. It wasn't a deer, for sure. A big cat, we reckoned.
But probably not a wolf, although a creature of that ilk has been to Ben Vrackie amongst many other places. Wolf Gruellich of Kippen writes with more info on the Vrackie goats, last discussed in TAC37, p12. The start of their tenure was reckoned to be somewhere between 3/12/89 and 10/10/92, but Wolf is able to narrow the envelope yet further: he saw them on 20/10/91. Another reader claims to have photographs of them (goatographs?) dating from 1990; more on this anon.
A review of Cameron McNeish's The Munro Almanac in issue 18 of Outdoor Pursuits magazine (Oct/Dec 1998, p72), starts: "This third edition of the Munro-badgers' guide details the new list of 285 peaks [sic]." Maybe this isn't simply a typo: Clem Clements, compiler of the Irish TACit Table, is the National Badger Recorder in another life.
And what is to be made of the following, from the snappily titled booklet The Mountain Bothies Association - A Company Limited by Guarantee and not having a Share Capital ? On p6, Article of Association 14 reads simply: "The Seal: The Charity shall not have a seal."
TAC 39 Index