Creag an Fhithich

Lochan Fuar lies at an altitude of just 110m above Slieldaig in Wester Ross but it’s the dominant crag that overlooks it is the true reason for today’s posting. It’s mapped as Creag an Fhithich and ‘fhithich’ happens to be the name I’ve registered as my internet domain. So I feel a sort of affinity. ‘Fhithich’ is the Gaelic for raven hence Creag an Fhithich translates as Raven Crag. Now I have read that in the Gaelic ‘fhithich’ is pronounced like the sound of the raven (the ‘fh’ is silent) and, according to my RSPB Handbook of British Birds, the voice of the raven is “a hollow sounding ‘kronk’ or a echoing ‘toc'”. To be honest I am none the wiser.

A closer inspection of the O.S. map reveals that curiously the high point left of centre is also named Creag an Fhithich. A double dose then but why two knolls less than a kilometre apart should have the same name is a mystery. Perhaps the early O.S. surveyors after their discussions with the locals were confused as to which was the correct one and named both just to be sure. And I didn’t see one raven.

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