To the unassuming visitor with an untrained ear - the sound of an ear piercing approaching fighter jet can cause quite a stir and literally 'stop you dead in your tracks' I have heard this sound often in various parts of Scotland especially the empty Highlands so the thunderous noise only reminded me to look up and catch a picture of the jet as it came noisily and left in seconds. The jets and their RAF Pilots regularly train in this area - the terrain is perfect for their training missions as they buzz the Dornoch Firth. I won't say where they are stationed - The Ministry for Defense may not like a mention here on VT but I can say they are not in Sutherland!!! Not surprisingly the locals are not always happy with the constant interruptions from these low flyer's.
All year round there are complaints from the locals about the low flying aircraft practising bombing on Tain Range.
The sound can be most annoying, and even scaring to those unprepared for it. The planes come hurtling down the firth, over the Dornoch Bridge on their way to Tain bombing range.
The Dornoch Bridge has made a tremendous difference to the life of the north of Scotland. Before the bridge was built it entailed a long drive round the Dornoch Firth via Ardgay and Bonar Bridge.
The new bridge crosses the firth near the Old Meikle Ferry railway station. But, when there is a strong wind the bridge may be closed. The force of the wind as it whistles down the firth could be dangerous.
At nearby Meikle Ferry point one winter a boat weighing several tons, and a caravan were lifted bodily and crashed down several yards away.
So beware when there is a gale forecast. Better then to take the long way round.