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I’ve lived in Lanarkshire all of my 40 years, and in that time I have seen my local area change beyond all recognition, and definitely not for the better. From the appearance of massive identikit housing estates where rolling fields once rang to the song of yellowhammers, the inexorable process of urbanisation goes on as the local authorities undertake a concerted effort to eradicate every sign of nature- or so it seems. The nature- filled halcyon days of my childhood are a swiftly receding memory, replaced by the creeping horror of what is replacing them. Its important, I think, to highlight what we, as nature lovers in general and bird lovers in particular, still have, for the moment at least.
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A year on the up

Posted Sunday 7th April 2013 at 20:20 by Green Sandpiper
Can't believe its been a month since I last posted, and looking back, its been a month of surprises and improvements. After a slow start to the year, with more lowpoints than highlights, March saw me regain some of the luck that had deserted me, and more importantly regain some of my appreciation of the simpler things.

Bird life should always be more important than bird lists, and I've been guilty of letting my slow start to the year affect my love and wonder of birds in general.

Managed to not only get out birding more, to different places (albeit some of them more than once- they aren't different then?) just by being out more the ticks fell into place. I'm not a twitcher (although like many non- twitchers I will twitch if I think its worth it) so just being out in the open air, birding is what really makes me tick as a birder.

Whether travelling to the coast, surveying my local patch, or even just watching goldfinches squabbling in my garden, I've re- learned to immerse myself in the wonder of birds. To revel in the smallest details of what they do- the wonder of a gull preening itself on a rock as a wave crashes in, to a siskin fighting a chaffinch for a space on the feeder.

Take last weekend. I was let off the leash by Mrs Sandpiper to get some birding in. 7 year ticks, in 4 days, over 6 sites. Hours birding on the west and East coast, up snow- covered hills in Lanarkshire, and wandering aimlessly around my local patch. This was my type of birding. The sheer unadulterated joy of being out birding, taking in everything that was going on, being part of it. This wasn't only bird life...this was Bird Living!!!
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