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Iíve 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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Storytelling

Posted Tuesday 15th October 2013 at 21:50 by Green Sandpiper
Iíve mentioned before that birding seems a solitary passion, but one which is best enjoyed in company. I can see 2 parts of this- firstly, the serious stuff about giving and gaining experience and tips from our more experienced peers (who hasnít benefitted from being in a hide with some experienced birder, normally bearded, who puts you onto a bird, or passes on some ID tips gained from a lifetime of huddling in cold hides) but also less obviously from the wealth of humorous tales and anecdotes,...
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Half a twitcher

Posted Tuesday 10th September 2013 at 03:52 by Green Sandpiper
I may have mentioned before, but I'm not a twitcher. I don't have the time or money to zoom off across the country looking for lost birds, especially when there are so many birds locally that i've still to see.

However. And there's always a however.....

The pectoral sandpiper which appeared in the east end of Glasgow last week proved too tempting for me. Through the wonders of Google maps I managed to find FRankfield loch, ironically less than a mile from one of...
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Being At Home With Birds

Posted Tuesday 27th August 2013 at 22:37 by Green Sandpiper
I've been impressed by the message behind the RSPB's ongoing campaign to 'give birds a home.' Much of the debate surrounding it and the television adverts has polarised opinion, and I can see both sides of the argument.

But the campaign itself got me thinking, again, of what birding gives to me. I may be giving birds a home, but I also get a lot back. Maybe its some primordial instinct to be out in the wild, whilst there's some wild places left, but being outside increasingly seems...
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Appreciate the unexpected

Posted Monday 19th August 2013 at 18:28 by Green Sandpiper
Went to Baron's Hugh last week, fully intending to tick a Green Sandpiper, hopefully to get a kingfisher. Determined that I wouldn't leave the reserve until i connected with my namesake. Managed it after 5 minutes, then with the pressure off, was able to relax and enjy my birding.

The reserve itself was being prepared for the migrant wader season, with the water level being lowered through a sluice. The famiy of mute swans had successfully reared 5 good- sized cygnets, a great...
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Holiday time in Cornwall

Posted Monday 5th August 2013 at 23:27 by Green Sandpiper
It was great to be away, but now that I've had a day at work and it seems like I've never been away at all, I've got the chance to report on the birding opportunities I had whilst away.

Firstly, the caveats. This was a family holiday, so any birding was of the accidental/ surreptitious variety. in saying that, its Cornwall, its the seaside, and its summer, so it was hardly a weekend shoe- shopping at Braehead.

Stayed at our usual caravan site, Tehidy Holiday Park,...
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