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Ive 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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Moments in time/ Tears in Rain

Posted Thursday 25th June 2015 at 14:28 by Green Sandpiper
Sorry for the Blade Runner quote....

I sometimes run the risk of being too serious, of being a bit grim- minded, or of over- egging the importance of birding or being 'in the field.' Even the phrase 'in the field' can itself be a tad serious, but it conveys the duality I feel of every time one of us ventures outdoors. We love the outdoors, we love nature, we love immersing ourselves in birds, but we also owe it to nature and to our future selves to look after it. Change is inevitable,...
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Different Class

Posted Sunday 17th May 2015 at 23:22 by Green Sandpiper
I've always had a naive and optimistic/ simplistic view of birders and birding, probably because I operate at a level far below any politics or in-fighting. To me, birding is the great leveller, a passion or activity that unites people across social class- where the wealthy but inexperienced birders will defer to impoverished but expert birder whom they would ordinarily seldom com into contact with.

To a degree, this must remain true- I look at my own local group and close birding...
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Green Sand in Donegal- Inishowen Peninsula

Posted Wednesday 22nd April 2015 at 19:40 by Green Sandpiper
Had 10 days on the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal, which (as I found out) is a key birding area in Ireland, encompassing moors, bogs and sea cliffs, plus a massive sea Lough (Swilly)

Sadly, this was a family holiday, so I couldn't go birding every day. Anyway, with the caveats in place...this was some of the best birding I've ever had, and most of it was done by osmosis- the birds came to me. Over the ten days, got in excess of 70 species, including a dozen or so year ticks, and...
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Life vs Birding- the battle continues

Posted Wednesday 18th March 2015 at 19:37 by Green Sandpiper
I'm a bad man. Not BAD bad, I mean, I'm not expecting to spend time in the jail or anything, but I'm guilty of making false promises.

2015, I vowed, was to be the year where I put my foot down and insisted on birding time, be assertive, assert my rights. It was also, incidentlly, the year where I'd post to this blog more regularly...ahem.

Anyway, now that the year is 3 months old, and I find myself on 102 species, having enjoyed a couple of Big Days Out with some...
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Timing Is Everything- The Butterfly Effect

Posted Friday 30th January 2015 at 01:42 by Green Sandpiper
Its probably true to say that my plans- my birding plans at least- frequently fail, and fail spectacularly. From trying to head East to Musselburgh and ending up on the Clyde Estuary in the West, to planning big days out, and running on average 3 hours late due to liking a long- lie in in the morning, whenever I make out an itenary, then vow to keep it, the birding gods ensure that it will all go horribly wrong. But is this necessarily a bad thing?

A few days ago I finally made...
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