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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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Old Year/ New Year

Posted Saturday 3rd January 2015 at 18:58 by Green Sandpiper
First resolution- start posting to my blog more regularly!! I have loads to say, honestly, but never get round to saying it.

Anyway, thats my pledge formally made.

What a year 2014 was. I remember last January setting my goals to have a 'good' year, with new species, new places, and immersing myself in birding life. Not a twitch- fest, but to maximise my birding.

Well, I think I succeeded. 14 new lifers, my first trip to a seacliff (scary!) my first...
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Putting the Twit into Twitch

Posted Tuesday 14th October 2014 at 22:14 by Green Sandpiper
I've said it before- I'm not a twitcher. There are many reasons for this- the impracticalities of having a full time job and exceedingly- full time family mean any non- local birding I do has to be on my designated 'birding' days.

More than this, though, is that I prefer birding in context- if I want to see a rare bird, I prefer to see it in its natural environment, not exhausted, disoriented and blown off course by a gale. Added to the expense involved and the horror stories...
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Green Sand's Big Day- Ryder Cup Special

Posted Monday 6th October 2014 at 20:05 by Green Sandpiper
First things first- I hate golf. Despise it, it provokes homicidal rage in me. Mark Twain called it a good walk wasted, but her was being too gentlemanly. Boring, elitist, environmentally- destructive- its a 'sport' that won't last a day when i become world emperor.

Whats this to do with a big day out? Well, my first big day out since July was scheduled to be to Loch of Strathbeg and its environs. I had printed the birdtrack lists, I had checked the tide times (that should have...
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Green Sandpiper in Musselburgh

Posted Friday 5th September 2014 at 21:17 by Green Sandpiper
Sometimes, the best birding involves not just the ticks you gather during a productive day in the field, nor just immersing oneself in birding spectacles. Sometimes, the two come together to offer something close to birding perfection.

Got an unexpected bonus on Sunday that allowed the birding stars to align in my favour. Boss Chick decided to be kind to me and let me have my car. No sooner had she uttered these words, than I was on the M8 heading East. I vaguely herd some instruction...
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Old

Green Sandpiper's Mid- Year Report 2014

Posted Friday 8th August 2014 at 23:57 by Green Sandpiper
a bit later with this than expected, but as its the quiet season for birds, now's as good a time as any.

I set out this year to have a 'good year', not a big year as such, with lots of chasing about the country twitching, but expanding my horizons, working on lifer ticks of ordinary species, immersing myself in birdlife, really, seeking the best of both worlds.

So far, i'd say that the year has been a roaring success. 11 lifers, plus a dozen or so unexpected year ticks...
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