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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 Haunts- Sticking to What You know (pt 2)

Posted Saturday 6th May 2017 at 15:56 by Green Sandpiper
Reasonably flushed with success after my clifftop adventure, I decided to head to Balgavies Loch SWT reserve for Osprey and whatever else I could possibly find. I've been lucky with Osprey, really, since I have only once visited a recognised 'mega- site (och of the Lowes, Loch Garten, etc) and tend to see them in lesser- known places. Balgavies Loch is one such place, with me having visited once before. Unfortunately, actually finding the place remained an issue. I accidentally found Montrose Basin SWT reserve, and asked the very kind volunteer on duty for directions. Having followed these (and gotten lost) I then accidentally found my destination.

It didn't disappoint.

Wonderful view of the osprey on nest and in flight, plus a variety of different woodland birds both on the path and on the hide- front feeders. Siskin, redpoll, bullfinch all showed well in the spring sunshine, then hid away during the spring showers. (its Scotland in April, what do you expect??) A red squirrel feasted on peanuts in a feeder, while a rat eyed it hungrily. The reserve itself is visually beautiful and deserves much more than a flying visit.

Plenty of sand martins swirling high overhead, and finally, a pair of swallows- my first of the year. Satisfied with my day's haul, I set off on the long road back south, with the warm contented feeling of a good day's birding.
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