A spring walk

A wren calls from somewhere, as yet unseen. It seems to be yelling at me to pay attention and I eventually spot it, on a little branch shouting with all its tiny might. A loud voice for one so small.

Then there is the drone of a bee, a queen most likely. She buzzes away out of eye and ear shot, on a mission to bulk up and find a nice cavity to lay her first clutch of eggs.

Oh, and there it is, the sound of spring: chiff chaff chiff chaff high above me. The little brown warbler announces the warm weather to come (but we all know Scottish summers so don’t get your hopes up yet!). It flits between the trees never settling for long.

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chiffchaff in a tree

By the pond’s edge, hiding on the reeds, a stonechat waits. For a moment, she seems to look directly at me.

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female stonechat on the top of a reed

Then she zooms off quickly replaced by what I can only assume is her partner. He is much less patient and pauses for only a second before following her.

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male stonechat hiding in the reeds

Two roe deer munch on the grass. The female is on high alert, her dish ears swivelling at the smallest sound. The male has decided winter is over – his velvet is gone, leaving his antlers sore looking. Soon they will harden up though before he loses them completely in October.

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roe deer snuffling in the grass - the male's antlers look red and raw

Words and pictures by Marianne Nicholson

Feature image is of a wren with its beak wide open in a tree

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