Friday, 1 April 2011

A Job Well Done

A small but happy group of willing volunteers strolled along the River Nairn, enjoying the balmy warmth of the spring sunshine - collecting bags and bags of rubbish left by folk that forgot the countryside idiom of 'only leave your footprints behind!'. 

The group, led by Therese,  tries to cover the stretch of river from the Jubilee Bridge to the Merryton Bridge at least once a year; and this year collecting much less than last year; so hopefully a sign that people are dropping less litter. In fact they met several peopl who said they collect litter on a daily basis as they walk their dog.

As always on a walk like this it is worth keeping an eye and ear out for the birds, and at this time of year the resident birds are making themselves known before the migrants come to nest.  There were Wrens bellowing out their warbling song (how can such a small bird make such a loud and powerful noise!) and a Song Thrush high up on top of one of the trees chirping its repetitive, but musically beautiful and resonant song.  Then a flock Goldfinches surrounded us, making a scratchy, twittering racket above our heads; beautiful birds though, and the song is quite nice really!  There were Chaffinches everywhere, competing for ground by singing their hearts out and, Blackbirds alarming as they fly close to our heads and into the bushes.

And it's always a treat when you hear the Long Tail Tits overhead - and this one was closely followed by a Blue Tit, clinging on sideways!

One bird flummoxed me though!  It was singing clearly and close by, but I just couldn't see it!  I can identify most of the more common residents by song or call; but this one was not stored in my memory banks!  I'm going back down tomorrow to see if it returns; and this time hopefully in full view!

There was no sign of the Dippers today, but plenty of really good views of the pair of Goosanders as they slowly paddled up and down the river, diving occasionally for a snack.  In the picture alongside they were on a small embankment, giving a different view than usual. They also flew up river giving Kate some great views of their plumage.

On the final leg of the walk a Heron was spotted among the trees on the embankment.  It looked a bit bedraggled, so had probably just finished fishing.
A really worthwhile excercise, enhanced by the beautiful weather and the wildlife.  And a special thanks to Sarah who is visiting from Switzerland and heading down south next week - good luck and we hope to see you back soon.



  1. well done on your efforts, good to see the weather was kind to you, as i was working on that day i could not get along, perhaps the next time.
    all the best

  2. A good job, Well done ! I try to keep the area clear on the west side between merryton and bailey bridge.The more people who don't tolerate litter the better.

  3. Thanks to both of you. It does seem to be up to those of us that care about our surroundings to clear up after those that don't! And maybe the less litter there is, the more people will take care to keep it tidy (well, we can hope can't we!).

    PS - a friend of mine has spotted Swallows - let me know when you see them.

  4. Lots of Sand Martins flying around at the Merryton
    Bridge area today.

  5. Thanks Jingle - I'm rushing down there now!