Walking and surveying, surveying and walking.
It feels good, after a winter spent looking out through windows, it feels good to go out and to feel the cold, and the sun and the wind and the rain. Yeah, it feels really good.
The past fortnight has been a good one, surveying has been wonderful. Great landscape, with many wonderful little habits of secret lives there to be spotted. It was there in the otter footprint, in the goldfinches fighting, in the wren singing. How is it that such a tiny creature can have such a massive voice?
In a friend's garden, in the middle of Glasgow, we saw a wren. She jumped with joy for it was her that enabled the wren to be there. She who planted the plants that made the habitat. That brought the hoverflies and the beetles. When she first arrived in the flat, the only avian visitors had been pigeons and magpies, now with the return of the wren it felt like something was spreading.
During the surveying, I saw a pair of long-tailed tits gathering nesting material. One had long filaments of fine grass in it's beak; the other, some mosses. It was a lovely moment, to imagine these items going in to form one of the most incredibly beautiful nests. I've never been lucky enough to have seen one myself, but I like that there's a whole lot of magic still out there to be discovered, or not.
I saw a grey wagtail pair doing the same. The river they were on was slow moving, and it was where tree roots were growing down a rock face and ivy was growing up that they were building. It was hard to tell what plant was which from a distance, and they disappeared in amongst roots and rocks with their bounty. It was the movement that caught my eye. Something moved, I focused, and it was a couple of birds. That flash of yellow had made my mind up before I even picked up my bins, but the binoculars confirmed my first thought: grey wagtails. I've only seen them once before, in Glen Cannich on a mountain burn. Then, as now, I was entranced. They were so busy with their task - collecting moss - and they were building in such a supremely safe place, that they were not bothered by my presence on the other side of the river at all.
It feels like everything is building just now. Growing and building and creating new life and new lives. I feel like that for myself personally, and being out surveying again gives me a wonderful sense of hopefulness. Where I was, there was an extraordinary amount of rubbish clogging up the grass verges, in the hedges, in the rivers, but still there was life and it was impossible to feel too disappointed when everything else seemed to be going so well! Life prevails, no matter what.
Hope you all have a lovely easter break and enjoy the sunshine!!!