We have a six-year-old and a nine-year-old, both of whom have become obsessed by birds.

This is great, not only for the way it allows them to learn about the environment, habitat etc but it also gets them to enjoy my number one passion – walking in the outdoors.

The recent sunny weather took me and the nine-year-old to the RSPB’s Loch Leven reserve near Kinross where for me the lapwings with their swooping dance and strange call are the highlight. But as we made our way along the hides it became apparent the number of species was important for my daughter. It seems her enthusiasm was fuelled by a desire to beat the tally of her younger brother who had been a few weeks earlier.

But as we took break for a snack and sat looking up at Vane Hill I explained how a peregrine falcon might hunt around that part of the reserve. All thoughts of tallies ended and off we went, up the path to the top. The view was excellent but the peregrine was absent. No matter, we enjoyed the birch woods and maybe a little sub-conscious lesson had been learned – ticking off species is good but trying to find a particular one is just as much fun, even if you don’t see it.

 

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