Cold,cloudy with some rain and sleet late in the afternoon and yet some things appear farther advanced than in the supposed milder west!! Despite snow still being on the tops of the surrounding hills spring actually seemed to be in full swing except for the appearance of flowers. Whilst where I am ( west of Inverness and near Beauly ) is within a varied landscape bordering the Beauly Firth, the amount of birdsong in the woods and general countryside was both staggering and uplifting this morning. Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Robin, Chaffinch, and even an early Yellowhammer were all in good heart and the calls of Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Greenfinch and Tree Sparrow all rang out from the adjacent woodland and hedgerows. I'm afraid all birding rested on aural confirmations given such was being challenged by my ineffective handling skills of two collies being walked!! I was rather relieved the area is very quiet and my inadequate efforts weren't being witnessed! The youngest, at eight months, could be an apt contender for the World's Strongest Dog competition given his pulling ability that was certainly better than that of his supposed human "controller".
Over late morning and into the afternoon I had the pleasure of being visited by David Spivack and his wife, Amanda. David and I worked together for many years at the RSPB ( he still does ) and an appreciable amount of coffee was drunk and stories exchanged!! Good times!