Locked Down In Milngavie

It would not have happened without the Covid-19 pandemic. We would have been travelling further afield, having outings to interesting places in Scotland and beyond, spending time with friends, family and fellow hobbyists. Restricted to local walks from home, we watched the development of one of the most gloriously sunny Springs we can remember. We spent hours with the ‘RSPB Guide to Birdsong’ (book and CD) and steadily our competence in identifying birds from their songs and calls improved.

We created a bird list. Judith had already been trying to establish a habit of noting down the names of birds we saw on walks and, after a faltering start on 23 March (the first day of lockdown), most days she remembered to take the notebook. The bird list grew to an astonishing (to us) 68 species, seen, heard, or (mostly) both between 23 March and 28 May.

It wasn’t just birds of course. Green growth and flowers, mammals and insects made the walks even more delightful and varied. All walks were on foot from our home. We walked upstream by the Allander Water to ramble around Drumclog Woods, we went downstream on the Allander walkway to and beyond the confluence with the Kelvin. We tramped through Lennox Park, over and around Dougalston golf course, round Milngavie reservoirs and the woodlands beside them. We walked all around Mugdock Country Park and across to Dumbrock Loch. We followed the West Highland Way to Craigallion Loch and we made a few trips to Kilmardinny Loch to check on a Tawny Owl nest.

The more we walked, the more we saw. We got to know where some bird species could nearly always be found and we noticed when the different migrants arrived. Perhaps the biggest thrill was finding where pairs nested and being able to follow the progress through brooding to feeding the young. John carried his camera on nearly all the walks, and all the photographs were taken during the lockdown period. Despite the many omissions, we hope you do get a feel for some of the wildlife that can be seen around Milngavie in Spring and that you enjoy looking at some of what we saw during lockdown.

John and Judith Chapman, SOC Clyde members