We had a lovely walk today. We originally tried to get to Wester Craiglockart Hill, which is renowned for its unspoiled grassland meadows, but although we had once accidentally found ourselves on Wester Craiglockart Hill, today we couldn't find a proper path up from where we were, so we walked up the road to Craiglockart Pond. The pond is beautifully fringed with reeds and water plants that hide large numbers of young waterbirds. A pair of moorhens had raised 8 young and a pair of swans had raised that number too, the cygnets being adolecents now. One of the moorhen parents came out of the water and showed us its beautiful yellow legs with red knees and the odd looking greenish feet. We didn't take a photo as we were too engrossed in the bird's dance and didn't want to scare it by moving too much.
We then walked round Easter Craiglockart Nature Trail which passes through some lovely woodland and up on to some open land, some of which is scattered with gorse bushes, some of which has become gold courses. We saw several rabbits hiding in gorse tunnels. Then we noticed a tiny toad clambering through the rain drenched grass. Then another. And another! There were quiet a lot of tiny toads in that grass and no nearby water body to account for that number. We think they must have come from Craiglockart Pond and clambered up a steep wooded hill and through the gorse to get to where they were.
We walked home along the Union Canal, which is at the moment a wonderful riot of colour with meadowsweet, great hairy willowherb , tufted vetch and various other flowers all in bloom and full of bees. We counted at least three species of bumble bees plus a couple of honey bees. Hoverflies and a few moths too.