IT WAS just before dawn and as I quietly made my way along the track from Cambus to the mouth of the River Devon, where it spills into the Forth, the water surged and rippled from ducks feeding busily in the shallows.

There were good numbers of teal and goldeneye ducks about, and a group of goosanders fished close to the weir. A heron sat hunched by the river's edge, carefully scrutinising the tidal margin for an eel or flounder to pounce upon.

But I had come to see geese, for I knew that as the emerging light gradually took hold, they would start flighting out from their nearby roosting sites on their daily commute to their feeding grounds in the fields of central Scotland.

I didn't have long to wait; a honking noise from the far bank of the river, faint at first but becoming rapidly louder, and then there they were, a low-flying v-shaped formation of greylag geese sweeping right above the Cambus Pools, calling excitedly all the time. Dawn had broken, nature had woken.

As I watched the geese fly into the distance, the winnowing call of moorhens floated across from the Cambus Pools, a Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) reserve.

SWT has done a great job in reinvigorating this special place in recent times, having cleared encroaching reeds, thus creating more open water that is ideal for waterfowl and waders.

New cattle handling facilities have also been installed, so that the grassland can be grazed, helping the meadows buzz with abundant insect life during the warmer summer months.

The results have been most encouraging, with birds such as water rails now well established on the reserve, and the new areas of open water creating rich feeding places for bats.

It all goes to show that with a little helping hand, nature can benefit in so many ways. The natural oasis of the Cambus Pools is now an even better place for wildlife - and what is good for nature, is ultimately good for us too.