IT IS INCREDIBLE the difference a few weeks make.

The banksides of the tarmacked walk between Tillicoultry and Dollar now lush and verdant, whereas only a short while ago they were bare and empty.

It is the power of the seasons, the lengthening days and strengthening sun, and as I make my way along the track, I spot the brilliant yellow flowers of leopard’s-bane, the subtle russet of water avens and the gentle lime-green of lady’s mantle.

But it is the noise of the warblers that really catches the senses; a wonderful cacophony of different notes and phrases.

The blackcap stands head and shoulders above the rest; a song of astonishing intensity and depth, which is why the bird is sometimes dubbed ‘the northern nightingale’.

But trying to see one is a different matter altogether, as they are the ultimate skulkers, delivering their music from deep within the leafy confines of hawthorns and other bushes.

Whitethroats are also very much in evidence at the moment, their song a scratchy warble. They just adore bramble thickets to hide their nests and there seem to be good numbers around this year in this part of Clackmannanshire.

On parts of this walk that skirt close to the River Devon, the rattling songs of sedge warblers also drift across the air.

Chiffchaffs and willow warblers are omnipresent, too. The chiffchaff has a repetitive two-note call, which lends the bird its name.

In Germany it is known as the ‘zilpzalp’ and in Holland the ‘tjiftjaf’.

The willow warbler, on the other hand, has a truly fabulous song, rising in pitch and then descending in a sweet cascade of notes

The 18th century ornithologist Thomas Bewick referred to the willow warbler as ‘the liquid-noted willow wren’, whilst the naturalist John Burroughs described the song as a ‘tender delicious warble’ that ‘expires upon the air in a gentle murmur’.