A WALK along a path by Alva brought a musical extravaganza of warbler song, which halted me in my tracks as I savoured the various fluty notes.

Warblers are small spring and summer visiting birds and several different varieties visit Clackmannanshire, including the blackcap, which delivers the most incredible burst of music.

It is nigh-on impossible to give a true insight into the beauty of the song through the written word, but suffice to say the melody of the blackcap has a volume and richness that few other birds can match.

It is delivered with a quite startling boldness; there is no gentle warm up or soft introductory tones, but instead a short blast of high intensity music.

The garden warbler has a similar fluty song but is mellower with softer undertones.

The garden warbler is one of our more secretive birds, a relatively frequent summer visitor, yet preferring to keep under cover where its undistinguished brown plumage aids in its perennial concealment.

These mysterious birds seldom stay still and are always on the move as they slip through thick tangles of vegetation.

Other warblers were making their presence felt too, including whitethroats and sedge warblers.

Both species have rather scratchy songs, but which nonetheless have a beguiling quality that never fails to enthral.

Willow warblers are also in full flow at the moment, their cascading songs one of the wonderful hallmarks of spring and early summer, and chiffchaffs are similarly making their presence felt.

Some might maintain that the uncomplicated and repetitive 'chiff-chaff' couplet is monotonous and fails to inspire, but, to many, it has a simple, hewn from the rock quality.

'Chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff' is an uncomplicated call yet with a beguiling appeal - a song that encapsulates the very essence of nature.

Down by the River Devon, good numbers of grasshopper warblers have turned up this year.

They are fickle birds, and in some years there can be several singing males in the thickets close to the river, yet in others they are totally absent.

The grasshopper warbler has a most unusual song, which is somewhat akin to the noise of a fishing line being drawn out from a reel.

They often start reeling well after sunset and in a good grasshopper warbler year I often hear them on warm evenings when out fly-fishing in the diminishing twilight.