There is a rush-filled rough pasture on the lower slopes of the Ochils that I frequent on some of my early morning walks, and on most occasions, roe deer are glimpsed as they bound away, the tell-tale flashes of their fleeing white rumps being easy to detect in the rising light of dawn.

Typically, a group of retreating roes will stop after a hundred yards or so to take one final look at the person that disturbed their grazing – a natural curiosity they seem unable to contain.

Stoats do the same. One will quickly scoot into the sheltered confines of a drystone dyke or other crevice if disturbed by a walker.

But if you wait a minute or two, the stoat just can't resist the temptation to come out of its hidey-hole to have a quick peek at what panicked it in the first place.

Curiosity killed the cat, but perhaps the same adage can be applied to roe deer and stoats.

Roes are common, and most woodland in Clackmannanshire will hold at least a few animals and their presence is easily detected by looking out for their narrow paths.

Roes are creatures of habit and like to use the same trails night after night that will lead to feeding areas in surrounding fields.

Unlike the red deer that congregates in herds, roe deer are usually found in ones or twos or small groups.

In summer, some animals venture out onto more open areas of the Ochils, far away from trees.

Another creature I commonly see during my early-morning walks in this Ochils pasture are kestrels.

The area is perfect for these delightful little falcons because the field is scattered with mature trees, which provide perfect hunting perches, as well as places to nest.

Field voles abound in amongst the grassy tussocks, and in summer, worms and insects will also be preyed upon.

Beauty and elegance are terms appropriate for so much of our wildlife, but for me, the kestrel transcends all others when it comes to poise and polish.

The male is especially beautiful, with his slate-grey head and tail, combined with wonderful soft-brown back.

But it is the lines, the sleek body lines that really draw the breath away; so slim and beautifully proportioned, with wings folded over back in impeccable symmetry.

It is as if some architect of nature had designed the consummate creature, such is the perfection of the kestrel.