Southannan sands has been the perfect spot to see swans in recent weeks, writes Calum Corral.

There have been a lot of swans in the bay between Hunterston and Fairlie for a few weeks. This photograph is a sample of the flotilla of 25 that were catching the sun there on a recent Friday afternoon, by our regular contributor George Crawford.

I personally don't recall seeing swans coming to Fairlie in such large numbers, and we can only hope that this will continue.

The swans themselves are very elegant, and it reminds me of the family of geese that have made their home on the north west part of the Isle of Cumbrae for the past two years.

However, while there was a family of five, one of the geese has sadly gone missing since the turn of the year. They have become something of a tourist attraction, with cyclists, joggers, and even the local bus driver, having to stop on occasion to allow the gaggle to safely pass on by!

Another thing that I have noticed while on my travels is the sheer amount of rabbits which seem to be multiplying. I am sure there is an old saying in relation to this, which just escapes my mind at present!

When walking up to Fairlie' leafy Castlepark Gardens, it is difficult not to see around a dozen rabbits, either in the old Fairlie Primary School grounds, or in the swing park, or disappearing into a hedge.

The same applies in Millport at West Bay point, and quite often when cycling around the island, I am joined by a scurrying rabbit or two!

The bird life around Cumbrae always makes for impressive viewing, whether on the coast, or up above, and walking up to the Glaidstone area, where you are really treated to an amazing perspective of the surrounding coastlines of Largs, Bute, and further up the Clyde towards Greenock and Dunoon.

On one occasion recently, I was admiring these very views, when I spotted the unusual sight of not one, or two, but three buzzards all drifting in the air up above.

Of course, the horrible weather of recent weeks, including Storm Abigail, has made pleasant walks into the countryside a bit less appealing, although I like to go out in all weathers, to see what has changed, be it high tides, or trees taken down in the storms, there is always some dramatic displacement which catches the eye.

A walk I had planned while in Millport on Remembrance Sunday was curtailed by the weather. So, I went along to the Remembrance parade, during howling gales. with waves crashing off the shore, and on to the road, as the parade was taking place along Guildford Street.

I was very proud of the Millport British Legion, who performed their parade through the torrential rain. They were trying conditions but well attended, and nothing was going to stop them!