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The Independent

Tales from the Trees: Ancient stirrings on the trail of Scotland's shyest bird

April 14, 2013

Dawn blooms and stirs the trees of Abernethy Forest into life. This far north, winter still battles spring for the primeval ground. Mist hangs between incalculable ranks of pines; silver light spills and glimmers over a deep carpet of green moss, russet blaeberry and frost-tipped ling. A waist-high ants' nest bubbles from the ground. From the corner of my eye, a pine bough appears to ripple as a red squirrel skitters along. Then the birds strike up: coal tits, a greenfinch and, from somewhere imperceptible in the thin fog, the cork-popping aria of a male capercaillie.

    

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