A short walk from Lochwinnoch takes you to the Barr Loch just opposite the RSPB centre at the Aird Meadows. Great crested grebe are a fabulous spring sighting and there are a couple of pairs there at the moment. Yellow flag iris has a stunning display at the lochside along with the quieter, blushing water avens. The word iris comes from the Greek for rainbow as garden varieties come in different colours. You should be careful if you touch the plant as its other name of ‘sword flag’ suggests, the edges of its leaves are very sharp. The barbs of hawthorn trees that line parts of the southern shore are also to be avoided, however as if to compensate for their spiky thorns they filled the warm evening air with their sweet scent.