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Natural Connections

Modern life in Scotland is increasingly busy. The connections our ancestors had with nature and the land are being lost. As leisure time shrinks, or is filled with hi-tech experiences, opportunities to experience nature become fewer. And yet it is possible to connect with nature on a day to day basis. All around us, the great web of life continues to hold its shape, and nature continues its eternal cycles. Keep looking, listening, smelling, touching - and keep experiencing natural connections.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

With the weather about to break, Greenock was noticeably cooler today. However the local birds are getting on with their breeding cycles, Blackbirds and large gulls being particularly noticeable due to their noisy territorial disputes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The two Mute Swan pairs in Murdieston Park were incubating when I visited first thing, while two Coot chicks were newly out of the nest. Marsh Marigold was in flower there. Singing warblers on the way to work consisted of a Chiffchaff at Port Glasgow Railway Station, a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler in Murdieston Park and a Willow Warbler on Nelson Street.

Monday, April 22, 2019

An afternoon walk from Barassie to Prestwick in glorious sunshine produced regular Linnets and Sklarks, a good sprinkling of Meadow Pipits and Pied/White Wagtails and a few notable species including Gannet (five fishing in Barassie Bay), Stonechat (a courting pair on Prestwick Golf Course) and Rock Pipit (a single bird on the beach in Troon). Butterflies consisted of Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, several whites and a single blue.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

An early start meant I had Longhaugh Point mostly to myself. Unfortunately, the tide was well out, so any wading birds were probably well out on the mud, and therefore out of sight. The field pools held at least four White Wagtails, a pair of Shelduck and a single Wheatear. A marshy area had a reeling Grasshopper Warbler and the best bird out on the mud was a Little Egret. Rabbit, Grey Squirrel and Roe Deer were seen and butterflies consisted of a Peacock, a Small Tortoiseshell and four Orange Tips. Towards the end of the walk, a beautiful red-flowered shrub was almost certainly Ribes ‘Pulborough Scarlet’, a variety of flowering currant.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A sunny morning walk through Oldhall, Ralston and Penilee found plenty of birds in song, the highlights being a single Skylark and literally dozens of House Sparrows. Back home, I put together a "bee hotel" to try and accommodate some of the solitary bees which have been investigating holes in the brickwork on the south side of the house. Over the fence, a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were all singing in the sun, but the local Whitethroats are yet to appear.

Friday, April 19, 2019

An afternoon spent in Anstruther and on the Fife Coastal Path north to Kilrenny Coach House produced some really great birds including singing Corn Buntings at two sites, Linnets at two sites, my first Swallow of the year, my first Sandwich Terns of the year and two migrant Whimbrels.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Raven flying away from the Paisley nest this afternoon was carrying what appeared to be an eggshell. Both birds had been in the air together earlier. This evening, coinciding with the arrival of slightly warmer weather, six bats were catching insects under Howford Bridge.