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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.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A single Raven was stretching and preening on the dome of the institute for five minutes at 09:00 before returning to the nest. Later, one of the pair was in the tree next to the observatory at 18:20, surrounded by about 25 Jackdaws. It cronked once and the Jackdaws scattered. It then flew off low to the south east. In between, a Grey Heron was fishing under the main bridge in central Paisley. This evening, two Goosanders were roosting on the bank of the river just behind the estate.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The first singing Willow Warbler was heard locally today. However a particularly heavy workload meant no natural connections.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A single Raven was in the first tree south west of Coats Observatory at 07:30 before it flew off strongly to the south west.
A Sparrowhawk passed the tower of Coats Memorial Church at 11:50.
A single Raven was on the dome of the John Neilson Institute at 11:45. A second bird then dropped down from nest and alighted on the other side of dome. Some interaction took place (not easy to see) before one bird, then the other, flew off. 

A Dipper and a Grey Wagtail were on the river in front of Paisley Town Hall.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Singing Robins and prospecting Lesser Black-backed Gulls were the main features of a lunchtime walk up Lyle Hill.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lots of birdsong in Figgate Park, Edinburgh this afternoon. Fourteen Goosanders on the pond seemed a good total.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A walk around Ardmore Point this morning found beautiful, calm seas and fair numbers of birds, highlights as follows:
At least 24 Slavonian Grebes, at least 36 Red-throated Diver, four Black Guillemots, twelve Great-crested Grebes, a single Long-tailed Duck and single male Tufted Ducks at two places (the first time I have seen this species here). Land birds included a singing Chiffchaff and two Ravens.
Back home, a Chiffchaff was singing outside the house for the second day. An evening walk along the river produced a Kingfisher and at least three Moorhens (including two courting). 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Today (the third frosty morning in a row) started with a singing Chiffchaff opposite the front door (my first of the year) and continued with a Redwing feeding by the side of the road just over the Cardonald Place Road railway bridge. 
There was no activity at the Paisley Raven nest for most of the day. In fact I was worried the attempt had been abandoned as Jackdaws had been perching on the gargoyle just a few feet from the nest and I didn’t think a sitting bird would tolerate such close proximity.
Anyway, about 15:15 a Raven was on top of the dome of the John Neilson Institute. It was calling loudly (possibly calling its mate off the nest). She appeared after a few minutes (although I didn’t see if she flew off the nest) and landed next to him. There wasn’t much interaction and after a few minutes of stretching and shaking, she flew back up and onto the nest. He remained on the dome for at least ten minutes during which time he was mercilessly mobbed by up to five Lesser Black-backed Gulls. He was still there when I had to get back to work, but was gone about ten minutes after that.
Birds in central Paisley at lunchtime included three Goosanders, a Grey Wagtail and two “Pruuut”ing Moorhens (at different sites).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Pied Wagtail was over the car park opposite the Waterfront leisure complex this lunchtime.