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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.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Last night's remnant of Hurricane Ophelia did a bit of damage to the "bus shelter" but seems to have been a lot weaker than was forecast.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Six Mistle Thrushes were on a new-sown cereal field at Arkleston Farm.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A brief stop at Garnqueen Loch this lunchtime found the lonely drake Ruddy Duck diving actively and keeping to the farthest edge of the water.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Spent the afternoon at Gartmorn Dam, searching for the Ferruginous Duck that had been reported there. The duck didn't appear but another 49 species (admittedly including a few "cheats") were some compensation: Mute Swan, , Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Domestic Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Domestic Mallard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Common ,Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull,  Great Black-backed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Jay, Rook, Carrion Crow, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Skylark, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Goldfinch and Siskin.
Took some notes on duck plumage as follows:
Wigeon: Several of the males were still in eclipse plumage but at least two had partly developed the orange-brown head and cream crown-stripe.
Gadwall: The one male appeared to be in full breeding plumage.
Teal: The males were all in breeding plumage, although the colours were perhaps not as bright as they eventually will be.
Mallard: Ditto.
Tufted Duck: The many males were in a variety of stages of development of breeding plumage but none had completely-white flanks. 
Goldeneye: The one male was in transitional plumage.
Goosander: ditto.
Some non-bird sightings included plenty of flying insects, a single Ladybird, some impressive fungi in the damp woodland and the biggest patch of Teasel I have seen in Scotland. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The sun broke through briefly, allowing a nice lunchtime walk around the wee cemetery near West station. No fungi, in spite of the presence of mature trees and open grass. However flowering Ivy was proving attractive to hoverflies and wasps while Polypody was present among the Maidenhair Spleenwort,  Hart's Tongue and Wall Rue.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A walk up Saucel Hill in the rain this lunchtime produced various fungi species. However the most distinctive was a nibbled Fly agaric back at the UWS Paisley campus.


Monday, October 09, 2017

The Mute Swan juveniles on Cowdenknowes Dam were trying out their wings this lunchtime - taking off in a group and flying to the other end of the reservoir.