<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d7235362\x26blogName\x3dNatural+Connections\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dLIGHT\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://naturalconnections.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_GB\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://naturalconnections.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d6204789394009264565', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

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, October 28, 2004

Lovely mild day in Dumfriesshire. Many trees still in full leaf, with some Oaks hardly having changed colour at all. Conifer plantations beside the M74 are patchworks of green, yellow and brown. Noticed quite a lot of planting of deciduous trees around these plantations (to soften the edges?).
Saw one Buzzard and one Kestrel along the motorway. Also a flock of 30 Starlings circling over the estate.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Very busy these past few weeks, so natural connections have been in short supply. Took a look along the old Linwood - Selvieland road one evening in case the Whoopers were there. Only found a single Fox sitting in the middle of a ploughed field. However drove along the Linwood bypass on 24th and saw a flock on the other side of the sewage farm / municipal dump road (but further along, near Blackstoun Farm).
Watched a Buzzard on 26th, heading out across the Clyde at Finlaystone Point, then circling back. Also, at the weekend, a bird on a fence post next to the Edinburgh City bypass approach road.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Main sighting of note recently has been the evening roost movements of corvids. A few days ago, several handred Jackdaws and other crows flew over the house in just a few minutes, heading south east. Other evenings the movements have been less spectacular. I suspect they roost in the conifer stand north of the Hurlet. News from the web is that Waxwings arrived on the east coast 3 days ago and appeared on Islay yesterday. Must look out for them.....

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Spent the past two days in Kinlochrannoch. Very wet on the Friday night (only sighting was a possible Badger in the headlights). However Saturday dawned mild and mostly dry. Out for a walk early on, immediately became aware that the glen was full of winter thrushes - maybe several hundred around the village alone. Most were Fieldfares, with maybe 10% Redwings. Very restless, constantly taking flight from treetop to treetop, but also settling on the heavily berry-laden Rowan trees. Other birds in the village included quite a few House Sparrows and the odd Robin and Chaffinch. Plenty of fungi around, especially Boletus spp (see pic below). Also a single Rabbit.
Walked part of the way up Schiehallion in the afternoon. Odd Meadow Pipits and Stonechats were the only birds on view. However driving back along the glen, noticed a Buzzard, a Dipper and 6 Greylag Geese. Out for a walk along the lochside in the evening, noticed a few Pipistrelle Bats overhead.
By Sunday the weather had improved again, showing the autumn colours of the Birches, Oaks and Beeches to their full advantage. Driving back to Dunkeld, saw a Red Squirrell scampering across the road.
Back to the usual routine today, but still managed to notice a Buzzard padding about in the second Finlaystone meadow (no doubt after some Earthworms).


Autumn colour around Kinlochrannoch


Lichen spp above Kinlochrannoch


Boletus spp in Kinlochrannoch churchyard

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Spent the day in Edinburgh. While watching the "Riding" down the Royal Mile before the opening of the Scottish Parliament, noticed a patch of Biting Stonecrop (see photo below) on top of an old wall. Earlier, counted 100 Grelag Geese beside St Margaret's Loch (and numerous Mute Swans on the loch itself). Later, saw 11 greylags, 8 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans and 2 Herons on Dunsapie Loch (plus 4 more swans overhead). Still plenty of interesting plants about. Noticed Wild Thyme (past flowering), a few Harebells, Yarrow and the pink-flowered herb shown below on Salisbury Crags, and Hart's Tongue Fern, Wall Rue, Herb Robert and the Bugloss species shown below beside the road south of Arthur's Seat. Also, the marshes next to Duddingston Loch were covered with a blue haze when viewed from above (probably Devil's Bit Scabious), and in gardens in Ulster Crescent were Welsh Poppy, Borage and Autumn Crocus, all in flower.

Saturday, October 09, 2004


Bugloss species (diminutive version of the one seen at Castle Semple Loch last week), Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh.


Woody plant with striking pink flowers on Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh (Catchfly? Campion?)


Biting Stonecrop on top of a wall beside the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Not such a good start today, with a big dog Fox lying knocked down on Barrhead Road. Driving to Greenock, noticed some big Field Mushrooms in the grass verges near Newark Castle, then some more growing through cracks between paving stones in the middle of the A8 at Port Glasgow. Driving back up the road, the scenery was fantastic with strong autumn light and clear blue skies. The frost last night seems to have accelerated the colour change in the trees - lots of oranges and dark reds in evidence. The calm weather seems to suit the Grey Herons - eight were neatly spaced out along the foreshore at Langbank. The day ended as it began, with a big Red Fox crossing the Hurlet, although this one very much alive.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Today started well with a Kestrel hovering over fields beside Arkleston Farm Road at 7 30 am. Much more settled weather has now arrived, making driving a lot more pleasurable. On the way back from Greenock (around midday) saw 8 swans flying west over the motorway following the Black Cart. Couldn't make out the species but guess they might have been Whoopers (my first of the winter?). On the way back from Hamilton, stopped in traffic and noticed a good growth of Black Medick in the central reserve under the M77 flyover at Darnley. I hadn't noticed it before but knew what it was straightaway by its tiny black fruits. First signs of autumn colours in trees.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

More torrential rain - but managed to hear my first Redwings of the winter flying over last night ("Tsee-eep").

Saturday, October 02, 2004

News from the web today is that the first Whooper Swans are back on the farmland west of Glasgow airport. I have been watching out all week but with no sign yet. Most notable sighting this week has been the large number of dead mammals on the roads. I guess I've seen around 5 Foxes and 2 Hedgehogs, plus one Grey squirrel (being devoured by a Magpie) on Arkleston Road (not far from where I saw one dodging the traffic a few months ago).