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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.

Friday, December 31, 2004

It was one of those days, today, when the sea was full up to the brim. Noticed two Great crested Grebes (?) offshore at Langbank - first time I've seen them there. Not much else around apart from plenty of Black headed Gulls (in winter plumage).

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Bitterly cold day in Edinburgh yesterday. Braved the North East flanks of Arthur's Seat but soon got beaten back by a ferocious westerly wind. Next to no birds about (except for Mute Swans and assorted gulls on St Margaret's Loch far below us). However heard some intriguing "Tut-tut" and "Whee-eet" calls from deep within the gorse which I imagined might be from Stonechat and Meadow Pipit respectively. Many of the Gorse bushes in full flower. I'm not sure if these are the last flowers of last season or the first of next. Interestingly, the gorse in some places is mixed with Broom. Wondered if this might be part of a deliberate fire-prevention policy.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Drove through from Glasgow to Edinburgh early yesterday afternoon. Cold but clear. Raptor count en route: 6 Kestrels and 1 Buzzard. Noticed about a dozen Greylag Geese on the lawn in front of Holyrood High School (no doubt birds from the flock based at Duddingston Loch). Also 6 Common Gulls (some moulting into adult plumage) on the playing fields east of Arthur's Seat.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Drove down the coast between Greenock and Ayr this afternoon. Tide well in, so plenty of birds visible, mainly Eider, Red breasted Merganser and Cormorant.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Managed out for the last hour of daylight today. Sun low and bright. Weather very cold, with a hard frost over everything the sun hadn't touched. Walked down by the Cart. Disturbed a Little Grebe which exploded out of the shallows before diving out of sight. Next bird was a Grey Wagtail feeding at the river's edge, followed by a Cormorant flying purposefully downstream. Odd Wrens, Chaffinches and Blue Tits around, plus tens of Jackdaws flying North East to roost. Suddenly, from the mildness of the past few weeks, all has been taken over by the grip of winter.