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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.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Friday 31st March 2005.

This was the weekend of the annual trip to Strathspey. Drove up on Thursday evening, and arrived in Strathspey (see bottom picture) with the promise of steadily improving weather.
Woke up in Aviemore at 6 am to the sound of birdsong. An hour later, arrived at RSPB Loch Garten hoping to connect with lekking Capercaillies. Weather mild and beautifully clear. Female Osprey feeding on a large fish on a tree beside its nest. Plenty of resident song birds around including Song Thrush, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Robin and Wren. Single pairs of Wigeon and Goldeneye on the loch itself. No sign of Capercaillie though.
Spent most of the day walking around Glenmore Forest Park, beginning along the path to the Pass of Ryvoan (see photo below). Amazed at the uniqueness of the plant community on the South-facing slopes with Scots Pine and Birch growing over Juniper and Holly, and that in turn growing over Blaeberry, Broom, Blechnum, Polypody, Oxalis and Wild Strawberry with isolated patches of Primroses (above) and Dog's Mercury. Found a Frog (and lots of Frogspawn) in roadside ditches and a Common Newt in a concrete cistern. Buzzard overhead, Wrens and Coal Tits in the trees, and the snow-filled corries of the Eastern Cairngorms as a backdrop.

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