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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, November 28, 2005

A quiet weekend, with few natural connections due to the short day length and murky weather. However a couple of birds caught my eye including a Collared Dove in the Glade and two Redwings swooping across the southbound off-ramp at Linwood. Evidence that a mouse sp has been in the garage - two packets of crisps nibbled open and emptied, plus a bag of Snakes Head Fritillary bulbs completely cleared out. Another mammal encounter was a Red Fox screaming in the woods in the wee small hours.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Previews of the covers of some forthcoming New Naturalists.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A mixed week, weather-wise, with a very cold snap on Monday and Tuesday (during which, most of the remaining leaves on the trees dropped off), milder weather on Wednesday, high winds overnight (even the Wheelie Bins blew over - the first time I've seen that since moving to the glade), then cold again today (with snow further East). Down in Ayrshire on Tuesday. No Kestrels or Buzzards about, but a small, long tailed raptor flew across the M77 near Fenwick - probably a Sparrowhawk, but just possibly a Merlin.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Had a bit of a mammal day today, with good views of a Roe deer munching quietly in a field outside Wemyss Bay, and a Red Fox padding across a road in Paisley. Another Red Fox has been yelping loudly on the other side of the garden fence this evening.
The trip to Ayrshire also turned up two Kestrels (including a nice, hovering bird beside the three-towns bypass) and a single Buzzard (at a regular site beside the A77 between the Monkton Roundabout and Prestwick Airport).
Highlight from the house this week was a single Cormorant, seen yesterday flying downriver (the first since we moved here).

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Woke up to the first proper frost of the winter (I say proper, as we had one freaky, frosty morning around early September). It was a lovely scene, looking over to the river, with everything frosted in white and bathed in early-morning mist. Took a trip over to Maxwell Park in the afternoon. The pond is full of Moorhens (around 45!) and Mallards (around 25, including a leucistic female). There are also 2 Mute Swans (I wonder if they will winter) and the usual 2 Little Grebes (very confiding and noisy today). The recent winds have brought most of the leaves down, and the grass is covered with a thick, soggy carpet of them. Great for walking through...!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Spent the week working in Wharfedale. Highlight was a trip to Malham Cove. The view from the rim of the cove is spectacular, and the limestone pavement like something from another planet. Birds in the area included a fly-over Raven and a belligerent Kestrel.

Rondale, starting point for the walk to Malham Cove.

Malham Cove, from its South East rim.

Close-up of limestone pavement at Malham Cove.

Malham limestone pavement looking South.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The week's rain has been replaced by cool but calm conditions. The now-yellow leaves on the Gean outside the window are hanging almost completely limp. The breeze makes them wave slightly, but is not strong enough to blow them off. In fact, most of the trees around here still have a good covering of leaves.
The birds have completely deserted the garden since I withdrew their peanut supply in protest at the Grey Squirrel family stealing them all. However everyone seems to be saying we are in for the worst winter in years (you wouldn't believe it on the evidence of today), so I guess I will relent quite soon.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Another wet and miserable day, not improved by the sight of a dead Badger on the A8 near the entrance to the Finlaystone estate. A very wet Buzzard in one of the meadows there was little consolation....

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Glasgow - Ayr - Greenock trip yesterday turned up two Buzzards and 2 Kestrels. Today, a single Buzzard was in a field next to Glasgow Airport. Plenty of Lapwings on flooded fields at Bishopton. Grey skies, torrential rain and pitch darkness by 6 pm. Bah!