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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, June 26, 2006

A few sightings in the garden over the weekend:
24th June
3 Great Tit fledglings with 2 ads
2 Blue Tit fledglings with 2 ads
1 each of Woodpigeon, Collared Dove and Feral Pigeon
1 male and 1 female House Sparrow
2 Dunnocks
a mouse sp in the compost heap.

25th June
Great and Blue Tit families
2 male and 1 female House Sparrow
1 Blackbird
1 Collared Dove and 2 Woodpigeons
1 Woodpigeon

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The new fat ball feeder in the garden continues to attract the family of Great Tits but other visitors have been a Blue Tit, a male House Sparrow and both Dunnock and Woodpigeon on the ground below. Slugs have decimated my clematis so I have rigged up a polystyrene shield to see if I can give it a bit of respite. Elsewhere in the garden, dozens of bees continue to enjoy the blue geranium which is flowering in profusion.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Highlights of the last week have been an evening trip to Barshaw Park (mentioned a few days ago, but pic included here), an evening trip to Boden Boo (see pic of marsh orchid sp) for Grasshopper Warbler (audible from the hotel car park), nesting House Martins there (on the north face of the hotel) and a family party of 5 Great Tits in the garden (the fledglings begging food from the ads).

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Today started at 2 am with torrential rain, but the weather improved steadily throughout the day. Natural highlights were a patch of flowering Bistort just east of the Lochwinnoch roundabout and two possible Ravens seen during a forced diversion off the Greenock - Kilmacolm Road. News from the web is of an influx of Painted Lady butterflies.

Thursday, June 08, 2006.

An early highlight today was a small party of Long tailed Tits in the trees just over the garden fence, a first for me here. In the evening, drove to Dalbeattie for a nightjar walk. Noticed screaming Swifts in St John’s Town of Dalry but no Red Kites around Loch Ken. At Dalbeattie, Nightjars refused to show, but there was some compensation in the form of a roding Woodcock and plenty of Pippistrelle Bats (confirmed by bat-detector). News from the warden there is that Dumfries and Galloway holds 24 of the known 26 churring males in Scotland (best sites are further west). Also, day-flying Noctule Bats have been seen feeding with Swifts over the Nith in Dumfries town centre.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006.

Warm and sunny weather continues. An adult Starling was feeding a big fledgling in the street in Greenock town centre. Also noticed a fantastic show of Fox and Cubs on the motorway verge at junction 31.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006.

Had a nice surprise first thing this morning with a Brown Hare in the first meadow at Finlaystone (the first I’ve seen in 5 years travelling that road). Later in the day, 2 Swifts were screaming over Nelson Street, Greenock. The good weather this week (and last) has enticed lots of Orange Tip butterflies out and about. We are regularly seeing them fluttering through the garden.

Monday, June 05, 2006.

Another beautifully calm day today, with the Clyde like a millpond. Natural connections started early with a House Sparrow in the garden at breakfast time. Later, had to drive to Ayr, so took the road over the hills and saw (?) nesting Common Gulls and Greylag Geese on Loch Thom, singing Reed Bunting and Willow Warbler at Outerwards Reservoir, and nesting House Martins on a bungalow in Loans. Brisbane Glen (also known as Noddersdale) is stunning at this time of year with banks of wild flowers, including creamy-flowered Wild Rose in bloom.
In the evening, walked around Barshaw Park, Paisley. Not much about, except for plenty of House Sparrows in the hedges and a pair of Mallard (including a leucistic female) with 3 young (normally coloured) on the boating pond.
The day ended watching bats fluttering around outside the bedroom windows.

Friday, June 02, 2006.

Plenty of bats under the bridges along the Cart, visible as dark shapes against the sky reflected in the water.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Some highlights from the webcams over the past few days.....

Sea Eagle nest at feeding time.

Osprey parent with 3 week-old chicks.