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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.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Took a walk along the river to inspect the damage caused by recent wind and heavy rain. Riverside vegetation greatly reduced along many stretches. Plenty of birdlife on show including a Cormorant flying strongly upstream, a Kingfisher flying downstream and pausing on overhanging vegetation, a Grey Wagtail feeding among flood-damaged vegetation, 3 male and 3 female Mallards, some flighty Redwings and Mistle Thrushes, two Pied Wagtails and a big tit flock consisting of around 8 long tails and 4 Blue Tits. The other notable sighting was of 4 Grey Squirrels (3 together).

Friday, November 17, 2006


It's snowing...!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

On route from Greenock to Ayr, 3-5pm, 13th November 2006.
1 Grey Heron over the road at Irvine, then 2 over the road near Troon.
Stopped off at Lunderston - only a few Eider (males in breeding plumage) present in stormy weather.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Spent the weekend at Auchenfoyle Camp in the Renfrewshire Hills. Saturday was stormy and cold but today was calmer (although still cool). Natural connections were limited because of other commitments and almost continuous heavy rain. However enjoyed seeing several skiens of grey geese flying west over the camp, a few "Tsee-eep"-ing Redwings overhead, a probable Sparrowhak patrolling a shelter belt, a possible Hen Harrier over adjacent moorland and a definite Common Buzzard doing some "sky dancing". Other birds around included Carrion Crows, Rooks and Jackdaws (but no Ravens) plus single Chaffinch, Starling and (possible) Pied Wagtail. On the way back through Bridge of Weir, saw 100 or so Starlings in close aerial formation.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another mild day today - wonder what the Whoopers make of it. Driving to work this morning (around 07:45) saw 4 flying north over the main runway of Glasgow Airport (!), then another 6 in the sheep field at Inchinnan.
Yesterday there were two seperate Buzzards on the roadside fence at Bishopton. Noticed that the standard trees along the A8 in Greenock have started turning yellow.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A good days birdwatching yesterday. Early afternoon at Finlaystone Point found lots of birds on the mudflats including good numbers of Oystercatchers and Redshanks, plenty of Curlew flying downriver, a scattering of Lapwings, plenty of Mallard and Wigeon feeding in the shallows plus 2 Red breasted Mergansers, 10 Shelduck, 3 Goldeneye and 4 Great crested Grebes further out. Later, at Rouken Glen Pond, 60 Jackdaws and 150 Black headed Gulls were good counts. On the pond, around 50 Mallard were joined by 8-10 Tufted Ducks and a handful each of Coot and Moorhen.
Today, recent high winds have left some trees (such as Poplar) completely bare, but others (such as Birch) more or less unchanged.

Friday, November 03, 2006


A wintry day along the Clyde. Started the morning with 3 Whooper Swans in a field next to the M8. Heading back up the M77 at teatime, noticed 3 Kestrels hunting over the verges and 150 Starlings wheeling over Kilmarnock in tight formation. In between, spent a wintry afternoon in Troon (above).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The first frost of the year appeared overnight. It was followed by a gloriously sunny day - just too short to make anything of.