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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.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another day - another tropical connection. Temperature in eastern Mallorca today was 33 degrees. Went for a walk to the castle on Punta de n'Amer - the whole area is a fantastic natural oasis in a desert of tourist developments. Highlights were about 20 Red legged Partridges together in a field (or were they Chuckar Partridges?), a stick insect, giant hornets, a big flying beetle and a Hoopoe feeding on a hotel lawn (see picture).
Heading for the Son Jordi hills tomorrow.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The weather here in Mallorca remins decidedly hot, although tonight is a little cooler (the thermometer outside the hotel reading 23). Natural connections have been limited by more conventional holiday activities. However a meal down by the shore yesterday evening allowed close views of 3 Audouin´s Gulls, a juvenile Cormorant and an enormous Sea Anemone. Today´s walk around the town turned up lots of Spotted Fycathers, flowering Japanese Morning Glory and Sea Bindweed (outside Lidl) and another unidentified butterfly.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Half way through our holiday in (very) sunny Mallorca. Had a good walk as far as Costa del Pins the other morning. Commonest birds were Turtle Dove and Serin. Also noticed some House Martins nesting under the eaves of one of the big holiday hotels and saw some green-and-black striped frogs in a muddy culvert. Lots of lovely flowers around including a succulent Honeysuckle and flowering Ipomea (Japanese Morning Glory).
Yesterday, took the Sea Cat from Cala Bona to SaComa. Highlights included "swimming with the fishes" in the shallow waters along SaComa beach. later, enjoyed a meal in the main square at Cala Bona while House Sparrows visited their nests in the Palm Trees overhead.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Currently enjoying a very hot break on the East coast of Mallorca. Weather here has been absolutely blistering - temperatures approaching 30 degrees centigrade every day (and not dropping far below that at night). The hotel room has fantastic views out to sea. Last night a procession of 100 little boats, each lit up by lanterns, passed across the bay in front of us. Later, when the boats had returned to harbour, there was a spectacular (and loud!!!) fireworks display.
Natural connections have included a profusion of colourful flowers, both in gardens and on waste ground, two young Spotted Flycatchers making feeding flights from a hotel balcony and lots of bats flitting above early evening shoppers along the pedestrian walkway.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Plenty of natural connections this week - just no time to blog them. Here's what I can remember:

Collared Dove in back garden off and on all day (the pair were at the entrance to the estate this evening). One or two Woodpigeons also present (and Sunday) plus a newly fledged Magpie (2 more outside the estate on Sunday).

20 House Sparrows in a tight flock flying across the road at Moulin Circus (1pm).
3 Swifts over Moulin playing field (more at Bonnyholm) 4:30pm
1 fledged Great Tit (still with feather shafts showing), Rosshall Park Pond (5pm).
Goldfinch showing well just before Maxwell swing park (5.30)
Single Greenfinch at Nut feeder (6pm).

A walk to the hospital turned up lots of House Sparrow colonies including 10 or so, perched on a hedge scolding a young Jackdaw. A big moth in the garden that evening was probably a
Large yellow Underwing.

A lovely, calm morning with the Clyde "full to the brim" and a perfect thermal inversion on Loch Lomond. Also notable this week has been the appearance of Wild Rasberries in the hedgerows - for instance on the footbridge north of Rosshall School and around the industrial units between Deanpark and Braehead. Also there were flowering Sow Thistle, Groundsel, Great willow Herb, Bindweed and Deadly Nightshade. Back home, a big ground beetle was under one of the plant pots on the patio.

Nine Swifts screaming high over the glade late evening. Midges biting in the back garden.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Natural connections so far this week have included 20 Mute Swans off Langbank and a singing Yellowhammer at the ruined farm buildings on the west side of Hillington Industrial Estate (Monday), white Mallow flowering at Arkleston and Coal Tits drowning out the wedding ceremony in Fullarton Woods, Troon (yesterday) and a Collared Dove feeding quietly on the (uncut) back lawn (today).

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A wet weekend here, and in Edinburgh. Sightings as follows:
Friday - 3 Buzzards soaring over Bishopton on-ramp. Female House Sparrow still feeding 2 young with nibbled peanuts.
Saturday - Fields full of Poppies near end of bypass. Later, at Esk mouth... 2 fledgling Grey Wagtails and 4 fledgling Pied Wagtails begging parents for food. Also House Martins, Swifts and possibly other hirundines hawking over the Esk.
Sunday - 5 Great Tits together at the feeders (possibly an adult and 4 young). At least 1 miniature Common Frog in the pond (plus the first sighting for a few days of all three of the minnows put in a few weeks ago).