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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, November 29, 2007

Last night the usual Common Toad was sharing the pond with a dead mouse sp. Eventually gave in to pestering and gave it a Christian burial in the flowerbed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Darkness on the way to work, darkness on the way home. Natural connections nil. Noticed a Magpie carrying a stick on Sunday. They're starting early!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Spent an hour walking around Hogganfield Loch this afternoon. Plenty of birds about including: Mute Swan (79), Whooper Swan (14), Greylag (46), Goosander (18), Mallard (77), Tufted Duck (75), Goldeneye (17), Ruddy Duck (21), Pochard (26), Coot (63), Herring Gull (13), Lesser black backed Gull (6), Black headed Gull (187), Common Gull (4), Great crested Grebe (1), Stonechat (2), Carrion Crow (9), Rook (31), Jackdaw (37), Magpie (3), Feral Pigeon (80), Woodpigeon (3), Redwing (2), Blackbird (2), Robin (1), Chaffinch (1) and Pied Wagtail (5).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Garden birds today included a male Blackbird feeding on Pyrocanthus berries and a Collared Dove picking up bread from the lawn.The weekly walk around Bellahouston Park this morning turned up two very showy Great spotted Woodpeckers and two probable Siskins. Amazon are advertising the latest NN...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Not many natural connections this week due to short day length and long working days. However managed a two-minute garden watch on Tuesday morning which produced single Blackbird, Song Thrush, Magpie, Robin and Blue Tit plus 4 Dunnocks. Around 5pm, a single Cormorant was flying downstream above the Hammils in Paisley town centre.
New this week, and co-inciding with the first hard frost of the year on Monday morning - a mouse sp has set up home in the loft.
News from the web is of a major influx of Little Auks to the east coast and the first Smews of the winter.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Principal natural connections today were a flock of around 120 Fieldfares near the Old Schoolhouse along Candrens Road, a hovering Kestrel at Kilmacolm Trout Fishery and a Buzzard over Maggie's Mill.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Quite a good day for natural connections in spite of being constrained by the domestic demands of football training and Christmas shopping! The morning started with 1 hour to kill in Bellahouston Park. Managed to connect with quite a lot of birds including two small parties of Long tailed Tits and good numbers of thrushes (Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Redwing and Blackbird). Wren and Robin song, added to the mild weather, made it feel like Spring rather than Autumn. A few Chaffinches were feeding on split Beech mast, but no sign of any Bramblings amongst them. Back at the Car Park, a juvenile Woodpigeon sitting on a car roof looked like it was just out of the nest.

A late afternoon trip to Lomond Shores also provided some good birding opportunities. Birds around the boardwalk included 2 Pied Wagtails and an assortment of ducks including 3 particularly dark Indian Runners (see photo). Slightly further afield were a pair of Goosander, female-type Goldeneye, Cormorant and a late tern (possibly Arctic) hawking for insects.

Heading back to Glasgow, a Grey Heron and a tight flock of 40 or so Starlings were over the dual carriageway at Renton.