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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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Walking back from Pollock to the glade, came across 9 Waxwings in the trees in front of St George's Church, Pollock.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another frosty day today. A Greater spotted Woodpecker was in trees next to the house. Later, a walk along the river produced nothing of note, but cutting back through the houses in Mosspark, the gardens were full of Starlings and House Sparrows and a lone Fieldfare was in a berry tree.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A lone Grey Heron was at its usual post in the centre of Paisley. Meanwhile a pair of Magpies were nest-building next to the university entrance.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

At work from before sunrise until after sunset so........
Virtual highlight of the day continues to be the Waxwing invasion. Clydebirds is doing a great job of cataloguing the flocks which are roaming all over the area. Biggest groups of late have been 400 at Fulton Street, Glasgow and 850 at Mossend.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Natural highlight of the day was a good-sized flock of Starlings rising from the conifers beside Bishopton at dawn. Down in Greenock, a pair of Blue Tits were outside the office window.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An early morning walk past a partially frozen Bingham's Pond revealed a mixture of gulls out on the ice including Black headed, Herring, Common and Lesser black backed. Two Moorhens were also skating about, and the Mallards have started to pair off.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This afternoon's drive from Greenock to Ayr was made all the more pleasant by a glorious pink and orange sunset over Arran.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paperwork and wet weather conspired to keep me from natural connections today. However still managed to notice that the wet, windy and cold weather of the past week has done for the broadleaved trees now. For the first time this winter, they are virtually leafless, and the local landscape has suddenly taken on a completely different look.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The highlight of two seperate walks along the Cart today was a single "redhead" Goosander along the quiet stretch east of Howford Bridge.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Big flocks of Waxwings being reported in Paisley.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fifty geese were labouring up the Clyde at 7:30 this morning. Otherwise natural connections have been curtailed by the shortened days!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Notable news from the web is of a Nuthatch in Brookfield and 5 Partridges at Canderns Farm (plus lots more Waxwings).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The weekly walk around Murdieston Park turned up all the winter regulars (Little Grebe, Cormorant, Goldeneye, Goosander) plus a notable influx of Herring Gulls and a solitary male Pochard.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A wet and windy day meant natural connections were severely restricted. The big story remains the Waxwing invasion with sizeable flocks now all over Glasgow.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A walk from Netherauldhouse to Linthaugh produced a small flock of Waxwings over the SE corner of Pollock Park and a Buzzard beside the M77 flyover.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Walking in the Ochills today in almost Spring-like weather. The few birds about consisted of Goldcrest and other small birds in the woods, and Buzzard, Kestrel and Raven further uphill. Best birds of the day, however, were 9 Waxwings over Falkirk High train station first thing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A late lunchtime walk around the dams produced a single Little Grebe, two male Goosanders (one in full breeding plumage, the other just getting there), a female Goosander overhead, a juvenile Cormorant on a tree stump and five Goldeneye.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An unidentified wagtail calling in the gloom of Greenock West station after work could have been a Grey Wagtail. Later, rescued a Common Frog which had become marooned on the pavement beside the "Audi" roundabout between the M8 and Braehead.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Working in Renfrew today. As usual at that spot, Starlings seem to be particularly abundant. Later, heading home past Arkleston Farm, a Common Buzzard was flying strongly across the fields, 20 Fieldfares, four Chaffinches and a lone Redwing were feeding on stubble and 40 mixed pigeons were flitting from field to field (with 40 more nearer Oldhall).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A tit flock past the office window this lunchtime consisted of three Long tailed Tits, two Great Tits and two Blue Tits. At the same time, a Grey Wagtail was feeding on the back court lawn.
Driving back to Paisley, a dead Tawny Owl was a sad sight on the road at Crosslee. Then, at Middleton Farm, around 60 Fieldfares were overhead and around 80 Whooper Swans were feeding on stubble.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A windy walk up to Murdieston Park was rewarded with the first Goldeneye of the winter - five very wary individuals (all female/juvenile/eclipse types) scattered across the main dam. Also there were a pair of Goosanders, the male moulting out of eclipse plumage. On the small dam, the Mute Swan pair are now completely alone, the interloping pair (and their attendant Whooper) and the four juveniles having all disappeared.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Trees are noticeable barer now as the wintry weather starts to bite. Smart-looking Great Tits continue to visit the feeders. Waxwings have now reached the west end of Glasgow (Bingham's Pond) and Gourock.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The usual walk along the Cart revealed a further increase in birds. Not sure whether this is because of an influx of new birds, or because the existing ones are easier to see now that the trees are losing their leaves. In any case, highlights were 5 Moorhens (2 pairs and a single), a Grey Wagtail and as many as 20 House Sparrows. No sign of any Goosanders as yet. I guess we will have to wait until a prolonged cold spell. Local highlights from the web are Waxwings in Renfrew and Golden Plovers at Arkleston.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Still too busy for natural connections. Woodcocks coming ashore down the east coast.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

At work during all the daylight hours, so didn't manage any natural connections today. The big Waxwing influx continues.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Waxwings continue to be seen at sites throughout Scotland, although none have reached the glade so far.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A quick lunchtime walk into Paisley town centre revealed two Goosanders and a Grey Heron on the Cart and a flock of Long tailed Tits in nearby trees. Collins have released the artwork for their forthcoming title "Islands".

Monday, November 03, 2008

A morning walk along the Cart found many trees, but especially the Willows, shedding their leaves. There was no wind, but the overnight frost was no doubt responsible. In Rosshall Park, a deep red Acer still had all its leaves. Greenfinches and Goldfinches were in the treetops and there were small groups of House Sparrows at three sites. An invisible Kingfisher was along the river.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A walk along the Cart at lunchtime today revealed much lower water levels (after the dry weather of the past week) and a few interesting visitors in the form of a fishing Cormorant and a Little Grebe. Fifteen Mallards were on the river near the first bridge. Otherwise the commonest bird was Magpie. Overhead, a Sparrowhawk was dive-bombing a Carrion Crow, and back at the glade, a Woodpigeon brought a big fledgling to scattered seed.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Plenty of Buzzards and Kestrels on view during a trip to Edinburgh today (news from the web is that there has been an influx of the latter from the continent).

Friday October 31, 2008

News from the web is that the first Snow Buntings and Bramblings are in. More Waxwings have arrived as well, reaching the Northern Isles, Speyside, Lothian, Mull and Moray.