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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, April 14, 2011

Got up at 5:30 and was walking along the cycle path at Lochwinnoch just after 6:30. Plenty of birds were in song on what was a soft, dull, misty, moisty morning. Blackbirds and Song Thrushes seemed to be everywhere, but Willow Warblers really were, with 19 singing in less than one kilometre. Other notable species included Common Buzzard, Great spotted Woodpecker and 12 singing Wrens. Walked down the path to West Bay where the Garganey pair were resting, close inshore, with half a dozen Tufted Ducks and a pair of Mallards. The male saw me coming and started "clicking" (demonstrating why the species used to be called "Cricket Teal") before the two took flight and headed out to the centre of the loch. The shyness of the species is something I have noticed before. For instance, last year's Cummertrees bird took flight as soon as I (carefully) popped my head over the hedge. Other birds along the shore included a pair of Wigeon, two or three singing Sedge Warlers (my first of the year), the same number of Reed Buntings and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler (again my first of spring). Other wildlifeincluded six Roe Deer and flowering Butterbur and Wood Sorrell. Got to work at 8am. At lunchtime, a walk over to Murdieston was notable for singing Blackcap and Goldcrest in the cemetery and a singing Willow Warbler beside the main dam.

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