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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, February 02, 2013

Took advantage of today's good weather to take another look at one of the poorly-covered tetrads in south Glasgow and to recce another one in East Renfrewshire. The day started with a walk from Snuffmill Bridge to Battlefield. First bird encountered was a singing Song Thrush (the first winter record for the tetrad). This was followed by two other first records: two Grey Wagtails and a pair of Goosander. The other notable sighting was a pair of Dippers under the Clarkston Road bridge, the male singing above the early-morning traffic. 

After some business in Battlefield, walked over to the other side of the tetrad (Kings Park) to try and add some woodland species (Great spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Buzzard, Siskin, Redpoll, Bullfinch, Rook and Raven were all still needed). The park was alive with birds, but mostly not the ones I was looking for. However two Siskins were singing from a Scots Pine tree and (most surprising of all) a female Ring-necked Parakeet was showing well on the feeders in one of the back gardens on the eastern edge of the park.

Birds seen on the way back to Snuffmill Bridge (although over the tetrad border into NS55Z) were Rook, Kingfisher, Buzzard and Stock Dove (the latter two species being the first winter records for that tetrad).

Managed to visit a new tetrad (NS55H, Malletsheugh / Newton Mearns) late afternoon. It only had six species listed, so even during a brief recce, another seven were added. It is not the most inspiring of areas, with two motorways, lots of new housing, several "no entry" signs and the kind of  "get-you-from-A-to-B-as quickly-as-possible" roads which make stopping virtually impossible. The only significant area of water is a fenced-off, flooded quarry which was frozen over and deserted today. However I will give it my best shot. I think a couple of early morning visits might be the best idea.
A notable feature of today was the number of birds singing in the spring-like sunshine. The full list of singers consisted of: Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Wren, Starling, Dipper, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Siskin.


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