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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, April 20, 2013

Headed for Kinneil next. Three Stock Doves were along the approach road and birds along the shore included a singing Willow Warbler (the first of many today), four Scaup, 70 Black-tailed Godwits (moulting into their brick-red summer plumage) and large numbers of Teal, Shelduck and Redshank.
Leaving Kinneil, a Blackbird was carying a beakfull of worms.
Arriving at Linlithgow Loch, one of the first birds seen was a (presumed passage) Common Sandpiper which skittered around a bend. Others included Jackdaws entering holes in the palace wall and 30 Greylag Geese high overhead, heading north.

Walked over to Bo'ness via Bonnytoun Farm. Highlights at the farm included around 10 Tree Sparrows (one carrying nest material) and two Swallows.The path through the fields produced the first of two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies (my first of the year) and a singing Yellowhammer. The walk through the Golf Course was notable for several each of singing Yellowhammer, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. The ploughed field to the north held at least five Skylarks (three singing) and a pair of Yellowhammers.

A brief scan of the Forth off Bo'ness turned up a Red-breasted Merganser, a Great-crested Grebe and eight Eider (with one of five bees seen today on the headland). Back at Linlithgow Loch, birds around the west end included a Canada Goose, at least six occupied Coots' nests and up to four pairs of Great-crested Grebes.
A brief stop at Beecraigs found the park pleasantly full of people enjoying the good weather.

A late afternoon walk around the relatively underwatched tetrad covering Pollok produced a Grey Heron, a Grey Wagtail and flowering Lesser Celandine.


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