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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, November 23, 2013

Today's walk from Kincraig to Kingussie took place in unseasonally mild conditions. Clouds of insects in sheltered spots indicated just how warm and still it was. With virtually no wind, Loch Alvie and Loch Insh were completely flat calm. Birds on the latter included three Mute Swans at the east end and ten Whoopers at the west. Other waterfowl encountered included Goldeneye (seven males and one female) at three sites, tufted Ducks at two and Greylag Geese at various spots along the Tromie Bridge - Ruthven Barracks road. Several Buzzards were seen but there was no sign of the White-tailed Eagle reported by an angler on Loch Insh. 
Land birds included Great-spotted Woodpecker and Treecreeper at three sites each. A Jay was west of Speybank and a pair of Bullfinches were at Insh Church. Some sizeable flocks of Siskins (some containing Lesser Redpolls too) were a feature of the day. Also notable was a Dipper on the Spey north of Ruthven Barracks. Notable by their absence were winter thrushes with only one each of Redwing and Mistle Thrush recorded.
Impressions of Strathspey in November:
Surrounding ranges are snow-covered.
Trees are virtually leafless - with a few notable exceptions including some solitary Oaks and Beeches. 
Most of the berries seem to be gone - and so do the thrushes.
It gets dark early!

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