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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, March 30, 2014

News from the web is that the regular Osprey pair at Loch Garten are back on site. Hopefully having the two birds return almost simultaneously this year will prevent the false starts (and occasional breeding failures) that have beset this pair over recent years.
Bird list for yesterdays trip to Badenoch was:
Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose. Canada Goose, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Domestic Mallard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Red-throated Diver, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Starling, Dipper, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Goldfinch and Siskin (53 species)

Impressions of Strathspey in late March (in what has been a mild spring so far):
- Its still fairly colourless. I think I saw a single, early Dandelion flower. No Coltsfoot or Lesser Celandine, although I may have been looking in the wrong places.
- Its getting noisier, with Chaffinch the main singer (no Willow Warblers yet, of course), but Coal Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Robin, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Goldcrest and Blue Tit providing the backing, in roughly that order.
- There are plenty of signs of breeding activity including Rooks at their colonies, Long tailed Tits nest-building, Greylag Geese and other wildfowl pairing off and Oystercatchers, Redshanks, Curlews and Lapwings fighting over territories.
- There is quite a lot of coming and going, with Greylags particularly noticeable. Pairs flying back and forth are presumably looking for territories, but larger groups could be moving through or out of the area. 
-There is still much building up of reserves going on with Whooper Swans feeding out on the marshes and Fieldfares in the birch woods. 
-There is water everywhere (in spite of the dry weather of late) with rivers full (had to paddle through the Dunachton Burn) and marshes looking pretty soggy.

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