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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, March 13, 2014

The Mute Swan which appeared recently on the river at Cardonald was still present this afternoon. A quick check of last year's Raven breeding site at Leverndale Hospital found a nest in place but no sign of any adults. Twenty Redwings swept over the edge of Bull Wood, while a mixed flock of (mainly) Fieldfares and Redwings commuted between a stubble field at Cairnhill and trees across the river. A pair of Mallards were unusually on the channel feeding the "grotto" in Rosshall Park, where a Grey Heron was on the pond. Finally, a Pied Wagtail was giving its "Schwee-eep" call (which I always associate with springtime) at Rosshall School. Back home, the back garden pond contained at least six clumps of frogspawn and a large newt.

The full list of birds from Tuesday's trip to Strathspey was as follows:
Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose, Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Red Grouse, Pheasant, Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and unidentified crossbill [44 species].

Impressions of Strathspey in March:
Its noisy, in terms of birdsong, with Coal Tit and Chaffinch the main players, but Robin, Wren, Mistle Thrush,Great Tit, Blue Tit, Starling, Goldrest etc also contributing. Presumably the mild and sunny conditions were responsible. Only one Song Thrush was heard.
Its quiet, in terms of people, with NO-ONE seen between Carrbridge and Kinveachy, and then only two people between there and Granish Farm.
The first inland waders are back on the low ground, with a few Oystercatchers penetrating into the glens.
No tit flocks encountered, so presumably they are disbanding. 
Whooper Swans not showing any signs of leaving, and Greylag Geese not splitting into pairs yet. 
Black-headed Gulls still notable by their absence (perhaps they were all at Loch Insh).
The vegetation is still very brown with little greenery coming through.

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