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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, October 24, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Finally got around to uploading the sightings from the trip to Strathspey on 14th October. Here are the highlights:
A Red Grouse at Balsporran Cottage.
Much less colour in the landscape with Heather turned brown, Rosebay Willow Herb faded (but with orangey-red stalks), grass brown/yellow, Birches yellowing and the only bright colour being from the last of the Ragwort.
Four Rooks squabbling in pines (possibly nest sites) beside the Strathspey Hotel.
Around 50 Jackdaws wheeling around the Strathspey Hotel at 11:15am.
A Grey Heron stalking the sedge beds in the old reservoir on the Craigellachie reserve.
Devil’s Bit Scabious providing almost the only colour in the woods at Craigellachie, except for the Birch leaves blanketing the paths.
Three Goldfinches on thistles near the angling pond in the hotel complex.
Aviemore gardens full of autumn colour.
15 Rooks on Nethybridge Playing Field.
Rooftop Starlings in Grantown on Spey singing in the sunshine.
Fifteen Mallards on Grant Park Lochan.
Two Roe Deer crossing the path in Kylntra Woods.
A Pied Wagtail (very scarce compared to last month) among cattle behind Speybridge Smokehouse.
Birch woods along the Speyside Way noticeably quiet. No sign of any thrushes in the Rowan trees which might well have already been stripped anyway, judging by the small amount of fruit left. Birch leaves and Aspen leaves strewn on the paths under their respective trees.
Still lots of Aspen leaves on the trees, quivering and rustling in the wind.
Three Goosanders on the Spey at Inverallan House.
Three Goldeneye on the Spey behind Craggan Golf Course.
Small numbers of Mistle Thrushes on rough grassland at Ballefurth.
Thirteen Feral Pigeons over Balliefurth Farm.
Two Yellowhammers just north of Nethybridge.
A Goosander and a Goldeneye on the Nethy just before its merge with the Spey.
Up to five Dippers between the outskirts of Nethybridge and Broomhill Bridge.
A female Sparrowhawk disturbed from trees over the Nethy by a startled Goldeneye.
Fifty Rooks milling around (possibly nesting) trees and pylons at Coulnakyle Farm north of Nethybridge.
At least four Long-tailed Tits in a flock of at least 29 birds in the woods by the Nethy north of Nethybridge.
Ninety Jackdaws and 25 Rooks were in the cattle field north of Broomhill Bridge.
Two Bullfinches (a pair) skulking in a hedgerow north of Nethybridge.
Fields of ripe but unharvested Oats and Wheat between Nethybridge and Broomhill (with an unfamiliar weed along the field edges).
The full bird list for the day was: Mallard, Goldeneye, Goosander, Red Grouse, Pheasant, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Starling, Dipper, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Robin, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Yellowhammer (32 species).

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