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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, December 31, 2015


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Today started at Maidens where the nine Brent Geese were showing well on the football field. A flock of Redshank along the harbour shore contained two Knot and three Dunlin. A Seal sp lumbered off the slipway and a Little Grebe, two Red-breasted Mergansers and a few Eider were in the harbour.
There was no sign of the Black Redstart at Ayr Harbour, but three Turnstones and six Linnets were some consolation.
Auchenharvie Loch held seven Scaup plus various other wildfowl. Stevenston Point was deserted due to the towering waves.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Spent the day exploring the forest between Aviemore and Boat of Garten. Highlights included two Goldeneye and three Goosander on Loch Vaa, two Crested Tits showing well on the feeder at the "Grebe Car Park", a Dipper on the jetty at Milton Loch (with a single Tufted Duck also present) and 500 Jackdaws going to roost in trees adjoinging Boat of Garten moor. Other sightings consisted of:

Around 50 Rooks, 50 Jackdaws and a single hybrid Hooded x Carrion Crow feeding in the sheep field between Aviemore and the Spey.
Three Mallard on the Spey at Aviemore (the river had burst its banks and was at least twice its normal width).
Starling, Robin and Woodpigeon all singing briefly in Aviemore.
Forty five Herring Gulls and five Great Black-backed Gulls drifting over Aviemore dump, presumably waiting for a new load of rubbish to arrive.
Four small songbirds (Redpoll, Twite or Linnet) at Aviemore Tip.

Monday, December 28, 2015

A walk around Hogganfield Loch today was notable for the following:
Up to 52 Goosanders (including about 15 scrapping with the Mallards off the main car park)
Four Whooper Swans (including a family group of two adults and a first-winter)
Displaying Goldenye (plus at least one bird transitioning from immature to adult male plumage)
Eleven Cormorants roosting on the island (with others fishing)
Twenty-plus Pochard (mostly drakes with only two females)
A single Ruddy Duck with the Pochards
A single Red-breasted Merganser at the "beach"

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A quick wander around the grounds of the transport museum produced a noisy Pied Wagtail, a Cormorant and a full-grown Mute Swan family.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Two Ravens flew low over south Cardonald this lunchtime, interacting with a couple offeral pigeons as they swept over the estate.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A flock of Long-tailed Tits was moving through Hyndland as I parked the car on the way to Gartnavel this afternoon. A Mistle Thrush was singing in the hospital grounds, no doubt confused by the incredibly mild weather.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Saturday, December 12, 2015

A walk around Linlithgow Loch today produced three drake Pochards plus very good numbers of Little Grebe and Cormorant. Later, a Kingfisher gave excellent, prolonged views as it fished the canal.

Monday, December 07, 2015

The local Pied Wagtail was still eking out a living along Cardonald Place Road this lunchtime. It was skipping about the pavement like a little black and white ballerina - they are such cheerful little birds. Later, some Mistle Thrushes and Redwings were feeding on Holly berries at the east end of Bellahouston Park.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

A quick walk along the river this afternoon found the water level still high but at least a metre lower than yesterday. A Cormorant heading downriver was the only species braving the torrent.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

After several days of heavy rain, the White Cart was lapping over its banks as it passed through south Glasgow. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Rain, Rain, Rain. 

The full bird list for the visit to Strathspey on 30th November was: Pink-footed Goose, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Red Grouse, Pheasant, Buzzard, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Collared Dove, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Bullfinch and Siskin (26 species, of which all but Pink-footed Goose were recorded within the national park. Notable sightings included a Jay  near Lilly Loch, three Goldeneye on the loch, with another pair on the Spey near the Old Bridge Inn, a single Tufted Duck on Lilly Loch, six Bullfinches feeding on Heather near the Insh Road, a Buzzard in Aviemore (my first sighting here) and around 70 Red Grouse on snow in the Drumochter Pass (with groups of Red Deer evident also).