<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d7235362\x26blogName\x3dNatural+Connections\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dLIGHT\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://naturalconnections.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_GB\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://naturalconnections.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-1938150495582669688', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A twenty-minute walk around the Ferguslie area this lunchtime produced ten Tufted Ducks, a pair of Moorhens and three Coots on the "Coats' Dam", lots of Jackdaws, Feral Pigeons and especially Black-headed Gulls (the bird of the week) overhead, and the pair of Mute Swans on Ferguslie Park pond looking like they might be setting up territory. A Grey Wagtail was over King Street as I headed back to work.
Earlier, a Raven was on the spire of Oakshws Trinity Church.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

An afternoon walk in a sunny Glasgow Botanic Gardens found few birds on show due to the number of people around. However twelve Goosanders were showing well on the Kelvin, their soft grunting calls being easily heard at such close range.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hogganfield Loch was the place to be this afternoon with the settled weather enticing many species to increase the pace of their breeding activity. Most obvious were the Whooper Swans with much trumpeting and display, even right next to the car park. Drake Goldeneye were displaying to some females and giving the harsh croak that accompanies their foot-splashing and head jerking display. Teal were altogether more demure but small parties were whistling as they flew around and one or two males were calling and displaying. Grey Herons were bickering over their colony on the island and other species showing breeding activity included Moorhen, Coot, Great-crested Grebe and Mute Swan. Pochard and Gadwall, although present, were much less animated.
Arriving home, two Mute Swans flew low over the estate and landed on the river (where I saw them a few weeks ago). I wonder if they will attempt to nest?

Friday, February 26, 2016

A very brief walk around the centre of Paisley this afternoon produced two Ravens alighting on the Town Hall spire, a Mistle Thrush alarm calling near the council buildings and a Kingfisher in its usual spot.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The walk to and from Gartnavel Hospital for a meeting this afternoon produced three Long-tailed Tits and a singing Mistle Thrush.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A quick walk up to Murdieston Park failed to locate the Mediterranean Gull that was present earlier in the week. Numbers of other gulls continue to swell with four Great Black-backs being a good count.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Today's lunchtime walk took in the waterfront around Custom House Quay and produced a single Rock Pipit, my first of the year.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Six Whooper Swans were at Wester Walkinshaw Farm first thing with a Buzzard at the Bishopton bend of the M8 and another at Finlaystone Estate.
A walk through the west end of Greenock this lunchtime produced an unusual sight in the form of two Mute Swans flying west. Singing birds included Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Robin, Starling and Woodpigeon. Ten Redpolls were buzzing in trees above the Golf Clubhouse. 
Town Dam held a nice adult Mediterranean Gull on the point of moulting into summer plumage and a Cormorant. The main dam held three Goldeneye, two Little Grebes and a Great Black-backed Gull. Two Rooks were back at their micro-colony.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

An afternoon walk through a rainy Craigton and North Cardonald produced only the usual bird species (plus a singing Chaffinch) but a patch of Primroses on a neglected verge was a nice surprise.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Today started with a Chaffinch singing well in Crookston. A short walk along the river in driving rain this lunchtime nevetheless produced a few items of interest including a Moorhen and a Little Grebe near the Mosspark Station footbridge, a single Long-tailed Tit nearby, two pairs of Mallards on the river, a Hooded Crow x Carrion Crow hybrid and two good-sized groups of Black-headed Gulls with attendent Jackdaws and a total of three Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Visitors to the garden today consisted of a Robin, three Feral Pigeons, a few Blue Tits and Great Tits and a Magpie. The Abernethy feeder held at least 6 Coal Tits,  two Blue Tits,  two Great Tits,  a Crested Tit, two Chaffinches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A short walk around the west end of Greenock this lunchtime found a Goldfinch singing loudly over the traffic. Several Herring Gulls were showing interest in the tenement rooftops.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were displaying to eachother on waste ground between Carmyle and Mount Vernon this aftenoon. Later, fifty mixed corvids were in fields east of Pollok House.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Thirty Greylag Geese flew south over the house about 7:30am. A walk through the tiny Plantation Park to get to an early morning meeting produced 26 Woodpigeons and fourteen other species. A Grey Wagtail was in a back court nearby. Later, heading down to Greenock, 15 Whooper Swans were at Wester Walkinshaw Farm.

Monday, February 15, 2016

A short walk down "The Furlongs", Hamilton before starting work this morning produced two Cormorants overhead (they seem to "cut the corner" here), lots of singing finches (Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch) and a singing Nuthatch (the latter my first for the site).


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lots of paperwork to catch up wih today, so the only walk was a brief one through north Cardonald. Only the usual, common birds were encountered.
Back home, Blackbird, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Dunnock visited the feeding station. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Today's trip to Strathspey took place in clear, sunny conditions. Highlights of the train journey were Pink-footed Geese in Strath Earn, a Jay neat Killiecrankie and a Red Grouse at Drumochter.  Birds around Aviemore included singing Greenfinch and Collared Doves. The skiers' car park on Cairngorm failed to produce any Snow Buntings. Heading home, a Cormorant was at Loch Insh and around 30 Golden Plover were with Greylag Geese at Aultlarie. 

The total bird list for the day was:

Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose, Red Grouse, Cormorant, Buzzard, Golden Plover, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, hybrid Carrion x Hooded Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blackbird, Robin, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch (24  species).

Impressions of Strathspey in February include: 

Friday, February 12, 2016

First bird of the day was a Collared Dove calling as it swooped over the driveway. I haven't seen any hereabouts all winter. 
Next stop was a wintry Mugdock Park. A Raven was near the Khyber Path and five Cormorants were grunting and snorting on the island in Mugdock Loch. Twelve Goosanders and five Goldeneye there were displaying and squabbling with eachother. The Snowdrops were putting on a fantastic display and four singing Chaffinches were my first of the year. Finally a Treecreeper was near the stables and a Nuthatch was singing near Gallows Pond. 
Back in Paisley, a Raven was perched on the very top of the abbey and a Pied Wagtail was near the entarnce to the town hall. 
Barshaw Park pond held another Pied Wagtail and a single drake Goosander (plus a dead fish).
Finally, two Pied wagtails arrived at the Silverburn roost as dusk fell. 
Heading north tomorrow...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A lunchtime walk around the west end of Paisley produced some good local birds including Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Pied Wagtail and Redwing.

Big news is that the Raven pair are back on the ridge opposite the office. From 08:30, both birds were perched on various parts of the tower of Coats Memorial Church including the north east corner (where last year’s nest was located) and both the south east and south west corners. The birds also flew over and alighted (separately) on the dome of the John Neilston Institute. Both flew off (possibly west) about 09:00.

The birds appeared to be absent for most of the day until 14:00 when first one and then both were perched on the dome of the John Neilston institute. They stood very close together for about 30 minutes before both flew off strongly (separately) in a south east direction

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A quick walk around Hawkhead Cemetery at home time produced a noisy Great Spotted Woodpecker and two Fieldfares.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A Pied Wagtail was skipping along the pavement outside Haymarket Station first thing. Heading home, a Kestrel was on the tram wires at Saughton. Later, as dusk fell, two Song Thrushes, two Wrens and several Robins were singing just across the river from the house.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Highlights of a lunchtime walk along Greenock waterfront were a Pied Wagtail singing quietly as it fed next to East India Harbour and two Razorbills just offshore at the leisure complex.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

A walk along the river this afternoon produced a number of interesting sightings. Two Ravens were calling loudly from treetops just west of the Leverndale Hospital west gate. A Buzzard which appeared a little later was probably the cause. The feeders near there held Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch and Great-spotted Woodpecker. Four Stock Doves were on stubble near Cairnhill and a Grey Heron was between there and the river. Also down by the river, Snowdrop, Daffodil and Wild Garlic plants were pushing through vigorously.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

A walk around a rainy Pollokshields produced a Bullfinch singing quietly in a front garden.
News from the web is of the first inland Oystercatchers of the spring in South Lanarkshire. 

Friday, February 05, 2016

The local Song Thrush has relocated to the trees just next to the house. He started singing about 05:00 this morning and is (still?) singing this evening (17:30). In between, managed a short walk round Paisley in the driving rain. Few birds were on the wing and there was no sight or sound of the Ravens all day.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

A lunchtime walk along the sea front at Cardwell Bay today provided great views of Shag, Red-breasted Merganser, Redshank and Oystercatcher.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

A walk down to the esplanade at lunchtime found an unusual visitor in the harbour - a female Tufted Duck.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

A quick lunchtime walk around the UWS Paisley Campus only produced some Goldfinches flying over (they really have been one of the success stories of recent years). A quick look at the tower on Coats Memorial Church revealed the Raven's nest looking quite substantial. I suppose it could have survived the winter like that but I wonder if the pair have returned.

Monday, February 01, 2016

A female Blackbird and a Feral Pigeon were the only visitors to a windswept garden this morning.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A walk home from Pollok Roundabout produced a pair of Goosanders on the Levern Water next to Lyoncross Road and a good selection of finches (Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch) on the fruit trees at Crookston Castle (with a Raven passing overhead there). Also at Crookston Castle were flowering Primrose and Snowdrop.