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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.

Monday, October 31, 2016

A walk along the river and through Rosshall Park found yesterday's influx of Redwing dispersed, although plenty of birds were swooping overhead. Moorhens were at two sites and a Kinfisher was alarm calling near the pond.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A short walk along the Kelvin between Great Western Road and Gibson Street produced a Kingfisher glinting in the autumn sunshine.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A walk home from Crookston Road found Rosshall Park full of birds. New arrivals included lots of Redwings and Blackbirds with at least three Fieldfares and a flock of Siskins. The influx of birds seemed to have wakened up the resident birds with lots of Great Tit, Robin, Dunnock and Wren singing or calling. A small group of birds feeding on the path consisted of five Stock Doves (the most I have ever seen here has been two), four Collared Doves (the species has been very scarce locally recently), a Feral Pigeon, six Woodpigeons, four Chaffinches and two Dunnocks.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The usual lunchtime walk around Paisley town centre produced some interesting sightings including two Dippers interacting under the Town Hall, a Kingfisher and a Moorhen at the inflow of the Espedair Burn, two Redwings overhead and (something I have never noticed before) up to four large fish (presumably trout sp) attempting to leap the falls at The Hammils.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A walk up to Gartnavel Hospital this afternoon produced a flock of 20 Goldfinches in tree tops in the hospital grounds and a group of six Long-tailed Tits in bushes next to Hyndland Primary School.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A milder day today after yesterday's frost

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A lunchtime walk around the centre of Paisley produced some notable sightings including a Grey Heron preening on the chimney of a four-story tenement (stopping only to glare at a Sparrowhawk which soared too close), a single, calling Raven, Grey Wagtails at two points along the river, two drake Mallards displaying to a female, a sizeable gathering of Black-headed Gulls (after single figures only, recently) and an unidentified wader flushed from the outflow of the Espedair Burn.

Monday, October 24, 2016

An evening walk along the river founds most birds already settled down to roost. However a couple of Redwing "see-eep"ed over.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

No natural connections during a frustrating day of supposedly catching up on paperwork left over from last week. However news from the web is of a few more Waxwings appearing.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

An early morning visit to Garnqueen Loch found the expected two drake Ruddy Ducks (I guess the authorities have stopped culling them now that all the females are gone) and an unexpected four Shoveler. A brief stop at Luckenburn Farm was less successful with no Bean Geese present. Later, a walk from the centre of Falkirk to the Kelpies produced two Grey Wagtails having a battle and a noisy Great Spotted Woodpecker on a telephone pole. Heading home, plenty of winter thrushes (Redwings, Fieldfares, Blackbirds and a Mistle Thrush) were at Palacerigg Country Park (with more over a stand of conifers on Fannyside Muir) while a lone Kestrel (rare these days) was near Slammanan.

Friday, October 21, 2016

An evening watch from Lyle Hill produced five Redwings and an unidentified finch (?Brambling) moving overhead while 16 Long-tailed Tits were in bushes at the beacon.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

News from the web is about small "advance parties" of Waxwings arriving in the northern isles and on the east coast.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A walk in St James' Park this evening produced some lovely birds in the form of captive (but apparently free-flying) White-headed Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck and Egyptian Goose plus (presumed genuine Teal and Shoveler).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Grey Squirrel was running along Borough Road this afternoon. 
This evening, a big moon was hanging over the Thames. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Travelling south by train this afternoon, over 100 geese (presumed pinkfeet) were disturbed from trackside fields at "the meetings".

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Marking all day today, with only the garden Dunnocks for company.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Siskins were calling in the garden today - the first I've heard this autumn.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Latest New naturalist cover launched:


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tufted Ducks were flocking together on the Murdieston Dams this lunchtime. Meantime the Mallards seem to have already paired off.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Red Fox across Crookston Road in the darkness was the only natural connection of a busy work day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A walk in the west end of Greenock found crispy, brown Beech leaves in piles along Union Street.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A thin film of ice on the car windshield first thing was the first of the winter.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

A walk around Milngavie this afternoon produced a Dipper on the Allander Water next to Tesco's.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

A walk above Helensburgh this morning produced a single Redwing (my first of the season) over near the Hill House.

Friday, October 07, 2016

A Grey Wagtail was on a tenement roof in Paisley this lunchtime while a Grey Heron was along the river. 
Just before dusk, 25 Starlings were wheeling over central Paisley and at home, 18 Magpies were together on the road through the estate.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

An after-dark walk this evening (it gets dark SO early these days) failed to produce any passing Redwings. The only birds encountered were a few Jackdaws bickering as they settled down to roost.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

A quick walk as far as Rosshall Park and back at the end of the day produced four Moorhens on the park pond, the most I have seen there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

A glorious sunrise this morning.

Monday, October 03, 2016

High pressure has settled over west central Scotland. A glorious sunrise was followed by a dry, sunny day. A working trip to Clydebank found several Pied/White Wagtails feeding on the lawns of the Golden Jubilee Hospital but no time to take a proper look at them. This evening, a walk around south Cardonald produced all the usual species but no Redwings yet.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

This morning's walk from Yorkhill to Woodlands and back produced 30+ Mallards and (unusually) a Grey Wagtail on Kelvingrove Park pond and a Dipper under the Benalder Street bridge.
This afternoon, a walk to Crookston Castle produced a single Great Spotted Woodpecker, and a Carrion Crow mobbing a Sparrowhawk as it flew low over the Brock Burn. The local Policeman's Helmet plants are still flowering and providing countless hoverflies with a late summer nectar bonanza. With temperatures down to five degrees last night and promising to drop even lower tonight, that particular bounty may soon come to an end.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

A walk home from Paisley this afternoon produced a remarkable sighting in the form of three Buzzards (the most I have seen locally has been one). Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail were along the river and a huge flock of birds on stubble at Cairnhill consisted of Woodpigeons (100+), Jackdaws (100+), Feral Pigeons, Stock Doves, Rooks, Magpies and Carrion Crows. Three Moorhens were on the pond in Rosshall Park. .

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Grey Heron and a Grey Wagtail were around the Hamils this lunchtime for anyone who cared to look over the side of the bridge. Robin is by far the most noticeable species at this time of the year with every bush and tree seemingly holding a singing or "Tick"ing bird. Blackbirds are still staying quiet and out of sight. At least 15 Long-tailed Tits were in a tree on Saucel Hill.