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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, December 31, 2016

31st Dec 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Only natural connection today was with a nasty upper respiratory tract virus 🙁

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A good total of eight Goosanders was on the Murdieston dams this lunchtime.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Three Goosanders were on the river behind the house this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A walk along the river this morning produced surprisingly little of note (the water level is still too high for the likes of Kingfisher or Dipper). However a Treecreeper near the confluence, a Buzzard at Leverndale and 300 mixed corvids and pigeons on stubble at Cairnhill were all interesting. Of most significance, however, was a Nuthatch calling in the grounds of Rosshall Hospital, my first record (and 76th species) for my home square (NS5263).  

Monday, December 26, 2016

An afternoon in Balfron was notable for numerous, heavy showers moving in from the west.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Meant to mention, a female Chaffinch was a slightly unusual visitor to the garden yesterday.

Saturday, December 23, 2016

During a late afternoon walk through Pollok found single Cormorants on the Levern Water near the Levernside Road shops and in the roosting tree on the White Cart along Linthaugh Road. The only other record of note was a Hooded Crow x Carrion Crow hybrid at Silverburn shopping centre.  

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A very brief visit to Aviemore and Cairn Gorm today produced single Goldeneye (on the Spey south of Aviemore) and Crested Tit (in woods near Coylumbridge) and two Red Grouse (on Windy Ridge). It was a bitterly cold day up on the plateau but mercifully dry. Great to spend most of the shortest day of the year in the hills.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Two Coal Tits and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were braving the cold in the woods behind Marr Hall first thing this morning.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A lunchtime stroll around Murdieston Dams produced more signs of Spring (!) in the form of two Mallards vigorously head-bobbing and a couple of Black-headed Gulls with pink flushing on the breast. Also notable was a high count of four Moorhens.
This afternoon, a Wren was singing in the High Street garden of the UWS Paisley campus and audible through the closed windows on the 7th floor.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

An afternoon walk along the Cart towards the Cormorant roost tree (empty) found three Song Thrushes in full song in Lochar Park. A Little Grebe was on the river just downstream from the Mosspark footbridge.
At 1am, a Robin was singing strongly outside the bedroom window.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A walk back from Crookston to home produced some really notable sightings, beginning with at least 76 Waxwings in tall trees beside the convenience store on Crookston Road. The birds were gathering in the treetops, then dropping down to street level to feed on berry trees. A Dipper was singing round at the confluence of the Brock Burn and White Cart Water. In the park, an exceptional count of 13 Stock Doves included nine in a group feeding on the ground (where a dog walker had scattered some grain). There were more Woodpigeons in the area than of late with one group of 20 birds flying west. My best ever count of Moorhens in my home square consisted of two on Rosshall Park pond and two singles at different spots along the river. Siskins were present at several spots and a mixed finch flock in a corner of Pollok Wood consisted of six Bullfinches, two Siskins, two Goldfinches and a Chaffinch. A Treecreeper near the old cooking school was probably the most unusual sighting of the morning.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Three Goosanders were on the river in the centre of Paisley this lunchtime.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Black Guillemot in winter plumage was the highlight of a walk along the waterfront in Greenock this lunchtime.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Kingfisher was buzzing up and down the river in the centre of Paisley this lunchtime as the Christmas shoppers hurried past, oblivious.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A lunchtime walk around Murdieston Dams produced several interesting sightings including four Rooks displaying in the trees where they nest each spring, three Goldeneye (including a male in full breeding plumage) on the main dam, a single Goosander on the smaller (Town) dam and a Dipper singing loudly from its usual location in the channel next to Inverkip Road.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

After yesterday's Pink-footed Goose, the highlight of today was a Greylag Goose honking as it flew over, hidden in low cloud.

Saturday, 10th December, 2016

A wander around the Falkirk Wheel found few birds braving the drizzle. Arriving back at the house about 10pm,  a strangulated "Wink wink" betrayed the presence of a Pink-footed Goose moving over in the gloom.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Two Ravens were calling loudly around Coats Memorial Church this lunchtime.

Thursday, December 08, 2016


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Birds were scarce in a blustery Paisley today with even the Mute Swans hauled up on the river bank.

Monday, December 05, 2016

A solitary Buzzard was the only highlight of the train journey back home from the east.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Two Grey Wagtails were flitting around at rooftop height in the centre of Paisley today.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

A short lunchtime walk along the river on the way to an afternoon meeting produced a really good range of species including a Kingfisher, two Goldcrests and four Stock Doves.