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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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lovely sunset over Paisley this evening.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A very short walk around the west end of Greenock this lunchtime found plenty of Herring Gulls and Jackdaws prospecting on the tenement rooftops plus a single Collared Dove among the usual fare.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A walk home from Linthaugh roundabout produced Redwings at two sites (possibly evidence of return migration), a Pied Wagtail at Moulin, Buzzards at two sites, a Teal on the river just behind the house (a first and my 77th species for the 1km square) and two Moorhens nearby showing signs of pairing off.

Highlights of a damp walk along the river as far as Paisley consisted of three Goosanders along the Moulin stretch together with a Little Grebe (not usually present here), 25 Redwings whistling softly in a treetop near Rosshall School, a Moorhen along the Catering School stretch (again not regular here), two Stock Doves in a tree top in Rosshall Park (with a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling nearby), Mistle Thrushes singing at two sites, a Raven calling from the tower in Leverndale Hospital grounds, up to 100 Chaffinches and 20 Fieldfares on stubble near the Leverndale Hospital west gate, a Cormorant over the Bull Wood stretch, 100 mixed corvids (mostly Jackdaws) on fields near Rosshall Mains, a Buzzard over Hawkhead Estate football field and a mixed flock of 50 Siskins and 20 Goldfinches on Alders in Hawkhead Estate Park. All made up for a pitiful Garden Birdwatch" with only nine birds of six species seen.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Mistle Thrush was singing (with the usual Robin) outside the house from before dawn. At lunchtime, plenty of House Sparrows were chirruping in Cardonald on the way to work. Meanwhile two Whooper Swans were between the motorway and the airport.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

On a beautiful day in the centre of Paisley, a drake Goldeneye was lurking on a quiet stretch of the Cart.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

On a soggy day in Paisley, two Brown Rats were scuttling around next to the Cart.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On a gloomy but mild day in Greenock, three Shags and a drake Eider were feeding just off Custom House  Quay.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Sunday, January 22, 2017

A dry run of next weekend's Garden Birdwatch produced only thirteen birds of eight species, not untypical of recent activity levels. This afternoon, a quick look around Bent Brae Cemetery in Hamilton found four Goldfinches twittering in tall trees and two beautiful Fan-tailed Pigeons in a nearby garden.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Lots of House Sparrows were chirruping in a sunny Oldhall after a frosty and clear night. A Cormorant circled over the Mosspark Station Footbridge mid-morning. Later, 100 Black-headed Gulls, some moulting into their breeding "hoods", were on the Clyde next to Glasgow Green. The day ended with a beautiful sunset over south Cardonald. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Murdieston Dams held a good total of five Moorhens this lunchtime with more than 100 Jackdaws overhead.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A walk just before dusk this evening produced around 30 Jackdaws noisly gathering in a tree next to Cardonald Parish Church on the way to roost.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A meandering walk around my home 1km square this morning produced a good total of 32 species with the highlights being Kingfisher, Stock Dove and Nuthatch.


Monday, January 16, 2017

The usual walk along the river was notable today for a Mistle Thrush singing strongly from a bare tree in Rosshall Park and (for the fourth day this week) a small party of Siskins.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A walk through Cardonald and along the river as far as Bonnyholm Bridge produced a big flock of Long-tailed Tits (at least 12) near the Mill Hill complex, a big flock of Goldfinches (at least 10) nearby, a pair of Pied Wagtails together at Mosspark Railway Station (and Jackdaws inspecting chimneys there) and a Grey Wagtail and Cormorant on the river immediately behind the house.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Managed a longer walk today, up through Leverndale Hospital, down through Bull Wood and along the river as far as Hawkhead Woodland. The weather was a little milder than of late, although some sheltered stretches of the path still held some snow. Notable sightings included three Goosanders near Cairnhill, 150 mixed corvids on staubble near there and a flock of 20+ Goldfinches buzzing and twittering in treetops near the Leverndale northeast gate. At home, two male Bullfinches were feeding in the Hawthorn hedge and a Raven flew over.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Walked home from the doctor's this morning. The temperature was still low and the pavements were icy and really quite treacherous. A Red Fox was down by the river behind the estate and had attracted quite an escort of Mallards. Interestingly, the local Little Grebe had joined the flotilla. Bullfinch was probably the bird of the day with six birds between two sites.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A short walk along the river produced a single Siskin and an overflying Cormorant.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A short walk in very stormy conditions produced only seven species.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The usual walk along the river produced a Moorhen (on Rosshall Park pond) and a Cormorant flying overhead.

Monday, January 09, 2017

A short walk along the river produced a Grey Heron near Bonnyholm Bridge and a single Redwing (a few of the latter are still bout, but numbers are low and Fieldfares appear to be absent).

Sunday, January 08, 2017


Saturday, January 07 2017


Friday, January 06, 2017


Thursday, January 05, 2017


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A single Grey Squirrel running along the top of my neighbour's fence took centre stage today. Surely tomorrow I'll be fit to venture out.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The Magpies in the tops of the Birch trees outside my window seemed to be mocking me as they bickered all day today.

Monday, January 02, 2017

A softly calling Bullfinch at the front of the house was the only natural connection of another frustrating day trying to shrug off a nasty chest infection.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Lay awake most of last night, nursing a heavy cold. A Robin kept me company all night, singing everytime I was awake. Maybe it was one of the two I saw having a ferocious fight last week.
This evening,  the sweet melody of the Robin's song has been replaced by the harsh braying of a Red Fox.