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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, July 01, 2017

Went for quite a long walk around Mugdock Wood, Craigallian Loch and Carbeth Loch. The rain threatened to arrive all morning but there were also some quite long sunny periods which encouraged flying insects onto the wing.
Plenty of birds were singing including the following totals:
Willow Warbler: 35
Blackcap: 9
Chiffchaff: 2
It is notable that the relative numbers are very similar to those of Aviemore, over 150 kilometres to the north, and very different from my own area, just ten kilometres to the south (where Chiffchaffs predominate).
Other prominent singers were Wren, Dunnock, Mistle Thrush and Greenfinch, but there were surprisingly few singing Chaffinches. Scarcer species included three Reed Buntings at Craigallian Loch, Buzzard, Swift and Great Spotted Woodpecker at four locations each, Jay at two locations and Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, Tree Pipit, Linnet and Common Crossbill at one each. Breeding evidence was found for Coal Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Swallow, Carrion Crow, Buzzard (fledged broods) and Chaffinch (carrying food).  
Insects included two Red Admirals (one of which decided to sunbathe on my leg), numerous Meadow Browns, lots of Common Blue Damselflies and a day-flying Yellow Underwing moth probably Large Yellow-Underwing (Noctua pronuba).
Plant species in flower today included Yellow Waterlilly, White Waterlilly, Valerian, various thistle species, Common Spotted Orchid and Honeysuckle.  
Best sighting of the day concerned a Pine Marten which trotted through the trees (eliciting very distinctive and unusual alarm calls from a family of Blackbirds) before climbing up and over a fence, running across the track and disappearing into some undergrowth.

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