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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.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A nice selection of birds down at the east end of Greenock esplanade this lunchtime included three Eiders and plenty of first and second winter Oystercatchers with their prominent white collars.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Birds around Port Glasgow first thing included a Song Thrush and a Pied Wagtail.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Not many birds were down at the waterfront today, although Starlings were singing in the sunshine.
Latest New Naturalist cover art has been released (publication set for January 2018).


Sunday, November 26, 2017

A walk around Hamilton found three Collared Doves near the town centre but nothing on the river (possibly due to high water levels).

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A tour of Dumfries and Galloway birding sites today produced Willow Tit, Raven, Red Kite and Sparrowhawk at Ken Dee Marshes, possible Peregrine at Balcary Point, Barnacle Geese at Mersehead and Barn Owl at Durisdeer.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

News from the web is that the Moroccan Northern Bald Ibis population has had a record breeding season this year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Two Pied Wagtails were at Rosshall HS and one Grey Wagtail along the river this evening.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Today's walk around Murdieston Dams found plenty of waterbirds including Goosander, Goldeneye, Little Grebe, Cormorant and Moorhen plus the big three (Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot) and an extra adult Mute Swan (making 14 in total).

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Driving along Linthaugh Road this lunchtime, spotted two Cormorants roosting on their usual tree.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Took a look at Luckenburn Farm today but no sign, again, of the Bean Goose flock that used to winter there. Also, no Red Kites during an afternoon wander around Doune and Kilbryde.

Friday, November 16, 2017

A Raven was visiting the nesting tower in the west end of Paisley this morning. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Urban Grey Wagtails at both Port Glasgow and Greenock West train stations were a feature of a dreary autumn day.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A flock of Long-tailed Tits and a couple of overflying Goldfinches were the highlights of a dreich Greenock lunchtime. The frost at the start of the day had promised brighter weather but the hope was soon extinguished by gathering clouds from the west.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A morning run over to the Balloch area produced a drake Mandarin duck preening on a pipe and at least 50 Greenland White-fronted Geese grazing in a roadside field. 
Later, an hour walking around the home square produced a good total of 31 species including a Little Grebe catching a fish, a flock of 30 Siskins and a flock of eight Goldfinches in treetops and around 30 unidentified geese overhead. 

Thursday, November 09, 2017

About 30 Starlings were hanging around the waterfront car park this lunchtime, some of them singing in the sunshine.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

A Pied Wagtail was calling repeatedly from the roof of one of the UWS billings in Paisley this morning.

Monday, November 06, 2017

More snow on the tops, more Waxwing filtering through - the seasons are definitely changing.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

An early walk around the Balgray reservoirs produced some interesting sightings including three Pochard (my first of the year), a Snipe (flushed from the edge of Balgray Reservoir), a pair of Dippers chasing and calling loudly and a rather lost-looking immature Long-tailed Duck. The full bird list for the walk was: Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Long-tailed Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander, Cormorant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Buzzard, Moorhen, Snipe, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Dipper, Fieldfare, Redwing, Robin, Dunnock, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll and Reed Bunting (40 species).

Saturday, November 04, 2017

A Hooded Crow was at Avielochan this lunchtime. Two Mute Swans and a Cormorant were among waterbirds on Loch Insh.
A Kingfisher and Dipper were in Tilicoultry.
News from the Web is that the unprecedented Hawfinch invasion continues. Birds have been seen in Scotland at last (in Lothian) but the really big numbers (like a flock of 53 in Yorkshire) are all down south.

Friday, November 03, 2017
A morning walk along the seafront from Buckie to Portgordon produced Rock Pipits, Linnets and a Pied Wagtail on the beach with Eider and Cormorant offshore. Later, viewed from the level of the raised beach, four drake Long-tailed Ducks dramatically arrived from the east and proceeded to chase eachother exuberantly around the bay. 

Thursday, November 02, 2017

A beautiful day in highland Perthshire showed off the autumn colours of the trees, with the rich chestnut of the Beeches particularly attractive.