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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.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A walk along the river produced two Grey Wagtails at the first weir, a Stock Dove perched on an exposed branch and a small patch of Lords and Ladies beside the path in Rosshall Park. The local trees are starting to show quite a lot of autumn colour.



Saturday, September 29, 2018

A Grey Wagtail was again around Cardonald Bowling Green.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Clear skies overnight led to the temperature at dawn being four degrees celsius.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

News from the web is of the first wave of Redwings and Fieldfares arriving in the British Isles.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The southwesterly winds that have been dominating the weather of late were responsible for a temperature of 15.5 degrees before dawn this morning.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Today began with a glorious pink and orange sunrise. Later, heading back up the M8, 200 Woodpigeons were over fields at North Commonside.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The local drake Mallards are now back in full breeding plumage. Three were displaying to a couple of females under Bonnyholm Bridge.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Decided to try for the Grey Phalarope at Balgray Reservoir again, although again it was nowhere to be seen. The only waders present were two Redshanks and yesterday's Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. Two White Wagtails among a mixed group were the highlights of a beautiful if somewhat chilly morning.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Today marked a weather milestone with the first ice on the car windscreen when I went out, about 8am. Headed to Balgray Reservoir about 10:30 am to look for the Grey Phalarope reported there but the  bird had already been flushed to the far side. Had to be content with Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, a hunting Kestrel and a late (for me) Sand Martin. Next stop was Garnqueen Loch which sometimes holds Ruddy Duck at this time of year. No luck again although I subsequently noticed that one was reported there the very next day. The final stop was Hogganfield Loch where the juvenile Black Tern was showing well as it flew large circuits between the north west bank and the island. Other interesting birds there included two Gadwall and a single Whooper Swan.

Friday, September 21, 2018

A walk along the river in south Cardonald found a fair number of big boughs downed by Wednesday's storm. Birds were few, but the local Robins continue to add some much-needed cheer with their sweet songs.

 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Still a few Black-headed Gulls on the river in Paisley today but generally quiet due to the poor weather of late.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Gale-force winds meant few birds were on the wing during today's walk in Greenock. in fact, only four species were recorded: Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Starling and House Sparrow.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A wet and windy day in Paisley, but remarkably mild. A walk along the (swollen) river produced very little in the way of birdlife. The falls at The Hammils look like a great spot for watching migrating fish, but it has been a few years since I have seen any there.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Swallow was over the regular site at the corner of Baker Street in Greenock first thing. Later in the day, a sad find was a Hedgehog dead on Houston Street in the west end of the town.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Robin is the bird of the week here in south Cardonald with a significant increase in song (it is the dominant bird noise right now, apart from Jackdaw and other corvid calls) and at least one bird back in the garden.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

A Nuthatch was calling noisily down by the river while I was working in the garden in south Cardonald.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Around 50 noisy Jackdaws accompanied this evening's gardening. Meanwhile a single Chiffchaff continues to "Hooweet" from the bushes over the garden fence.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Several wasps were prospecting the garden shed during its annual clear out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Only common birds were along the river this afternoon, although a Bullfinch was hanging around the garden.

Monday, September 10, 2018

News from the web is of immature Gannets starting to appear in increasing numbers at seawatching sites as they fledge from their colonies. At home, a substantial tit flock (perhps 25 or more birds) passed through the garden, and Siskins appear to have returned to the area.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

News from the web is that the regular autumn gathering of Ospreys on the Clyde continues with at least five birds fishing at Finlaystone and potentially another five off Inverclyde.

Saturday, September 08, 2018



































A walk along part of the Avon Gorge near Linlithgow Bridge found a small patch of Lords and Ladies with well-developed red fruiting spikes. This is a plant I rarely encounter in Scotland so the record was all the more welcome. Other interesting natural connections around Linlithgow, Muiravonside Country Park and the canal east of Linlithgow consisted of flowering Monkey Flower, lots of Chiffhaffs (including two singing birds), a Dipper, a Grey Wagtail, some day-flying moths and a pair of Swallows attending a nest in an old barn.

Friday, September 07, 2018

A brief stop at Applegarthwood Wildlife Refuge found two Sand Martins still visiting the nesting bank there. There was no sign of any Tree Sparrows but two Spotted Flycatchers were still feeding around the first hide. Four or five Teal and a Moorhen were on the pond and a Fly Agaric mushroom was along the visitors' path. The other stop was Moffat where a Little Grebe was on the park pond. A Buddleia near there held at least five each of Red Admiral and Peacock, a single Painted Lady and a day-flying moth species.




Thursday, September 06, 2018

Spent the middle part of the day plowtwering on the saltmarsh south of Gretna. Best birds on the mud were five Little Egrets, a small group of Ringed Plovers and larger numbers of Black-tailed Godwits. After a detour to look at the Lochmaben stones, a walk up the Keltie Water produced a Green Sandpiper and a Kingfisher. Single Kestrels were at the beginning and end of the walk and a Buzzard was around the middle. Rabbits were the only mammals encountered.





Wednesday, September 05, 2018

This mornings walk around Rockcliffe took place in warm sunshine. Birding highlight was provided by two Ravens calling as the flew high overhead. Butterflies in the village gardens included Red Admiral, whites and a possible skipper species. Those in the woods and along the coastal path were Painted Lady, Green-veined White and Speckled Wood. Lapwings and Teal were present at RSPB Mersehead, plenty of Swallow were around Beeswing and House Martins were still around buildings in Annan. The day ended looking out over the Solway from Powfoot. 



Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Starlings were chattering from a church spire and House Martins were feeding overhead during a walk around the centre of Lockerbie this afternoon. Eskrigg Nature Reserve had Nuthatch, Red Squirrel and Yellow Stag's-Horn Fungus. Later, Swallows and House Martins were feeding over the river as dusk fell in Kircudbright. 

Monday, September 03, 2018

Nearly fifty Swallows were impatiently shifting on wires at Mugdock Park this afternoon. A juvenile Little Grebe with an adult on Craigend Loch was suggestive of local breeding. Another adult was on Mugdock Loch.



Sunday, September 02, 2018

This evening's walk along the river happened too late to produce many birds. However there was more evidence of a recent influx of Rooks into the area.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

The local tits and other small birds were a little noisier today with various squeaks and other calls emanating from the vegetation. The Hoodie hybrid is still at Bonnyholm and three Collared Doves were feeding on the path in Rosshall Park.