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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, October 30, 2018

Around 300 Starlings were in a tight flock swirling over the A8 through Greenock around 4:30 this afternoon.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Long-tailed Tit was a slightly more exotic visitor to the feeders than the usual suspects. Overhead, Redwings and Fieldfares continue to seep and chak as they dart nervously between the trees.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A single moorhen and a good scattering of redwings were the highlights of today's walk along the river in south Cardonald.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Highlights of a day spent in Glenmore were 30+ Brambling feeding on Beech mast and a minimum of 23 Jays showing well between Inverdruie and Inshriach. Details were as follows:
A single Red Grouse near the “Drumochter Pass” sign.
Two Rabbits in the grounds of Dalwhinnie Distillery.
Two Roe Deer just after the start of moorland north of Calvine.
A Red-legged Partridge at Newtonmore Station.
Single Buzzards at Insh Marshes, Dalraddy Moor, Beech Grove, the Martineau Monument, the Doune, .
The usual autumn/winter species in Aviemore including Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Redwing, Robin, House Sparrow, Siskin and Chaffinch.
Jays just south of Aviemore (1), at the Beech wood west of the Rothiemurchus Triangle (1), at the Doune (ten, including nine in one tree), along the Insh Road opposite the Duke of Gordon
Single Great Spotted Woodpeckers at the Rothiemurchus Triangle, further along the road towards
At least 31 Bramblings feeding under Beech trees with Pheasant, Woodpigeon (an adult and a young
A tit flock consisting of Blue Tit (4), Great Tit (2), Coal Tit (1), Long-tailed Tit (1) and Treecreeper (1) in Birches west of the Rothiemurchus Triangle.
A tit flock consisting of Goldcrest (1), Blue Tit (1), Great Tit (2), Coal Tit (10) and Crested Tit (1) at Feshiebridge.
A loose flock of passerines consisting of Blue Tit (3), Great Tit (8), Coal Tit (1), Long-tailed Tit (6), Blackbird, (1), Redwing (2), Robin (1) and Chaffinch (3) at the Martineau Monument.
A flock of around 40 Fieldfares (and one Redwing) over the horse paddock behind the Inverdruie Curling Pond.
Lots of colour in the trees with Aspen, Birch and Sycamore turning yellow, and Beech orange.
A Dipper perched quietly on tree roots beside the Spey.
A small concentration of finches along the road past Inshriach House consisting of Chaffinch (4), Bullfinch (3), Greenfinch (4) and Siskin (2).

Friday, October 26, 2018

Paisley town centre was very busy this lunchtime so natural connections were few. However two Mute Swans have returned to the River Cart at Forres place after having been largely absent over the summer.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Around 50 Starlings were in the west end of Greenock this lunchtime, feeding on fatballs and on a large Yew tree in a house doorway. Offshore, several Eiders were bobbing about, unperturbed by a considerable swell. Heading back up the M8 this evening, two (presumed) Whooper Swans, knee-deep in the shallows opposite Cora Campus were an unusual sight. So too was a single, pale goose in among several hundred pinkfeet at Blackstoun Mains.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The journey up the M8 at lunchtime produced now 25-30 Whooper Swans feeding on stubble with hundreds of greay geese (presumably Greylags and Pinkfeet). later, the usual walk along the river found lots of Redwings feeding in the leaf litter and five Chaffinches flying up up from underneath a Beech tree. Back home, three Bulfinches visited the garden feeders and a male Blackbird took berries from the Pyracantha growing through the Beech hedge.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A small skein of geese flew over near Bridge of Weir this afternoon.

Monday, October 22, 2018

A new bird for the garden today was a Greater Spotted Woodpecker visiting the peanut feeder.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

An afternoon walk around Whitelees Wind Farm produced a male Stonechat on a signpost and two Ravens overhead.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Visitors to the garden feeders today included the usual species but some Long-tailed Tits were present nearby and may be tempted eventually.

Friday, October 19, 2018

A lunchtime walk along the river in Paisley produced Grey Wagtail,  Grey Heron and calling Kingfisher. Plenty of Black-headed Gulls were still present but the Lesser Black-backed Gulls appear to have all moved south.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Plenty of Starlings and House Sparrows were at the waterfront in Greenock today. The only large gulls were Great Black-backed and Herring. Heading home, four or five Whooper Swans were between the motorway and the airport.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Lots of Redwings and Mistle Thrushes were over Greenock Cemetery this lunchtime.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A male Bullfinch was a nice visitor to the garden feeding station, but two local cats were scaring everything else off.

Monday, October 15, 2018

A lunchtime walk around Murdieston Dams produced a single female Wigeon, in my experience less than annual here.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The local birds have discovered the new feeding station in the back garden with Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Bullfinch and Chaffinch all visiting. Less welcome were two Magpies and a Grey Squirrel.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The usual walk along the river in south Cardonald produced a single Stock Dove feeding on the path, a Pied Wagtail feeding on the asphalt square in moulin and evidence of a substantial influx of Redwings into the area.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Heavy rain in Glasgow today didn't deter three Cormorants fishing off the Broomielaw.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A brief walk along the river this lunchtime produced a new species for my "patch list", a Skylark calling as it flew over. The only other notable sighting was of a Chaffinch calling from the apex of the roof of one of the houses in the estate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A dry, sunny day today was a welcome change after two days of heavy rain. Both Grey Wagtail and Pied Wagtail were calling from the tenements in the west end of Greenock.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Some nice autumn colour in Greenock today with Japanese Maples particularly standing out.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Three species which have appeared locally over the past few days were showing again today in the form of Redwing, Goldcrest and Siskin.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Lovely day in Edinburgh but too busy for many natural connections. However a Raven was over Samson's ribs and a bat was flitting over the road down the east side of Holywood Park at dusk.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Had my first Redwings of the winter today - five whistling and chattering in trees in Rosshall Park.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Redwings being reported from a handful of sites around the country.

Monday, October 01, 2018

A Jackdaw briefly mobbed a Sparrowhawk as it flew across Ardgowan Street, Greenock first thing. Plenty of small birds were about at lunchtime on a lovely, soft, windless day, including at least six Pied Wagtails on Ardgowan Square Bowling green. However the local Lesser black-backed Gulls seem to have departed.