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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, January 31, 2019

At dusk tonight, 40 Jackdaws rose from their roosting wood near the house to escort a Buzzard out of the area.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A walk along the waterfront in Greenock this lunchtime produced two Black Guillemots already in summer plumage.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Two Common Gulls were displaying to eachother on the beach at the east end of Greenock Esplanade this lunchtime.

Monday, January 28, 2019

The near-full Hooded Crow was still in the Ardgowan Square area of Greenock this lunchtime. Later, a Grey Wagtail was in its usual place at Greenock West Station.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Grey Wagtail was the only slightly unusual sighting during a walk along the river in south Cardonald this lunchtime.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A very wet day in Helensburgh nevertheless produced some interesting records. Four teal were showing well at the skating pond on Luss Road. Nearby, Reservoir No. 1 held two Goldeneye, a Tufted Duck and two Cormorants. A single Mistle Thrush and a Roe Deer were in Drumfad Wood and single Ravens were over two different parts of the town. Almost the last birds of the day were two Linnets at the Ferry Terminal.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, and Wren were all singing during today's lunchtime walk in Oakshaws.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A short lunchtime walk in Paisley produced a Pied Wagtail in the back courts of the flats along George Street and two Long-tailed Tits near the fire station.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A near-complete Hooded Crow (but more likely a hybrid with Carrion Crow) was upsetting the local corvids in the west end of Greenock today. It was chased by two Jackdaws and a Magpie, and took refuge at the top of a tall conifer in Ardgowan Square.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Buzzard was perched on a dead branch over the river at dusk this evening. A little later, 62 Magpies were counted flying in to roost.

Monday, January 21, 2019

A quick lunchtime scoot around Murdieston Dams produced a Little Grebe, two Goldeneye and a small flock of Siskins. Heading up the motorway, a Kestrel was in a tree at Longhaugh Point.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Treecreeper was showing well at the old Cookery School this morning. Twenty Magpies and nine Mallards were mobbing something hidden in an Ivy-covered tree (possibly an owl or  a fox). Three Redwings were moving overhead. One Stock Dove and five Collared Doves were among many birds of a dozen species now singing.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The day list for today's walk from Larbert to the Kelpies along the River Carron amounted to 41 species: Mute Swan, Teal, Mallard, Goldeneye, Goosander, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch and Siskin. Not counted in that total was a nice, all white Domestic Mallard on the canal south of the Kelpies.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The regular Grey Heron and a single Mute Swan were at the Hammils today. A Mistle Thrush was near last year's breeding site at Paisley Abbey.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A Sparrowhawk was being mobbed by Magpies at Castlehead this lunchtime, eventually flying off with one of the Magpies in hot pursuit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Quite a few Oystercatchers and Redshanks were at Cardwell Bay this lunchtime, although as elsewhere, corvids seemed to be the commonest bird group.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Blustery weather in Greenock today kept most of the small birds silent and out of sight. However plenty of Herring Gulls were around and as the wind abated, a couple of Blue Tits started singing.

Monday, January 14, 2019

A walk around the west end of Paisley in blustery conditions this lunchtime only produced the usual, urban birds. Woodpigeon, Robin and Starling were singing while Feral Pigeons were displaying.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A repeat walk around the same square produced only 26 species today (probably due to windy and wet conditions). However some hghlights included a Treecreeper, very good counts of c70 Black-headed Gulls and c70 Starlings plus a singing Mistle Thrush.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

A two-hour walk around my local 1km square in southwest  Glasgow produced 31 species. Highlights were flyover Buzzard, Raven and Kestrel, the latter a first sighting after 12 years of living here.

Friday, January 11, 2019

There seems to have been a bit of a local influx of Redwings overnight. Whether they are heading north or south, I'm not sure. A Kingfisher was a lovely sight this lunchtime as it sped along the river at Forbes Place, Paisley.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Raven was near the regular nest site in Paisley this morning. Plenty of Robins and a couple of Blue Tits were singing during a lunchtime walk.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Another reasonable day in Greenock with large numbers of a few species, notably House Sparrow, Jackdaw and Feral Pigeon.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

A walk down to the waterfront in weak winter sunshine found Starlings and House Sparrows bathing in a puddle and a Greenfinch singing in the car park of the bingo hall.

Monday, January 07, 2019

A lunchtime walk in a bitterly cold Greenock failed to find many birds but a flock of 24 Goldfinches was unusual. The cover art for NN139 Gulls is looking good. 

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Notable local birds today included a single Greenfinch on the garden feeders and the first two singing Mistle Thrushes of the year.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

A walk around Falkirk Town Centre produced quiute a good range of mostly urban birds including lots of Moorhens around the Forth and Clyde Canal and both Pied and Grey Wagtail.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Three Moorhens, a Grey Heron and a Grey Wagtail were on the river in Paisley today. Great, Blue and Coal Tits were all singing.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

A Coal Tit and a Collared Dove were singing in the west end of Greenock this lunchtime. Flocks of Starlings and Goldfinches were whistling and buzzing in the treetops.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A walk along the Clyde at Braehead this afternoon found streams of Black-headed Gulls (possibly 300 in 20 minutes) flying downriver, presumably to roost. A Little Grebe was among a dozen Mallards plowtering along the shore.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

The usual walk along the river was notable for a good selection of species singing in the sunny weather, namely: Robin, Wren, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Blue Tit and Great Tit.