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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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Another early start with the weather threatening to deteriorate around midday. Leaving the estate just before 08:00, a Robin singing from a small tree was the first "winter" song I'd heard (spring song seemed to stop about a month ago). Even more notable was that the singer was a completely brown juvenile! Arrived at Baron's Haugh about 09:45. Plenty of mud was exposed in front of the Marsh Hide and attracted a good seletion of waders (Little Stint, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper (2), Lapwing (many), Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe). A Water Rail called near the hide, a single Sand Martin was over the haugh and a Nuthatch was in the woods.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The weather report suggested rain in the afternoon so I headed to Milngavie first thing to have a walk around Mugdock Wood. The main target species, Tree Pipit and Spotted Flycatcher eluded me. However some good local birds were found including Nuthatch, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Buzzard. Non-bird highlight was a Privet bush humming with hoverflies and hosting at least five Painted Lady butterflies and a Red Admiral. Some other interesting birds in the general area included Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Mistle Thrush and Grey Wagtail.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Quite an autumnal feel to the day, although the evening was fine and six Swifts screamed over about 21:30. Still fascinated by the evidence of summer warblers still present. Apart from fleeting sightings (including a Chiffchaff with the tit flock visiting the garden bird feeders), lots of contact calls (both the plain Willow Warbler call and the jaunty Chiffchaff one) have been heard. Also, odd Willow Warblers continue to sing quietly here and there. Blackcaps seem to be silent (I think I need to learn to recognose the "tic" alarm call).

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A walk around four adjacent 1km squares in southwest Glasgow today produced some nice local birds including Raven, Kingfisher, Nuthatch and Stock Dove. Also of note were four Painted Lady butterflies between two sites, a Soldier Beetle on thistles, over 70 Woodpigeons on farmland, Rook and Magpie showing signs of moulting, a Willow Warbler singing quietly and two Chiffchaffs calling to eachother.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Kingfisher was again on the river today and a pair of Moorhens had a young chick upstream of the Cardonald Place footbridge. Two Willow Warblers interacting may have been part of a family group, as might three Wrens. Both Song Thrush (1) and Mistle Thrush (2) were singing, with another of the latter gave its rattling alarm call.

Friday, July 26, 2019

South Beach, Troon was windy and busy today, but a fair number of interesting birds were present including Ringed Plover, Sandwich Tern, House Martin and Linnet. Elsewhere in the town, a Sparrowhawk was hunting in front gardens and a Pied Wagtail was picking insects from the middle of a busy road junction.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A walk from Yoker to Bearsden found a Mute Swan pair with at least four cygnets on the pond in Colquhoun Park. Later, at least one swift was screaming low over Battlefield, Glasgow.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The usual walk along the river was notable for a remarkable four juvenile Moorhens on Rosshall Park pond - the product, I strongly suspect, of two consecutive broods. Also on the pond were two Common Blue Damselflies, another unusual record for this site in my experience. A Soldier Beetle was in the garden (very rare here), three separate Swifts screamed over and both Willow Warbler (singing quietly) and Chiffchaff (in a tit flock) were recorded (unusual late-summer records).

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

At least one Swift was screaming over the house this morning (while a Great Spotted Woodpecker "Peek"ed from the woods). A Willow Warbler gave an intermittent sub-song for a while in the middle of the day.

Monday, July 22, 2019

A walk along the Water Of Leith in Edinburgh today produced relatively few birds, partly because of the windy weather but mostly because of the time of year when resident birds are keeping a low profile. However it was good to see two Grey Herons, both obviously habituated to the comings and goings of their human neighbours.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

An interesting aspect of the end of the ferry journey to Aberdeen was the presence of at least two and possibly three Guillemot "jumplings" accompanied by either one or two adults. Later, a rainy afternoon walk in south Cardonald found only Blackbirds and a few Wrens singing. Most other bird activity seemed to have been dampened down by the weather.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Persisitent rain put paid to plans for an early morning walk. Instead, the only natural connection available was the sight of three Swallows on the way to Sumburgh Airport. However the cancellation of the flight meant a detour to Lerwick (with Black Guillemots and Eider families in the harbour) followed by the ferry journey south (the highlight of which being a single Manx Shearwater off Fair Isle).

Friday, July 19, 2019

A drive up Saxa Vord hill first thing produced stunning views of Herma Ness and Muckle Flugga. Birds encountered along the way included two Twite and the ubiquitous Meadow Pipit,  Skylark, Starling and Bonxie. A little later, we stopped at the Nikkavord Lea housing estate where s group of Crossbills had been found in the shelter belt behind the houses. An adult male and an immature Two-barred Crossbill were initially evasive but then showed very well, along with an adult female Common Crossbill.
Back on mainland, a short diversion over the moorland road to Graven unfortunately failed to produce either Red Grouse or Mountain Hare. However a brief roadside stop a little further on produced breeding dvidence for both Greylag Goose and Wigeon.
Next stop was Lerwick Harbour where the only land bird was House Sparrow. However a boat trip starting there quickly produced Black Guillemot, Great Skua, Razorbill, Great Black-backed Gull and a sizeable gathering of Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (plus Grey Seal).
The trip to Noss cliffs allowed exciting close encounters with Gannets, Guillemots, Fulmars, Shags, Arctic Terns and a few Puffins and Kittiwakes. Best sighting was of a Guillemot with a "jumpling" by its side making their way out to sea.
The afternoon ended with a walk along the shore near Boddam. The cliffs there held breeding Fulmars and Rock Doves. There were Rock Pipits along the cliff edge and a mixed group of Shags and Cormorants on a rock pillar. Probably the most notable sighting was of two Common Sandpipers flying along near the water's edge. A Painted Lady and a couple of Rabbits were on the grassy clifftop.
Back at Sumburgh, three Mallards were on a small field pool adjacent to the Sumburgh Hotel.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Today dawned grey, overcast and very wet, but would quickly turn into a full and enjoyable day. The first visit of the day was to the Viking longship and longhouse across the bay from Haroldswick. Thereafter, a short walk uphill took as to the fell-field landscape of the Keen of Hamar reserve. The attraction here is rare arctic/alpine plants and, after a bit of searching (sometimes on hands and knees) a fair few were found. These included Edmunston's Chickweed,  Mountain Everlasting,  Frog Orchid and possible Hoary Whitlow Grass. However the highlight (appropriately enough, given the almost lunar landscape) was a single frond of the tiny fern, Moonwort. Also present in the area were Ringed Plover (possibly nesting locally) and Raven.
Heading for the ferry to Yell, a modest roadside water body held a most unusual occupant in the form of a female-type Long-tailed Duck. The ferry over was unremarkable except for at least 150 Greylag Geese grazing on the Isle of Linga.
Once on Yell, the decision to search down the east coast road proved a good one with a pod of around 50 White-sided Dolphins found feeding offshore just north of the Wick of Gossabrough.  The animals were highly active (leaping out of the water at times) and probably feeding on a shoal of fish. After a while, they moved off south. We followed them to the Wick of Gossabrough where we watched them for another half an hour. We (and they) then moved south again to the headland east of Burravoe and finally on to Burravoe itself. Some good birds seen along the way included a Great Northern Diver off Gossabrough, an Arctic Skua taking fish from Arctic Terns at Heoda Ness and a family of four Ravens over Burravoe Manor House.
The final visit of the day was to the Copister area where the highlight had been a summer-plumaged Dunlin feeding on the rocks, until it was eclipsed by really fantastic views of an Otter. The animal was first seen swimming in the kelp. It then climbed out of the water, lay down in the seaweed and fell asleep. It slept for a few minutes before it stirred, swam out to a large rock, then went for another nap. We tried to slip away while it slept but it woke up once more and headed back into the sea.

Returning to Baltasound, a chance sighting of a single Swallow led to a late evening walk to check for breeding evidence. Sure enough, six birds (including at least one adult and several juveniles) were seen feeding between the distillery and nearby telephone wires. The adult's alarm calls suggest that the juveniles were a fledged brood. Other birds encountered during the remainder of the walk through the fields west of Baltasound included drumming Snipe,  bubbling curlew and alarm-calling Oystercatcher, Redshank and Ringed Plover.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Today was to be mainly taken up with a visit to Fetlar and, in spite of very foggy weather, several good birds were seen including two distant Red-necked Phalaropes, three Whimbrel (including a bird giving its distinctive call from a fencepost), a drumming Snipe, good views of Arctic Skuas and a pair of Red-throated Divers with two young.
The day started with a visit to the post office in Baltasound. Some good birds were present in the immediate area including two Turnstone (one in breeding plumage and one not), seven Ringed Plover, two Dunlin, ten Redshanks and the first Mallard of the trip (flying away to the north).
The short wait at the ferry terminal produced a Pied Wagtail (possibly nesting behind the toilet block) and then a Gannet being robbed by a Great Skua.
Although known as the "Garden of Shetland", Fetlar proved disappointing due to dense cloud and mist which rendered the scenery completely grey. Visibility was down to one or two kilometres for long periods. Bird sightings were therefore few. However most of the special birds of the island were located. Also notable were a leucistic Starling in a flock flying over a pig field near Bealance and three Golden Plovers in the gloom on the old airfield. Tresta beach held a couple of Arctic Skuas and three female Eider, each escorting a small brood. A Pied Wagtail was near the church.
The return crossing to Unst produced an unusual sighting in the form of an adult Grey Heron flying in the direction of Fetlar.
The last stop of the day was Skeo Taing where all the "usual" bird species were present together with some nice Heath Spotted Orchids, but none of these managed to lift the overall dampness and greyness of the day.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Two Pied Wagtails were with the House Sparrows and Starlings at Valsgarth first thing. At that point, the weather looked promising, so a visit to Hermaness was planned. In the event, the day turned out to be mostly cloudy, misty, cold and rainy.  However some very good wildlife encounters still took place. The first port of call was the foreshore east of Haroldswick where one of the group had seen an Otter the previous evening. None were present on this occasion (there were to be two more sightings here at later points in the day) but there were two Common Seals and a Grey Seal as well as an Eider duck with ducklings and a Redshank mobbing a Common Gull (presumably it had a nest or mobile young in the roadside field).
Heading to Hermaness, a brief stop at the Shore Station produced patches of Sheep's Bit on the rocks and the first of what would prove to be numerous Great Skuas.

The walk from the car park to the cliffs at Hermaness took place in deteriorating weather conditions.  Birds present on the moors consisted of Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Shetland Wren, Snipe, Red-throated Diver (two circling and calling loudly) and Great Skua (with birds continually in view and a fair number of large juveniles). 
The cliffs were completely enveloped in mist and low cloud when we arrived, so much so that the hoped-for views of Muckle Flugga had to be forgone.  Instead there were only limited views of Gannet, Fulmar, Puffin, Rock Pipit and Raven.
The next stop was Lamba Ness.  On the way, an Otter was seen just off the beach at Haroldswick, although it was quickly spooked by the furore it caused.
Lamba Ness produced a similar complement of species to Hermaness except that only Fulmar and Rock Pipit were breeding (the other species moving past). A slight improvement in the weather meant that Black Guillemot, Shag and Grey Seal were visible on the sea. A light phase Arctic Skua was by the roadside a little further inland.
The beach at Skaw had Ringed Plover, bathing Black-headed and Common Gulls, female Eider with ducklings, Marsh Marigold (nearly gone over) in the burn and a selection of colourful plants on the low cliffs. On the way back up Holsen's Road, a Hedgehog was encountered quietly walking down the edge of the tarmac.
Passing Haroldswick again, three Knot in summer plumage were with two Redshank on the sand, and the number of seals had risen to twelve. Two Rabbits were near the turnoff to Hagdale Mill, Lesser Black-backed Gull was on a house roof in Baltasound and two Red-throated Divers were on a roadside loch. Curlew, Snipe and Lapwing were noted in roadside fields and a dead sheep had attracted a Bonxie, a Great Black-backed Gull and two Ravens.
Westing beach proved to be one of the most productive sites visited (possibly because the weather had settled by this point). Four Twite showed well as they flitted between fence wires and the beach (where they were feeding with Wheatears, Starlings and a Blackbird). Two Red-throated Divers were offshore, two Snipe flew over heading inland and a Turnstone landed on a rock. After much searching, an Otter was located in the middle of the bay as it caught and ate a large, eel-like fish. Views were prolonged if a little distant.
Finally, the drive back to Valsgarth produced a third Otter sighting for the day, an individual swimming strongly east across the bay in front of Haroldswick village.


Monday, July 15, 2019

The second full day of our Shetland trip dawned drizzly and overcast. As a result, the moorland at Brunt Hamarsland was quiet and fairly desolate. Nevertheless Golden Plover, Hooded Crow, Great Skua, Herring Gull and Meadow Pipit showed well.
Back on the main road, a Collared Dove, a  Pied Wagtail and a Black-headed Gull were around a group of houses. A Raven, three Snipe, several Rabbits and the first of many Starlings were around the start of the Stromfirth road. At Stromfirth itself, several Two-barred Crossbills (part of an unprecedently large influx) had been reported from a broken shelter belt, mostly comprised of conifers. When we arrived, at least fifteen birds were commuting between the trees and nearby cottage gardens. Eventually good views were had by all, confirming that the flock was made up of both Two-barred and Common Crossbills. At least two red males and a green juvenile of the former and at least one red male of the latter were confirmed. Other birds in the area included Swallow, Curlew and Oystercatcher (all potentially breeding). Monkeyflower was thriving here and in much of the next area visited, the Esha Ness peninsula.
Returning to the main road north, a Hedgehog had been an unfortunate road casualty. Meanwhile two Red-throated Divers on a roadside lochan had a single well-grown chick in tow. The cafe at Braewick had Northern Marsh Orchid in the car park and singing Skylark in the surrounding fields. A Cormorant and two Twite flew over as we left.
The short drive to Esha Ness Lighthouse produced Rock Dove, Golden Plover, Arctic Skua, Raven  Red-throated Diver, Redshank and Ringed Plover.  Once there, the low cloud severely hampered any wildlife watching but plenty of Gannets flew past, a Rock Pipit bathed in a pool, a Twite flew over, Fulmars had well-grown young and a juvenile Raven followed passers-by, no doubt trying to scrounge some snacks.
Heading east now, a roadside lochan gave incredibly close views of a confiding pair of Red-throated Divers. A brief stop to look for Oysterplant at the head of Ura Firth (check) produced the plant itself (lovely) but also two Otters and two Grey Seals.
The bay at Garths Voe held the first two Red-breasted Mergansers of the trip and the one at Tofts Voe had three Kittiwakes.
The short ferry crossing to Yell was notable for several Black Guillemots speeding by (some carrying fish) and two flying Red-throated Divers The harbour area on Yell held Ringed Plover and singing Skylark among the commoner species. Meanwhile the harbour area at Gutcher held a female Eider with three ducklings, 30 Greylag Geese, 30 Shag and a solitary Cormorant. Eventually arriving in Baltasound, the immediate area there held Oystercatcher, Herring Gull and Blackbird. The day ended overcast but perfectly still with only the sounds of distant seabirds.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Enjoyed a very full and eventful day exploring the south end of Shetland mainland. The day started with three juvenile Wheaters flitting around the bushes in the hotel car park. Offshore, over 50 Shags were feeding in unison on what was presumably a shoal of fish moving across the bay (Fair Isle was clearly visible in the distance). At the entrance to the hotel, a Lapwing had a tiny chick in the field where it was mobbing a Herring Gull last night.
First birds seen at the Sumburgh Head car park were two Twite flying overhead. The cliffs beneath the car park held nesting Puffins (including adults bringing in fish and nest material, and juveniles at the burrow entrances), Guillemots (with some half-grown chicks), Shags, Kittiwakes (including some brooding young), Fulmars (ditto), Rock Doves and Starlings (including a nest of begging young in a rock crevice). Cruising by were passing Gannets and hunting Great Skuas and Greater Black-backed Gulls. Birds (and mammal) species on the grassy areas and dykes included Oystercatcher, Curlew, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Starling, Blackbird and Rabbit.
Nearer the lighthouse were all the previous species plus Hooded Crow, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, a Shag's nest containing two chicks and a bleached Painted Lady. Starlings had noisy young in the roof of a derelict out-building. Four Great Skuas offshore were watched squabbling over a dead auk.
The sandy bay at Grutness held a good selection of feeding birds consisting of Red-throated Diver, Eider, Shag, Razorbill, Common Gull, Herring Gull and Arctic Terns from the neighbouring colony. The area around the colony held both half- and full-grown juvenile Arctic Terns, newly-fledged Common Gulls, an adult Ringed Plover (followed by three immatures), two summer-plumaged Dunlin (one carring ring number L45, indicating that it had been ringed on the Dyfi estuary) and three Redshank. A Raven cronked overhead.
Loch of Spiggie held at least 35 bathing Great Skuas with other birds resting in adjacent fields. A breeding Mute Swan pair (apparently one of only two on Shetland) had two cygnets while eight Greylag Geese were on the opposite shore. The land bridge at the northwest end of the loch gave a good view across Muckle Sound to Foula. 
Other lochs we visited held a breeding pair of Whooper Swans with seven cygnets (a sight more typical of Iceland than Scotland) and an unexpected summer-plumaged Slavonian Grebe consorting with 23 Tufted Ducks. While we watched that loch, 50 Curlews flew over. 
The moorland above Dalsetter held Golden Plover, Skylark and a remarkable inland colony of  Arctic Terns. Also there were flowering Heath Spotted Orchid, Bog Asphodel, Cotton Grass and Ragged Robin plus a Shetland Bee. Meanwhile Loch of Clumlie held approximately 100 Greylag Geese.
The pull-in overlooking the tombolo connecting St Ninian's Isle to the mainland held another Painted Lady and a singing (Shetland) Wren. Finally, Rerwick Bay had 22 Common Seals, four Grey Seals, six Eider and two Black Guillemots. The roadside veges there were alive with flowering Tufted Vetch, Purple Marsh Orchid, Sheeps' Bit, Tomentil and Self-Heal.
The day ended with a walk along the foreshore west of Sumburgh Head where Redshank, Snipe, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Wheatear and Arctic Tern were all potential breeders. Meanwhile, Painted Lady butterflies were present at Sumburgh Head and Grutness Beach.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Enjoyed a lovely afternoon walk near the Jarlshof prehistoric village in south Shetland. Some of the highlights were the song of Skylark and the drumming of Snipe. At least four Rock Doves were in the area and a flock of ten Golden Plovers flew over. A Lapwing which mobbed a passing Herring Gull may have had a nest or young and a Shetland Wren taking a feather into a rough stone wall was presumably building a nest. Other birds in the area were Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Twite. A Painted Lady was also notable.
Headed out again at 22:00 for a visit to the broch on the island of Moussa.  As we left, four Common Gulls and ten Arctic Terns were hawking for insects over adjacent fields in the "simmer dim".
Four Guillemots were on the sound during the crossing to Moussa. Once on the island, a Snipe and a pair of Arctic Skuas (one light phase and one dark) were nice additions to the ever-present Fulmars, Oystercatchers, Great Black-backed Gulls and Arctic Terns.
We explored the broch for a while. One Storm Petrel was already present and as night fell, more and more started to swoop around the outer walls as their mates gave their eirie, churring call. Individual birds started to land on the walls of the broch and scuttle clumsily to their nesting holes. Their white rumps and long, swift-like wings showed well in the red light from the head torches we had been given. Eventually it was time to head back to our hotel and bring a long and fascinating day to a close..

Friday, July 12, 2019

A Kingfisher flew upstream near the gate to Rosshall Park this afternoon. At least three Swifts were in the area - the second day running they have been present. Most interesting sighting was of twelve Goosanders making their way upstream and hunting in a tight group. They all appeared to be juveniles. Earlier, a Swallow was alarm-calling and mobbing a Jackdaw on the roof of Silverburn Shopping Centre. Presumably it had a nest up there. Meanwhile another two Swallows were over IKEA car park. The final notable record of the day was of quite a large ground beetle lumbering across the path just upstream of the Cardonald Place footbridge.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Single Swifts were screaming overhead at the beginning and end of the day. Six Swallows and a single House Martin were feeding in Pollok Park.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The highlights of a walk around south Cardonald today found one Stock Dove in Rosshall Park, a daylight Red Fox and two Chiffchaffs still singing (they have sung all spring and summer) plus one bird giving the distinctive "squeaky toy" call.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

A walk along the Forth and Clyde Canal from Clydebank to Anderston produced lots of Yellow Water Lillies plus a single patch of Amphibious Bistort. Moorhens are clearly doing well with birds seen at very regular intervals along the entire stretch walked.

Monday, July 08, 2019

A walk around Murdieston Dams in Greenock this lunchtime produced three new broods of Coot chicks (it seems to have been a very good and very prolonged season for the species at this site) and the seven Mute Swan cygnets still present. Monkeyflower was flourishing around the margin of the main dam and also around the little pond on Old Inverkip Road. Rustyback fern continues to thrive on the wall of the cemetery nearby with at least 23 plants along a 10 metre stretch.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

The Moorhens on Rosshall Park Pond have three near full grown chicks. The other two pairs in the 1km square (upstream and downstream of the Cardonald Place footbridge) are still present, but may not have been successful. Robins appear to have stopped singing locally, and Mallards are also keeping a low profile (aided by the now profuse riverside vegetation). However Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Collared Dove and Woodpigeon continue to fill the air with their songs.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Much of today was spent on Great Cumbrae where cool weather in the morning was replaced by warm sunshine later on. Some of the birding highlights included an unseasonal Whooper Swan near Fairhaven, a Snipe flushed from the roadside at Ballochmartin Bay and House Martins nesting at several sites. However bird of the day was Lesser Redpoll with calls of overflying birds heard at seven different locations, and two males settling to reveal warm breeding colours. Insect highlights included lots of Seven-spot Ladybirds and Soldier Beetles, plus widespread Painted Ladies and other butterfly species including Common Blue, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral. Plant highlights included Wall Pennywort growing in profusion on Lion Rock plus Sea Campion on Farland Point and Honeysuckle flowering in many hedges. The full Birdtrack list for the island only ran to 44 species  but here is the list: Greylag Goose, Whooper Swan, Mallard, Eider, Grey Heron, Gannet, Shag, Buzzard, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Long-tailed Tit, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Wren, Blackbird, Dunnock, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Goldfinch and Reed Bunting.

Friday, July 05, 2019

The river banks in south Cardonald are increasingly overgrown with vegetation. Some new flowering plants this week include Meadowsweet, Rosebay Willow-herb, Greater Willow-herb, Himalayan Balsam and Common Ragwort. These have joined the Giant Hogweed, Meadow Cranesbill, Red Campion and Purple Loostrife already in flower. The fruits of Bramble have started to swell and Wild Raspberries are now ripe (to add to the Wild Strawberries which appeared last week). Four Sand Martins were again hawking over the river in cool conditions. Two Greenfinches continue to sing at the west end of Moulin playing fields.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

A chilly Baron's Haugh today held two Green Sandpipers feeding quietly in the channel in front of the Marsh Hide. Two Roe Deer showed well as they galloped through the woods. Kingfisher, Dipper and Sand Martins were along the Clyde. Carbarns field pool meanwhile, held three summer-plumaged Black-tailed Godwits and a Common Blue Damselfly.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

A local walk this evening produced a single Swift, a singing Greenfinch and a solitary angler (the latter a real rarity hereabouts). Bad news from Rosshall Park is that the council has lopped the tree where Stock Doves were nesting, completely removing the nest hole. Meanwhile, something has eaten the fruiting bodies from the "Lords and Ladies" plants nearby.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Strong winds and a very high tide led to relatively few birds being visible during today's walk between Inverkip and Levan. Highlight was probably a single Black Guillemot bobbing about on the rough sea. Insects took advantage of the sunshine with plenty of butterflies including two Painted Ladies.

Monday, July 01, 2019

A Painted Lady was among a number of butterfly species on the wing at Balgray Reservoir this afternoon. Interesting birds included Black-headed Gull, Lapwing and Great-crested Grebe, all showing signs of breeding.