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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.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

First birds in the garden after the coldest night of the year (minus six degrees at 08:00) were two Dunnocks, foraging for scraps under the feeders.

Friday, November 29, 2019

A change to much colder weather today. Bullfinches at the garden feeders plus Collared Doves still singing.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Had the opportunity to explore the River Cart where it flows through the north of Paisley town centre today. As well as the ubiquitous Mallards, there was a good showing of Teal plus two Little Grebes and a Moorhen. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

After several weeks with very few, there are now very large numbers of winter thrushes in the area with over 200 over Paisley Road West this morning. Starlings have also increased locally and attendance of finches has increased at the back garden feeders (e.g. three Chaffinches and a male Greenfinch all new in).

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Today started with a Tawny Owl calling in the woods to the east of Pitlochry. Later in the morning, a Collared Dove was singing at Moulin while a Raven called overhead. A rainy afternoon at Gartmorn Dam produced a reasonable total of 40 species, the highlights being a drake Pochard and a flock of 40 Siskins.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Some lengthy walks around a very rainy Pitlochry today produced three separate Red Squirrel sightings. Bird species of interest included Little Grebe, Siskin, Mistle Thrush and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A damp but mild and windless day today. The Tay at Dunkeld appeared to be in full spate with no birds braving the boiling water. However there were plenty of the common highland village birds around including Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Siskin and Jackdaw. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

In spite of the rain, a very good total of eleven Grey Squirrels was reached during a short walk along the river. Two Goldcrests continued a recent run of sightings of this species.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Some of the highlights of a walk along the River Carron north of Falkirk today included a mixed flock of Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrow in a hedgerow, Cormorant, Goosander and Little Grebe fishing on the river and a Buzzard being mobbed by around 100 Jackdaws. Earlier, three Goldeneye were on the big pond at Forth Valley Hospital and a mixed flock of Fieldfares and Redwings was near Larbert Cross. A Pied Wagtail was also there with two more calling from ledges above Falkirk town centre at the end of the day.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The local Collared Doves have suddenly become more obvious with much singing and fluttering about in pairs over the past two days (possibly coinciding with the spring-like weather). A singing Greenfinch was also part of a recent pattern of increased sightings. Over in Shawlands, two Grey Wagtails were flitting about the tenement rooftops.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Goldcrest was an unusual visitor to my tiny front garden, working its way noisily through the branches of a flowering cherry tree. Overhead, increasing numbers of Redwings were perched in the uppermost branches of Birch trees.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Much of the water at Murdieston Dams was covered in ice this morning. Six Goosanders, a Goldeneye and a Grey Heron were the highlights in the ice-free areas. Back home, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was "peep"ing from the top of a poplar tree on the edge of the estate.

Monday, November 18, 2019

It was bitterly cold at Linlithgow Loch first thing. Birdlife on the loch itself was fairly un-remarkable, but Bonnytoun Farm held lots of Tree Sparrows, Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers as well as some Meadow Pipits and a Kestrel. Linnets were showing well on the Bo'ness side of the hill. In Bo'ness itself, more than thirty Curlews were feeding on playing fields well away from the coast.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

After not recording any for weeks, I found Greenfinches locally for the second day running today - at least three singing birds. Also notable were a singing Collared Dove first thing (with two on the gardenn feeders later) and two Pied Wagtails at the turning circle behind Rosshall Academy. Also unusual were a single Song Thrush and two Siskins. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The usual selection of finches on the garden feeders were joined by a single Greenfinch today.

Friday, November 15, 2019

An early morning walk along the Forth and Clyde Canal in Clydebank provided nice views of Tufted Duck, Goosander and Moorhen (in noisy territorial disputes) as well as plenty of winter thrushes (Blackbird, Redwing, Mistle Thrush) and 30 Greylag Geese overhead.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Dipper was calling on the River Kelvin through Kelvingrove Park this morning.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Enjoyed a long walk from Gourock to Inverkip this evening. Bird highlights consisted of a possible Arctic Skua flushing Eider in Lunderston Bay and a Raven  being mobbed by Jackdaws over Low Lunderston. In other news, one of the junior natural connectors videoed an Otter in the Cart at south Cardonald today.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A walk along the river from Cardonald to Shawlands this morning produced most of the "usual suspects" (much easier to see now that Himalayan Balsam has died back) including Mallard, Moorhen, Cormorant (one in the roosting tree beside Linthaugh Road), Little Grebe (two just east of there), Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher. The only missing species were Dipper and Goosander. Back home, birds on the garden feeders included a Chaffinh, two Goldfinches and three Bullfinches. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Spent a rainy day over in Shawlands but managed a quick walk before dusk back in Cardonald. A Grey Wagtail on the roof of Cardonald Library was the highlight.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A short walk along the river this lunchtime failed to turn up anything particularly notable although high numbers of Grey Squirrels continue to be present and active in the area. This evening, around 5:30pm, a Tawny Owl over in the direction of Pollok Wood gave two "Kee-wick" calls.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Could only find one Redwing in Cardonald today. There were actually more Mistle Thrushes around (two) plus lots of nervous Blackbirds, all feeding on Rowan berries. A Pied Wagtail was the highlight of a walk to Crookston this morning - I don't seenarly enough of them rund here. 

Friday, November 08, 2019

Left the house in darkness this morning, with only a local Fox and a singing Robin for company, but enjoyed the sunrise on the journey over to Linlithgow. Started the visit with a walk around the loch. Viewing conditions were excellent with Cormorants, Little Grebes, Goosander and Goldeneye showing very well. Best birds on the loch were a drake Pochard at the west end and a pair of Shoveler just east of the palace. A walk inland produced a Woodcock exploding from undergrowth in Friarswell Park, then Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet Yellowhammer, Redwing, Fieldfare, Kestrel and Buzzrd on farmland. Other birds showing well included Goldcrest, Moorhen and Tree Sparrow. Returned home after sunset, having spent nearly the whole day out of doors.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Rainy Shawlands

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Four Goosanders were on the Kelvin at Yorkhill with more in Kelvingrove Park. Five Moorhens were together on the park pond.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

A busy decorating day only allowed a short time looking out at the feeders first thing (three Goldfinches, two Bullfinches and a Chaffinch) and a brief walk along the Cart in Shawlands (a flock of up to 20 Long-tailed Tits being the highlight).

Monday, November 04, 2019

Teal, Wigeon, Goosander, Mallard, Redshank, Cormorant, Reed Bunting, four Gull species and Grey Wagtail were along the River Carron at the Kelpies this lunchtime.Nearby, at least 214 Mallards were gathered on a small area of flooding in a ploughed field and a mixed flock of around 50 Redwings and 20 Fieldfares flew over.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

A wet day still allowed an extended walk along the river and through the park. However birds were unremarkable with Redwings still only present in small numbers.

Small numbers of Redwings continue to be present in Cardonald but not in anything like the numbers encountered in previous years.

Friday, November 01, 2019

After several days of dry weather (and frosty mornings), today dawned wet and mild. Grey Squirrels continue to dominate the garden feeders and a short walk along the river found a high total of eight.