<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d7235362\x26blogName\x3dNatural+Connections\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dLIGHT\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://naturalconnections.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_GB\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://naturalconnections.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-1938150495582669688', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

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.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Today started with a Nuthatch singing in the trees next to the house. Other birds singing before dawn consisted of Robin, Mistle Thrush and Blackbird (my first of the year). Later, eight Skylarks were singing over a single field at Cammo. Between there and the mouth of the River Almond were another three singing Nuthatches and my first singing Goldcrests of the year. Heading back home, two Oystercatchers were on the lawn beside the water feature in the Maxim business park between Carnbroe and Holytown.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

On a very rainy day, two Dippers were flying up and down the Kelvin through Kelvingrove Park.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Overnight snow was replaced by a day of rain locally. The gulls scavenging at school break times remain notable with a single Lesser Black-backed Gull present again today. A Song Thrush was singing first thing, a Greenfinch was heard at lunchtime and more Wrens seem to be joining in than before.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Birds along the canal between the Falkirk Wheel and Linlithgow included many Goosanders, four Grey Herons and a Jay. Butterbur was flowering along one section.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

The weather turned decidedly wintry today. Loch Insh was fairly bleak but there were plenty of birds out on the water consisting of Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Mute Swan and Cormorant.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Birds on the Spey at Spey Bay included Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser. Along the shore were Dunlin and Oystercatcher. Four Stonechats were near the start of Portgordon and five Common Seals were near Portgordon Harbour.

Friday, January 24, 2020

A Skylark was singing at Portgordon this morning but the hoped-for Corn Buntings failed to materialise. At Duffus Castle, Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings were present in abundance. Forty Whooper Swans were on stubble nearby. Loch Spynie had a single Pink-footed Goose in with the Greylags.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Today started with a Kestrel hunting the fields next to the A98 south of Buckie and ended with up to eighteen Common Bottle-nosed Dolphins filing south past Girdle Ness. In between was a glorious winter's (more like spring) day with excellent visibility and a good range of mostly common birds.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Highlights of a walk along the coast from Buckpool to Findochty and back via the cycle path were 50 Linnets on stubble, five Tree sparrows with mixed finches and buntings in the hedgerows and a single Purple Sandpiper.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Over a hundred Jackdaws plus a few Rooks were milling around the hotel complex in Aviemore this afternoon. At the same time, thirty or more Herring Gulls were moving south west over the town, possibly en route from Granish Tip to an overnight roost on Loch Insh.

Monday, January 20, 2020

One of the features of this time of year around Cardonald is the number of gulls (mostly Black-headed but some Herring) which winter here. They have learned to descend on the local schools at break times, presumably to scavenge discarded food. This lunchtime there were at least 50 in a cloud over Paisley road West near Lourdes Secondary School. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A big Red Fox was slinking along the riverbank this lunchtime. The dark Mallard with the pale breast remains on the river. A day of near-record high pressure ended with a glorious orange and purple sunset. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

A good number of the local birds were singing in the improving weather this morning. Later, a Red Grouse was heard calling during a short walk at Whitlees Wind Farm.

Friday, January 17, 2020

A walk through Mugdoch Wood this morning found Jays at two sites and singing Nuthatches at five.The number and variety of birds singing made it sound like March instead of January. The full list consisted of Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Robin, Wren, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Nuthatch. Other birds of interest included a Raven calling overhead and (most remarkably) a Chiffchaff in a tit flock.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Tawny Owl hooted from the woods next to the house at 11:30 last night. Today, a walk along the river to Hawkhead produced a Little Grebe near Mosspark Station, a Jay in Bull Wood and fifteen Siskins on Alders in Hawkhead Estate Park.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Three Goosanders were on the river behind the flats on Tantallon Road in Pollokshaws. Goldfinches and Siskins were twittering in the treetops nearby.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Todays' walk along the river in south Cardonald was notable for two things - the return of two Lesser Black-backed Gulls after their winter absence and the addition of Goldcrest and Dunnock to the species that have commenced singing (or in the cases of Woodpigeon, Collared Dove and Robin, never stopped).

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Goosander flying up the Water of Leith at Murrayfield Stadium was the only notable natural connection of a blustery day in Edinburgh.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Grey Squirrels continue to do extremely well locally with at least eighteen seen on today's walk. Two Red Foxes were together near the river. Siskins remain in the area.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

On a very wet day in south west Glasgow, 75 Waxwings were a nice surprise in a tree on Crookston Road.

Friday, January 10, 2020

West Lothian was very cold but dry and occasionally quite sunny today. A walk from Linlithgow to Bathgate produced a pair of Kestrels sparring with corvids over "The Knock" and two Crossbills in Raven Craig Wood. The SWT reserve at Petershill Quarry looks good for a future visit - possibly in May or June.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

A late-morning walk around the northern part of Paisley Town centre produced two Teal on the river and a Mistle Thrush among the Redwings and Starlings in Fountain Gardens.  Later, another Mistle Thrush was at Moulin with a Song Thrush singing nearby. Visitors to the garden feeders included a Greenfinch and five Bullfinches.  

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Two Buzzards calling over the woods near Nethercraigs sports field was my first record for the site. A big Red Fox was on the riverbank there. A flock of 15 Siskins gave very close views as they fed on Alders in Pollok Park.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Another very wet and windy day in south Cardonald but a flock of ten Stock Doves, Redpolls feeding on Alders and a Kingfisher on the pond were ample compensation.

Monday, January 06, 2020

A very wet and windy day in Falkirk failed to deter three male Goosanders which were displaying to three females on the canal at Bankside. A Yellowhammer was calling a little further east (where the farmland begins). A Pied Wagtail was also there, with another on the pavement in the centre of the town.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

The number of Goldfinches present locally seems to have shot up recently, or else the birds are being more vocal with parties twittering from treetops all across the 1km square.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

A Cormorant flying upstream was the highlight of a rainy day in south Cardonald.

Friday, January 03, 2020

It was a sunny but cold day in Edinburgh. Not many birds were encountrered but lots of Moorhens were in the Botanic Gardens and a few Eiders were off Leith Docks.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

An attempted survey of the old woodland around the former Darnley House was severely curtailed by very wet weather. The site has a number of interesting mature trees including one surrounded by a small (now derelict) fenced enclosure. Many of the trees are overgrown with Ivy and many are surrounded by suckers. Birds kept a low profile but a Roe Deer got up from its hiding place in a patch of bracken. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The first bird of the year was a singing Song Thrush at the other side of the estate. A walk along the river and through Rosshall Park added a further 35 species, the highlight being two Ravens calling as they flew high overhead.