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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.

Monday, November 30, 2020

A late afternoon walk provided excellent views of a Kingfisher, a single Brown Rat (Meh!), a Nuthatch again proclaiming its territory, a confiding Song Thrush foraging in leaf litter right beside the path and a smart-looking Hooded x Carrion Crow hybrid.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Some interesting sightings on today's walk consisted of a Moorhen well away from the river in a small area of woodland (what was it looking for?) and two Nuthatches having a noisy altercation in the treetops.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Crossing the the footbridge at the bottom of Sinclair Drive this morning, I noticed a Woodcock flying down the river towards me. About ten metres away, it swerved suddenly and pitched down onto the right hand bank before continuing downriver and flying under the footbridge, then into the trees along the side of the recreation ground.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Two Goosanders were again with the Mallards under the Cardonald Place Farm footbridge.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Highlight of today's walk was a big female Sparrowhawk which burst out of the trees along the edge of Rosshall Park and flap-flap-glided all the way across a playing field into the trees on the other side. Apart from that, a flock of about twenty Goldfinches was in a treetop near the school. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

After the almost incessant rain of the last few days, the local birds were taking full advantage of the sunnier weather today. Blue Tit, Wren and Woodpigeon were heard singing and two Nuthatches were calling loudly to eachother from tall trees in the park. Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch were all vocal and (with the exception of Greenfinch) visible. A Grey Wagtail was over the river behind the house.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

With the heavy rain all last night, it was no surprise to find that the river had burst its banks, although the water level had receded by the time I walked past. I heard a few snatches of Wren and Blue Tit song, but most species were lying fairly low. A few buttercup, dandelion and Policemen's Helmet flowers provided a little colour today, but I expect most will succumb to the frost which is forecast for the end of the week.

Monday, November 23, 2020

The most notable birds during the usual walk along the river were 18 Pink-footed Geese flying far overhead. A few flocks of Starlings have arrived in the area but try as I might, I couldn't turn them into Waxwings.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The two Goosanders on the river are still consorting with the local Mallard flock (and coming to bread thrown from the footbridge). News from the web is of odd Waxwings being seen around the country including two in Penicuik, one at Balgreen, one at Laggan (yesterday) and others in Yorkshire and Norfolk.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

A Dipper feeding from the vantage point of a partially-submerged log was the highlight of a rainy walk along the Kelvin near Glasgow Botanic Gardens this afternoon.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Another wet day but plenty of birds were on show with the best being the Kingfisher, as usual.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Almost the first bird seen on arriving at Hogganfield Loch was a Peregrine labouring over the loch carrying prey. A male and female Gadwall were also nice to see. A detour to Frankfield Loch produced a Jay calling from Cardowan Moss. Back at Hogganfield, the redhead Smew was showing well and at least fifteen Whooper Swans were bugling in front of the car park.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

There was some very welcome sunshine in Shawlands this afternoon. Best birds seen were a pair of Ravens which flew silently over the area "in formation" with wings almost touching.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Yet another very wet day with little respite from the heavy rain. Only a few Redwings see-eeping in the treetops were at all remarkable. Having said that, this has been a very disappointing year for the species with only small numbers seen locally.

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Sparrowhawk was over Pollok House this mornng and a Kingfisher was on the river near the M77 flyover. The Highland cattle herd contains a very interesting selection of colour forms which look to my eye like Black, White, Red, Yellow and Dun (https://www.scottishhighlandcattle.com.au/html/coat_colour_basics.html). The woods were full of fungi with Candlesnuff and Collared Earthstar the pick of the bunch.



Sunday, November 15, 2020

Two Collared Doves were again not far from the house. Only a single Goosander was on the river (which is swollen after overnight rain).

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Two Mistle Thrushes flew over the house this afternoon. A Kingfisher was fishing in the park pond. The usual immature Grey Heron was down by the river.

Friday, November 13, 2020

A few Redwings and a lot of Goldfinches were the most obvious birds in Queens Park today, apart from the ducks and gulls on the pond. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A trip to the west end this afternoon meant I had a few minutes to check for earth stars along the Kelvin. No joy today, perhaps because fallen leaves obscured a lot of suitable ground. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

On a very wet and windy day, the highlights of a walk around south Cardonald were the usual immature Heron and Carrion Crow x Hooded Crow hybid.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A flock of 20 or so Siskins was present again in the trees beside the Cardonald Place Farm footbridge. Two Goosanders were under the Mosspark Railway Station foorbridge. The fancy Mallard which arrived here about a month ago is well integrated into the local flock.

Monday, November 09, 2020

A Cormorant was flying upstream over the river this lunchtime and a single Brown Rat was taking seed from under one of the feeders in the park. A Collared Dove singing near the estate was quite unusual as I normally find them further north of here.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

A Kingfisher was watched repeatedly splashing into the river (presumably bathing) near Bonnyholm Bridge today.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Today was one of those calm, mild autumn days caused by an anticyclone (pressure today was 1020hPa) sandwiched between two depressions. Unfortunately, given the ideal walking conditions, the lockdown meant we were confined to Glasgow City. However a pleasant walk around Polloksaws was notable for producing four Bullfinches and at least three Dippers. Later, a walk around Maxwell Park produced a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a lone Tufted Duck on the pond.

Friday, November 06, 2020

Fewer birds were around today but what was really noticeable was that many of the broad-leaved trees locally are now virtually bare. The weather doesn't feel very autumnal though, with worryingly mild temperatures today.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Forty Black-headed Gulls were on the local playing fields first thing. A Kingfisher was on the park pond again the unusual Mallard from last week reappeared on the river.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Some interesting birds on my local walk today consisted of a Nuthatch, a Song Thrush, a Mistle Thrush and three Greenfinches.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Two Cormorants flew up the canal in Maryhill this afternoon. Twenty five Greylag Geese also flew high over. Meanwhile Ben Lomond had its first snow covering of the winter today.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Brown Rats seem to be taking over the local park and riverside walk with eight seen this morning. More welcome were three Kingfishers, including one diving to catch a fish. Thirty Black-headed Gulls on Moulin playing field were also notable. Today's walk was extended to loop around the tower at Leverndale Hospital (where seven Whooper Swans flew over heading east). The tower is being covered in scaffolding so I assume some major work is to be carried out. What impact this will have on the Ravens which nest there every year is open to question.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

The extremely wet and windy weather meant few birds were venturing out of cover. Three Herring Gulls were quite unusual locally with virtually none all summer. However they definitely seem to replace the Lesser Black-backed Gulls between November and February.