Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Dawsholm Park. River Kelvin Gorge. Maryhill Park. Outdoor Surprises.

                                                  ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.

I've put this photo up first as it sums up what I've always felt about the natural world and going for walks outdoors. Magical things can happen. Nearly all of my friends, over the decades, I've met outdoors, never inside... like at parties, nightclubs, or bars.... probably because I don't frequent these as much, and never have, or expect great things to happen there... but some part of me does when walking outside. I'm also at my best in nature-  comfortable surroundings for me. Three of the apparitions in this photo are natural colour occurrences, caused by sunlight pouring into the camera lens at a certain angle and I've just embellished them slightly. It does show what I've always believed however- that interesting things may occur on any walk.... it's what keeps me going out... and turning each potentially revealing corner in life.

 So the second snow day in a row was another one spent with Anne, ( no Belinda this time as she was elsewhere engaged) heading out from Anniesland.    Forth and Clyde Canal here taken at the canal boat toilets.

Our first destination of the day was Dawsholm Public Park,with a view over Anniesland District and Anniesland Tower here. Like many Glasgow parks Dawsholm sits on a hilltop and is heavily wooded. It is also a nature reserve, although any park or area of neglected waste ground  often is, in my opinion.

Dawsholm Park woods.

Most of the trails in this park go through thick woodlands, over up and down rugged slopes, but it has one open smooth grassy slope with good views on its western edge popular with families- sledging in winter- swing park and picnics in summer.

 and this is it here... looking towards the Kilpatrick Hills and Clydebank.

The northern boundary of the park is the River Kelvin gorge where Glasgow's second notable flow of liquid gushes through the city from the northern upland outskirts. This is also heavily wooded and it was near here we spotted an unusual sight. Anne is a bird of paradise in her own right of course but my attention was distracted away from her temporarily, for the briefest of moments, as I had noticed something else in the vicinity I never expected to see...

Snow parrots living at minus 10 below! ( nighttime temperatures on the outskirts going by the weather forecasts during that snow filled week) 

To say I was surprised would be an understatement with bare trees and six inches of snow on the ground but apparently small flocks of these ring necked parakeets have been spotted as far north as Aberdeen and have been seen around the Glasgow area infrequently during the past few years. They are an invasive species of course and great flocks of them have been breeding around the London area since the 1960s era, either deliberately set loose or by accident during storms. Unlike budgies or smaller exotics they can see off crows, magpies, or seagulls that would relentlessly bully and kill them them for being different ( many humans are much the same in that regard) but they are resilient survivors and can tolerate the cold as long as they find enough to eat, fresh fruit , berries, tree buds, nuts etc...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose-ringed_parakeet  Native range and facts here.

 It was a real pleasure to see them though and they did not seem to mind onlookers very much at all. A highlight of our day. They would be harder to spot once the trees turn green with leaves but they are a chatty bird and talk to each other all the time. Bye bye snow parrots. Hope you stay around. Despite it's former reputation Glasgow's not a bad place to live.

River Kelvin gorge. The home of snow parrots.

Snapped trees from past winter storms. Kelvin  gorge.

We then headed down into the gorge, over a stone bridge, and then up here to visit Maryhill Park.

An info sign in the gorge.

Maryhill Park.

 Maryhill Park and Kilsyth Hills.

Snow Frogs as well. Sneaking up on mating amphibians in a sheltered sun warmed pond.

 Sunshine through the trees.

Acre Road mural.

We then returned via Acre Road, seen here, and the network of paths through the West of Scotland Science Park which is a wooded campus of low level technology buildings with some public access  and saves you walking down the busy Maryhill Road via a path through scenic woodland running parallel to this main road. It's on the other bank of the River Kelvin opposite Dawsholm Park.

Another old friend. Spiral of Life sculpture at entrance gates.

Science Park signpost.

Science Park woods.

Some more photos from our recent travels around our district.

 Lock 27 pub. Anniesland.

Locks on the canal. Cross country ski day.

The wilds of Westerton.

and for those that like hearing good new songs they have never heard before that make you think, I give you this. A modern classic and a haunting slow grower that might well have been universally known and better regarded if it had been written  during the 1960s to 1980s era when music mattered more as a stand alone medium/entertainment.. The first five minute song here only, which also features beautiful lyrics, guitar and piano work.Great new music to suit every taste is still out there but it takes finding and you are less likely to hear it showcased on mainstream TV or radio as the trend now increasingly gravitates there towards blandness... so as not to offend anyone... presumably.



Anabel Marsh said...

All very familiar to me as you might expect! We didn’t go up to Dawsholm in the snow, but it looks beautiful. It’s usually feels a bit dank to me, though I like visiting the coos. I’m glad to have learned something - that sculpture at the Science Park is called Spiral of Life. I have looked for a plaque to explain it and never found anything. I see it’s another Andy Scott. Talented guy!

Carol said...

Those birds are lovely - I can't imagine exotic species surviving in the cold and in the wild here. I'm sure they must have been thrown out as pets and am surprised they managed to survive and breed. You'd think they'd be haunting people's gardens for scraps rather than living in the woodlands.

Rosemary said...

I had no idea that you had Rose-ringed Parakeets in Glasgow. It is surprising that they are thriving so well in the cold especially considering the fact that they are natives are far warmer climes.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Anabel.
Yes, it can feel dank and dark compared to other parks so the storms a few years ago actually improved it by removing some trees, leaving it slightly more open. He is prolific and I like his work but like any artist in any field it's as if only one can dominate at a time, shading out anyone else working in public metal art projects. It happens in every field though like The Beatles( Liverpool), Abba (Sweden), or Franz Ferdinand (Glasgow)in music, shading out all the other groups from the same locations who might well have thrived equally if the spotlight and money to improve had dropped on them. ( extreme examples admittedly but you know what I mean. It's much harder to grow if your skint with no recognition of any talents you might have. Not many people hit the ground fully formed artistically at a young age and loads of folk with great initial talent never feel that spotlight on them at all so they lose heart eventually.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
Apparently some live in the foothills of the Himalayas and can handle snow to a certain degree. More adaptable than other parrot types. Food in winter might be the main problem but I know they do use bird feeders in London.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
We only saw four birds on our visit so I'm not sure about thriving as I know some colonies seemed to be doing just that then died out again. Maybe not enough food in winter or an easy target for shooting, netting etc or larger birds of prey got them. It's certainly the first and only time I've seen them in Scotland, flying wild. Also if they get too well known in one spot they might find it hard to breed with all the attention.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Nature has always done it for me!

blueskyscotland said...

Me too David. It's the gift that keeps on giving over a lifetime. Always something new and fresh to discover.