Wild Glasgow

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People in the countryside tend to be quite dismissive of urban foxes. The general perception is that these animals are mangy, threadbare and can’t hold a candle to their “purer, wilder” rural counterparts. Having lived in Glasgow for four years as a student, I understand why urban foxes get a bum deal when it comes to PR, but the massive fox I saw in Govan last night was in the very bloom of health and prosperity. Walking back to my hotel after a friend’s wedding, this grand old villain trotted quickly across the road, pausing for a moment on the verge to glare cynically at us. In size and condition, he was every bit as fit a fox as I’ve ever seen, and while you do see some rank, patchy-coated beasts doing the rounds here and there, most Glasgow foxes appear to be in pretty good nick.

I spotted a peregrine hunting over Govan Road during the course of the afternoon yesterday, and I spent some time this morning trying to identify a diver in the Clyde from the hotel window opposite the SECC. I originally thought I was looking at a cormorant, but there was no mistaking that shape in the dark water. Suffering with a slight headache after last night’s festivities, perhaps my bird identification skills were not quite so sharp as usual, so I was none the wiser when it finally vanished upstream. I was under the impression that divers were shy, spooky birds of the high lochs and open seas, so it was interesting to find one right in the city centre in the shadow of the Finnieston crane.

Great to see so much wildlife just below the surface of the city. My only recollection of nature in Glasgow as a student was the bustle of rats down the Queen Margaret Drive, but perhaps I’m more observant now than I was.

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