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The park in this suburban area is often overlooked, but it holds its own charm and beauty.
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The park in this suburban area is often overlooked, but it holds its own charm and beauty.


I am currently in the Southside region of Glasgow, strolling through Pollokshields, which was one of the earliest garden suburbs in the UK. The roads are expansive and bordered by Edwardian and Victorian style villas, as well as red and blond sandstone tenements. This area of Glasgow has managed to maintain a sense of openness.

The mature lime trees that grow along the railway embankment have sprawling ivy leaves covering their trunks and the nearby railings. From above, I can hear a group of long-tailed tits chirping in the highest branches. A heron gracefully flies close to the ground, passing over streets and train tracks.

I am traveling to Maxwell Park with its pond. If I didn’t know my destination, I would question its existence. Compared to Queens Park and Pollok Country Park, Maxwell Park is smaller and less well-known. However, it is a small sanctuary with a pond that houses mallards, tufted ducks, moorhens, coots, and a pair of mute swans. This morning, I witnessed the swans engaging in a display where they briefly came together, creating a heart shape with their necks and bills.

Lately, there has been a lone male goosander competing with the other ducks to get a piece of bread that people continue to toss in the water. It was so near that I could admire its captivating shimmering head and saw-like beak as it gobbled up the bread. Although the goosander has now departed, this park never fails to amaze me with unexpected sightings, such as a small grebe or a large flock of waxwings appearing early one spring.

On my return journey, I notice a lime tree on the opposite side of the track. Its branches are covered in ivy, giving the illusion of a lush, leafy tree during the summer season. The ivy has not only enveloped the trunk, but also spread along the branches, concealing the railings partially. I make my way to the train station to capture a photo of this unique sight. As I look up, I can hear the distinct cry of a buzzard soaring above, a familiar sound in this area.

The extensive green areas in Glasgow Southside provide a peaceful retreat for people and animals alike. I would like to visit Pollok Park in the future to explore its offerings.

The country diary can be found on Twitter at @gdncountrydiary.

A long tailed tit on a branch in spring.

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Source: theguardian.com