Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

2017 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

January 1, 2017 in sightings

Like 2016 I sadly won’t be getting to do a lot of walking and birding away from my house, as I’m stuck at home most days I’ve been increasing the amount of wildlife friendly plants (I’d do this anyway even if I wasn’t housebound) in the garden and hoping that over time this will attract and help more birds.

I had a good garden bird list for 2016 – 2016 Edinburgh Garden Bird List –  with the addition of the first Redstart I’ve ever seen, great to have a lifer in my garden! All up for 2016 there were 40 bird species I managed to identify.  There were geese that flew over that I didn’t manage to ID and a few warblers in the garden very briefly that I also couldn’t ID, I will be training up on warblers to see if I can get them for 2017.

To attract birds to my garden, as well as gardening for wildlife when I can, I use RSPB food and feeders, find great products at their website, also great for gifts for nature lovers.  I am a member of the RSPB and SOC as they do great work for UK and World birds.

2017 Garden Bird List, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st
  2. Black-headed gull – Jan 1st
  3. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  4. Bullfinch – Jan 4th
  5. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  6. Chaffinch – July 25th
  7. Chiffchaff – August 13th
  8. Coal Tit – Jan 1st
  9. Collared Dove – Jan 13th
  10. Common Buzzard – Feb 19th
  11. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  12. Goldcrest – Jan 7th
  13. Goldfinch – February 19th
  14. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  15. Greenfinch – Jan 1st
  16. Grey Heron – April 13th – FO
  17. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  18. Jackdaw – Jan 3rd
  19. Kestrel – May 31st – FO – think this is the first I’ve seen over my garden.
  20. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  21. Oystercatcher – July 13th – FO
  22. Redwing – Jan 30th
  23. Robin – Jan 1st
  24. Rook – March 23rd
  25. Siskin – April 28th
  26. Song Thrush – Jan 4th
  27. Sparrowhawk – Jan 7th
  28. Starling – Jan 1st
  29. Stock Dove – Jan 5th
  30. Swift – June 18th – 3 days later than last year, I haven’t seen a single swallow this year.
  31. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  32. Wren – Jan 24th

12 Species as of January 1st 2017.
13 Species as of January 2nd 2017.
14 Species as of January 3rd 2017.
16 Species as of January 4th 2017.
17 Species as of January 5th 2017.
19 Species as of January 7th 2017.
20 Species as of January 13th 2017.
21 Species as of January 24th 2017.
22 Species as of January 30th 2017.
24 Species as of February 19th 2017.
25 Species as of March 23rd 2017.
26 Species as of April 13th 2017.
27 Species as of April 28th 2017.
28 Species as of May 31st 2017.
29 Species as of June 18th 2017.
30 Species as of July 13th 2017.
31 Species as of July 25th 2017.
32 Species as of August 13th 2017.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 30th of January 2017:

This year a few of the sparrows showed up, unlike in 2016: 2016 bird list and RSPB Big garden bird watch but of course more showed up just after I finished my hour.  The highlight was the Redwing and the 17 Magpies.  First Redwing of the year.

  1. Blackbird x 4
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Dunnock x 3
  4. Great Tit x 2
  5. Greenfinch x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 3
  7. Magpie x 17
  8. Redwing x 1
  9. Robin x 2
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

Frost on the ground, count done between 10.20am and 11.20am.

Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

2016 Garden Bird List

January 18, 2016 in sightings

I was in for an operation on 30th of December 2015 and I probably won’t get to leave my house much again during 2016 (except doctor appointments).  My generalised dystonia is getting worse and causing many more injuries.  This year I figure I’ll just have a garden bird list, birds in the garden & above and only update this one post.

To attract birds to my garden, as well as gardening for wildlife when I can, I use RSPB food and feeders, find great products at their website, also great for gifts for nature lovers.

2016 Garden Bird List, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blackcap
  3. Black-headed gull – first 100% ID February 18th – was mobbing a sparrowhawk.
  4. Blue Tit
  5. Bullfinch
  6. Carrion crow
  7. Chaffinch – first sighting 28th of January – haven’t seen one in the garden since 2014.
  8. Chiffchaff – 14th of August 2016.
  9. Coal Tit
  10. Collared Dove
  11. Common Buzzard – FO March 7th.
  12. Cormorant – FO June 19th.
  13. Dunnock
  14. Feral Pigeon
  15. Fieldfare
  16. Goldcrest
  17. Goldfinch
  18. Great Tit
  19. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  20. Greenfinch
  21. Grey Heron – Flying over February 19th.
  22. Herring Gull – managed ID April 29th, landed to get the food waste bin opened by council workers.
  23. House Sparrow
  24. Jackdaw
  25. Lesser black-backed gull – managed ID April 29th, landed to get the food waste bin opened by council workers.
  26. Long-tailed Tits
  27. Magpie
  28. Oystercatcher – FO February 23rd.
  29. Redstart – 1 male – first I’ve ever seen – April 20th.
  30. Redwing – 24th of December – what a great bird for Christmas Eve!
  31. Robin
  32. Rook – April 30th.
  33. Siskin – 2 females on feeders, first time I’ve seen them in the garden for 3 years, March 21st.
  34. Song Thrush
  35. Sparrowhawk
  36. Starling
  37. Swallow – FO – 15th of May.
  38. Swift – FO – 15th of June.
  39. Woodpigeon
  40. Wren

22 (2 little ducks) bird species by the 18th of January.
23 birds as 28/01/16
24 birds as 30/01/16
26 birds as 08/02/16
27 birds as 18/02/16
28 birds as 19/02/16
29 birds as 23/02/16 – there have also been flocks of geese flying over at night and during the day, very high, not sure what type.
30 birds as 07/03/16
31 birds as 21/03/16
32 birds as 20/04/16
34 birds as 29/04/16
35 birds as 30/04/16
36 birds as 15/05/16
37 birds as 15/06/16
38 birds as 19/06/16
39 birds as 14/08/16
40 birds as 24/12/16

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 30th of January 2016:

  1. Blackbird x 9
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Bullfinch x 1
  4. Carrion crow x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 2
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Greenfinch x 6
  8. Robin x 1
  9. Song Thrush x 1
  10. Sparrowhawk x1
  11. Woodpigeon x 1

Snow on the ground and occasional showers of snow.  10.20am until 11.20am.

Odd that the usual flock of house sparrows wasn’t to be seen, there’s normally up to 30 most days, any time of day.
The Sparrowhawk was after the song thrush!

Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

Song Thrush, Goldcrest and Great Spotted Woodpecker

December 26, 2015 in sightings

Merry Christmas everyone!  I had 3 great birds in my garden today on top of all the other fantastic birds that usually grace the garden.  Christmas day has often been a great time for birds in my garden as all the roads are quiet around here and more birds venture into the garden.  Over the last 4 Christmases in this house it’s been getting better and better.  no Blackcaps, redwings or fieldfares this year, but the 3 listed are pretty good in my opinion!

Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

Wren and Song Thrush

December 24, 2015 in sightings

As I get ready to go in for another operation to end the year I’ve been trying to do a small amount of birdwatching when I can, I finally managed to add Wren and Song Thrush to my garden bird list this year.

The last few days we’ve had a wren around a fair bit and then today the Song Thrush showed up, very very happy with this bird being in the garden as it was drinking from the pond and moving around under plants that I’ve been trying to grow to encourage wildlife.  The pond has been a great success for wildlife and draining parts of the garden, very happy after the dramas of making the pond.  I also hope that the pond has helped prevent lower ground being flooded!

Greenfinches are also becoming a more common in my garden.  After 3 and a half years in this spot in Edinburgh from having a few woodpigeons and the very occasional blackbird we now have blue, coal and great tits every day, a roost of house sparrows which get up to 30 in the garden at one time and woodpeckers and greenfinches at least weekly.  We are also attracting predatory birds, I’ve seen a sparrowhawk and a kestrel in the last week.

Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

Finches, green and bull in the garden today.

July 27, 2015 in sightings

It’s been a while since I’ve seen either, as someone that regularly changes out feeders with clean ones; I have a numerous stock of feeders people have given me over the years so I change the ones in the garden at each fill, I have hoped to get flocks of healthy greenfinches in my garden, but sadly there’s not a lot of them around any more and to see one is a highlight of this winter… erm I mean summer (don’t think it got above 12C here in Edinburgh today!) then to get 2 bullfinches as well it was pretty special.

Today’s birds:

  1. Blackbird x 1 male
  2. Bullfinch x 2, m and f
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. Great Tit x 1 looked to be a chick
  5. Greenfinch x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 20+ including chicks very happy with that
  7. Jackdaw x 4
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

For those wondering about my dystonia I’ve been trying new medicines and looking at trying to relax more while thinking of work problems I find watching birds a great help as well as newts in the pond, fern leaves swaying in the wind and occasionally getting a loupe viewer out to view mosses, or just enjoy the carpets of moss that this cold summer has started to form, I never appreciated how much moss was a calming influence and great for people with brain issues like mine, it slows the twitching down.

Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

Jay in an Edinburgh garden, swift and the sparrows are back.

July 10, 2015 in sightings

Sorry it’s been so long things have gotten really bad with my dystonia and my hands have stopped working a lot, now managed to get tennis elbow from the shakes, it’s meant after work I can no longer garden, very frustrating as the weeds are getting a bit much.  But hey-ho on the plus side I sit a lot more in the garden as still as someone with a tremor can, which means more birds come out of the hedges and trees.

Lately we’ve been getting bullfinches they’ve even been using the pond to wash themselves, great to witness, the sparrows are back some with young I gather they must be a different group that were nesting elsewhere as 100% sure all the nests were abandoned when my neighbour cut the hedge back.

Love to be gardening but am taking to the smaller and macro worlds of mosses, ferns and terrariums things that I hope not to need to use my arms as much and not need to turn heavy amounts of clay.  Enough about that and onto the birds!

Bird list for 10th of July 2015:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – must have young as it’s back and forth with a beak full of RSPB Coconut shell suet treats still not managed to find a vegan alternative yet.
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – one looking a bit worse for wear after a heavy breeding season!
  3. Bullfinch x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 over garden and 1 over Livingston
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Great Spotted Woodpecker x
  9. House Sparrow x 10+
  10. Jackdaw x 3
  11. Robin x 1
  12. Swifts x 1
  13. Woodpigeon x 1
Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

All the sparrows gone.

June 24, 2015 in sightings

Sadly my neighbour’s obsession with clean lines has meant all the sparrow nests, probably 10 to 15 were destroyed.  Now the House Sparrows have left as have the dunnocks, the last 2 days in the garden have been so quiet.  It’s like it’s night time in the garden due to the lack of chirping and bird song.  Very frustrating.  Need to move from the city!  Want a hectare with many hedges and wildlife spots, but my generalised dystonia would not let me take care of that much land, can’t even take care of .15 of an acre.

In good news, loads of newt babies and the Rook has been showing up a bit.

Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Springwatch

May 31, 2015 in sightings

Today we had a great spotted woodpecker been a while since I’ve seen one.  After my last operation my wife would set up a video camera watching the feeders so that I could see the birds whilst laid up in bed and she managed to get good footage of one.  very impressed!

Don’t forget springwatch is back as is unsprung.  You can see the live cams through here: BBC Springwatch very helpful for people laid up in bed!

Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

First Swift of the year

May 29, 2015 in sightings

Sorry the updates have been so patchy, I went to London for Chelsea but didn’t see much of anything as was too sore I didn’t get any photography or writing done.

I don’t know if I listed last years first swift, very odd!  But today just one very low, great to see!

Other than that it’s pretty much all the same with extra starlings for good measure.

Profile photo of KiwiGav

by KiwiGav

First Swallow over my garden for the year

May 15, 2015 in sightings

4 days earlier than last year, I’ve been hearing reports for about 4 weeks from friends about swallows but today was my first.

Other than that it’s been the usual, sadly having really tough time of late.  Very sore and the shakes are getting worse.