You are browsing the archive for 2014 August.

by KiwiGav

Swallows also still around, but moving south.

August 31, 2014 in sightings

After yesterday’s post swifts still around I checked back on last years records to see the last date I saw a swift it was August 9th – I noticed 7 swallows flying in a southerly direction today, last year latest I saw them was 4th of September, be interested to see if I see them that late this year.

The bird list for the last day of August 2014:

  1. Blue Tit x 1
  2. Coal Tit x 1
  3. Dunnock x 2
  4. House Sparrow x 25+
  5. Robin x 1
  6. Swallows x 7 – flying south.
  7. Woodpigeon x 2

In other news we decided to fill the pond with tap water to check the concrete was sound, so far it’s held up and been full for about 36 hours now, today I checked it out and there was already life in it including something that looks like a type corixidae.  Not 100% sure if that’s what it was, but it was moving around the pond at decent speeds.

by KiwiGav

Swifts still around.

August 30, 2014 in sightings

Just a quick one, hands too sore:

  1. Blue Tit x 1
  2. Dunnock x 1
  3. House Sparrow x 25+
  4. Jackdaw x 2
  5. Swifts x 1 – have to check last years list to see how late I was seeing them
  6. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

Not a bad list of garden birds for a very short viewing time.

August 29, 2014 in sightings

sorry everyone for not getting a list up yesterday; I was too sore due to all the work on the pond and the garden of late, I didn’t get outside to see birds. Very frustrating!  Today had a brief time outside and managed to time it just as a mixed flock of tits came through the back garden, a great site:

  1. Blue Tit x 2
  2. Coal Tit x 1
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. Great Tit x 2
  5. House Sparrow x 15+
  6. Jackdaw x 2
  7. Long-tailed tit x 10
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Oystercatcher x 2 -fly overs – calling out.
  10. Woodpigeon x 1

by KiwiGav

A sad day in my garden – cat gets hoppy my favourite woodpigeon!

August 27, 2014 in sightings

I don’t give names to wildlife very often but hoppy the woodpigeon with a limp that loves to play with Chewie my dog was one I couldn’t help but give a name to.  Sadly hoppy was not seen today and with the amount of feathers I woke up to I can only guess hoppy was the sad fatality of the local cats, as there were cat prints all through the garden.

Why do people take these killing machines as pets!?  I don’t want them all killed, I wouldn’t want an animal killed but I ask people to keep their cats inside over night and to have them seen to and make this cat their last.  It’s too cruel on all other wildlife to keep a cat!  If you must have a cat get a long haired or a Siamese these have less hunting instincts than most others.  Over time we may breed the hunting out of them as we have with most dogs!

Garden bird list for today, sadly no woodpigeons:

  1. Blue Tit x 2
  2. Coal Tit x 1
  3. Dunnock x 2
  4. Great Tit x 2
  5. House Sparrow x 10+
  6. Magpie x 1

by KiwiGav

A few birds from the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

August 26, 2014 in sightings

A fairly decent list of birds today, I decided to go to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh as I needed a bit of a break from everything due to pain.  Sadly didn’t see a lot of birds and needed to sit a lot, but still a very nice day to be in the gardens!   The highlight were 2 blackcaps and being able to point them out to my mum.   Iv’e been looking at studying horticulture and botany as these have been a big part of my life for many years, and with the injuries I figure now’s the time to get a few formal accreditations under my belt and hopefully be able to work in the field professionally, so checked out the up coming courses and hope to start a short course in April 2015.  Although I enjoy helping people save money by running Saver Scene Australia & Saver Scene best saving accounts not currently living in Australia makes it hard to find all the voucher codes, discount coupons and bargains is often very hard, as is the work with my hands.  Which I hope will be fixed in the future!

Now onto the list, the birds seen at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh are listed with RBGE – strangely first time I’ve been there and not seen a moorhen.

  1. Blackcap x 2 – RBGE
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 3
  5. Feral Pigeon x 2 – RBGE
  6. Great Tit x 2
  7. Long-tailed tit x 3
  8. Magpie x 1 – at RBGE and 1 @ home garden
  9. Robin x 1 – RBGE
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

Some nice views of birds, the pond finally finished!

August 25, 2014 in sightings

My mum also a keen gardener has been helping out with my garden and clearing a lot of the problem grasses that have taken over the borders and embedded themselves amongst the roses and other plants, it’s tough work in the clay that our garden earth consists of making it very hard for someone with bad carpal tunnel to deal with.  She’s done a lot of it and since then I notice the dunnocks more and the robin has been going about the looser soil, it’s a very nice little bird!

The Pond:
Today was a big day, we finally got to concrete the pond after the debacle with the pond liner from and how badly it leaked, even though we took great care when handling etc, I was not impressed.  7 bags of cement and about 400Kg of sand later and we now have a decent looking pond, not as cheap and nasty as I thought it may look being concrete and why I went for the liner in the first place.  The pond will look even better after I get a chance to plant it up with bog plants and surround the tops with rocks and logs it should all look great and offer great hiding for the wildlife.

  1. Blue Tit x 2
  2. Carrion crow x 3
  3. Dunnock x 3
  4. House Sparrow x 15+
  5. Long-tailed tit x 3
  6. Magpie x 1
  7. Robin x 1 – Juvenile
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

A few garden birds and a small frog.

August 24, 2014 in sightings

Not a great list of birds today, but I did see a frog in the garden, the pond isn’t completed yet hopefully tomorrow as the mess with the pond liner has put us back a few weeks, now finally ready to concrete it.  Cement is not as environmentally friendly and sadly concrete ponds as wildlife ponds are not as nice looking as using a pond liner, however after trying the liner and finding it leaked I don’t really want to go through all that mess again, I still want a pond to help the wildlife around my garden which sadly means it has to be a concrete one.

  1. Blue Tit x 3
  2. Carrion crow x 1
  3. Dunnock x 2
  4. House Sparrow x 10+
  5. Long-tailed tit x 3
  6. Woodpigeon x 2

I was reading some good news in The Economist – page 54 August 23rd -29th 2014 – about the re-growth of tropical forests, I’ve not had a chance to read the entire article but it sounds promising as a wildlife lover and someone that cares for the world I hope it’s true!

by KiwiGav

A mixed flock came through the garden plus a rook.

August 23, 2014 in sightings

was up early due to pain and not being able to sleep, but I was very glad that I was!  A decent sized mixed flock of tits came through the garden, decent for my garden at least.  The very first bird of the day was a rook perched high on the telephone pole at the back of my garden.  It seems to be it’s favourite place, after that I was sitting reading White Beach Rain Forest as previously mentioned by Germaine Greer and occasionally staring out my front window when the plum tree came alive with 7 long-tailed tits and more to follow in the hedge trees between my house and the neighbours.  A count of 17 blue tits is I think the most I’ve ever seen in the garden at once.  Why can’t I get a good count like that for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?

  1. Blue Tit x 17
  2. Carrion crow x 1
  3. Coal Tit x 1 – not in the flock.
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. Great Tit x 2
  6. House Sparrow x 3
  7. Jackdaw x 1 – on the slopes up to Edinburgh castle.
  8. Long-tailed tit x 7
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Rook x 1
  11. Woodpigeon x 2

I was out the rest of the day for a friend stag do, meaning did get the Jackdaw to add to the list all others were in my garden.  Before the stag do I managed to get to this talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival:

Patrick Barkham & Laurie Campbell
Sat 23 Aug 11:00am – 12:00pm
Royal Bank of Scotland Garden Theatre

Dangerous or Endangered?

The badger and the otter: crucial to a diverse British fauna, or jointly responsible for the spread of bovine TB? Patrick Barkham, author of Badgerlands, and Laurie Campbell, whose photos feature in Otters: Return to the River, are firmly on the side of the animals. In their books they reveal and celebrate the magnificent contribution made by badgers and otters to our countryside.

by KiwiGav

Juvenile Robin in the garden, young birds still about!

August 22, 2014 in sightings

Had a few nice birds in the garden, a juvenile robin may have been the highlight as Robins are not birds I get often in the garden – the sightings of robins. I do have 2 open nest boxes up, actually at the moment it’s 1 open nest box up the other was knocked down by neighbour whilst he was cutting his hedge and fell through the hedge, thankfully nothing was in the nest box at the time and I’ll try moving it to another location as nothing used it.  There’s still young birds about and my hedges are looking very messy but I know there’s birds in them so I want to keep from tidying up until I’m sure the birds have all fledged.

  1. Blue Tit x 2
  2. Carrion crow x 2
  3. Long-tailed tit x 3 – the other highlight of the day.
  4. Magpie x 1
  5. Robin x 1 – juvenile
  6. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

A sparrowhawk visits the garden. Bullfinches early in the day.

August 21, 2014 in sightings

There was a lot of rain, big storms and a sparrowhawk in the garden today.  We’ve been trying to drain the hole that’s left from where we’re putting the pond but the storms are making it hard.  IN the end we’ve used the leaky pond liner as a tarp (it’s even a poor quality tarp!) to try and keep as much water out, sadly we’re going to have to concrete it now.  Not as natural looking and may not be as great for wildlife but still it should be better than just filling the hole in again.

There was much alarm from the House Sparrows in the hedge today, I figured it’d be a cat and had a look out the window, often when the cats show the birds just fly off, however the noise kept going and the sparrows were very lively in the hedge, I looked around a bit more and caught a sparrowhawk take off from the apple tree in the garden.  It circled over a few of the neighbours gardens before it was gone.

Here’s the list for today:

  1. Blue Tit x 2
  2. Bullfinch x 2 – I couldn’t sleep, only managed 2 hours due to pain, so I went outside at about 5.30am to walk around the garden, it’s only small to medium sized, but it lets me stretch my legs and see a small amount of wildlife, this was the first time I’d seen bullfinches since: 31st of May – Although have taken time off in that time from recording my birds, but pretty sure haven’t seen any all summer.
  3. Dunnock x 2
  4. Feral Pigeon x 2
  5. House Sparrow x 20+
  6. Jackdaw x 2
  7. Magpie x 1
  8. Sparrowhawk x 1
  9. Woodpigeon x 2