You are browsing the archive for 2015 March.

by KiwiGav

Loads of Corvids flying past at dusk.

March 31, 2015 in sightings

Just a quick message about a few volunteer positions with National Trust for Scotland: Volunteer Seabird Ranger Assistant, West-coast Islands.

Sadly not a great few days for seeing birds, today was the worst weather in Edinburgh for 2015, last day of March a shocker! There are 100s of Corvids flying over at dusk each day, great to see.  Birds I managed to see today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x – numerous – at least I’m pretty sure they’re all carrion crows, may be a few jackdaws too.
  4. House Sparrow x 6
  5. Jackdaw x 2
  6. Magpie x 3
  7. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

Stuck inside most of the weekend

March 29, 2015 in sightings

Just a few quick trips outside, the pain has been bad this weekend. Sorry no bird list for Saturday, but here’s Sunday’s list, the weather has been terrible which means I’ve not missed too much, sleeting as I write this.  Other than the coal tit, grey heron, sparrows and the dunnocks all are seen from the window whilst either doing exercise or the quick glimpse out during gardening TV shows:

  1. Carrion crow x 1
  2. Coal Tit x 1
  3. Dunnock x 2 – singing loudly at about 7.30am, went out for a brief walk around my smallish garden.
  4. Grey Heron x 1
  5. House Sparrow x 12
  6. Jackdaw x 3
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

Not been able to see much of late.

March 27, 2015 in sightings

Sorry I missed yesterday, I had physio and was not really able to do much, I went outside briefly and a sparrowhawk flew past, then nothing.  Very quiet most of the day.  Today’s list is a bit small, still a lot of pain.

  1. Blackbird x 2, 1m, 1f
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. House Sparrow x 6+ more in the hedge
  6. Jackdaw x 2
  7. Robin x 1
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

First blackbird with worms in it’s beak for the year.

March 25, 2015 in sightings

The blackbird was not in my garden, I doubt there’d be enough worms for a bird to find in my garden – I have been working on getting the soil back to health, the previous owner spent years (about 45-50) keeping it tidy, raking all the leaves and just adding artificial fertilizers to a 95% clay garden hasn’t done the wildlife much help!  The areas where I with the help of my parents and wife have managed to get a bit of organic material has already started to improve the condition and worms and other soil wildlife are returning. The blackbird was a male near Edinburgh centre coming in from the western approach.  Great to see!

  1. Blackbird x 2 m in garden, 1 m with worms
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 2 in garden
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. House Sparrow x 17 – the most I think I’ve ever managed in one sighting in my garden.
  6. Jackdaw x 2 in garden, 4 at pain clinic, Edinburgh south,
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Robin x 1
  9. Woodpigeon x 1

by KiwiGav

Grey Heron checks out the pond.

March 24, 2015 in sightings

I wasn’t able to get outside much today, but I went out around 3pm as that’s roughly the time the sparrowhawk has been flying by and after waiting a few minutes I heard a different sort of a whoosh this time of a powerful wing beat, I look up to see a Grey Heron overhead it had spotted me and changed course.  Our two neighbours behind currently have ponds, sadly one’s about to be built over, it went to the one that’s going to be built over in the next few months and stayed for about 5 minutes before flying up in the air, once again it came back over our garden heading towards the pond.  I was close enough you could see it’s eyes scanning the pond then move to me and with a startled response and a lot of power in a wing beat change direction.

I’m hoping my pond will be well enough established to take in some of the pond refugees that will be made when the much larger pond in the garden behind gets house extensions built over by the new owners.

Other than this wonderful sighting not a lot of other birds due to lack of outdoor time:

  1. Blackbird x 2 both male
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Dunnock x 2
  4. Great Tit x 1
  5. Grey Heron x 1 – what a great sight would have said it was 10 meters if that away.
  6. House Sparrow x 16+ more in the hedge, thought I was at 17 when a bird popped out but it was a robin, would have been a record (I think) for sightings of sparrows at once in my garden.
  7. Jackdaw x 2
  8. Magpie x 2 – collecting nesting material
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 4

by KiwiGav

Garden birds for March 24th 2015

March 23, 2015 in sightings

I’m pretty sure I saw two sparrowhawks flying fast next to each other but I can’t be sure so haven’t listed them as can’t be 100% sure, here’s the list of birds, I also spotted 2 ladybirds and 1 peacock butterfly:

  1. Blackbird x 1 m
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 1 – getting mobbed by 2 magpies.
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. House Sparrow x 3 – but once again the hedge was alive with sound.
  6. Magpie x 2
  7. Woodpigeon x 4

by KiwiGav

Trip near Edinburgh airport.

March 23, 2015 in sightings

My wife has been helping me with the garden, as I’ve not been able to do more than 5 minutes weeding if that.  I really love Feijoas a South American fruit that’s popular in New Zealand but very hard to grow in the UK (there is one in Kensington Palace gardens that fruits very well, but I’m always there at the wrong time of year, would love to get cuttings from that plant!), so I’ve been doing a bit of reading and been informed that giving them a good supply of horse manure at this time of year may create fruit later in the year.  2014 I only managed to get 1 fruit off 6 plants, but am more hopeful for 2015.  Anyway my wife mentions she knows someone that goes horse riding and they’d happily let her walk around the paddock and clear up after the horses.  I went with her in the car to give directions to the fields and on a glorious sunny day I got to sit and watch the birds in the area, here’s what I managed to see:

  1. Collard Doves
  2. Feral Pigeons
  3. White Doves (don’t think this is a species, but talking to the people there it seems they’ve been there for decades always white with no other markings of pigeon amongst them, quite a sight to see in the bright sun.)
  4. House Sparrows – around 50 would be a good guess!
  5. Blue Tits
  6. Great Tits
  7. Woodpigeons

There were probably a lot more birds but I couldn’t walk the hedges to check them, was just great to see!

Separate post for the garden birds.

by KiwiGav

2 sightings of sparrowhawk, about 500 meters apart.

March 22, 2015 in sightings

Was stuck indoors most of the day due to pain but went out to fill the feeders about 3pm and as I walked (on crutches) back to the shed to put the excess food away the house sparrows were already on the feeder, I walk out of the shed and whoosh the sparrowhawks dives over my head again towards the house sparrows, twice in 2 days now!  Once again it didn’t get anything, but it did hover above the garden to check the scene.

Strangely it wasn’t the last sparrowhawk sighting I had, I went to my parents in law’s house now that I’m getting about a bit better I went to help with their few tech issues that have broken down since I’ve mainly been stuck in bed.  When I arrive I always check their garden (it also means I don’t have to tackle steps), it’s only about half a kilometre away but it’s much closer to woodland and has more trees around so they get some more interesting birds such as nuthatches and green woodpeckers, it’s still the only place I’ve had great views of a nuthatch.  Once again whoosh a sparrowhawk flies into the garden, a bit further away from me so didn’t get the loud noise, once again it missed the birds.  Lately they’ve had a lot of sparrows too, I gather that’s why the aptly named sparrowhawks are about.

Here’s the list: PIL = Parents In Law.

  1. Blackbird x 1 PIL
  2. Blue Tit x 2 PIL
  3. Dunnock x 1 PIL, 1 at home
  4. Feral Pigeon x 3 PIL
  5. Great Tit x 1 PIL
  6. House Sparrow x 6 PIL, 15+ at home
  7. Magpie x 1
  8. Sparrowhawk x 1 PIL, 1 at home.
  9. Woodpigeon x 1

White Tailed Sea Eagle seen in Essex

March 21, 2015 in sightings

I was told today that a White Tailed Sea Eagle has been seen in East Anglia including Essex – i have not seen it yet but might see if i can find out where it is – apparently its been up to Norfolk and now back in Suffolk


I have seen these giants in Norway and Netherlands but not in the UK – would be nice tosee it

Hanningfield Reservoir 21st March

March 21, 2015 in sightings

An Essex Wildlife Trust centre

Decided to get in a visit here this morning before the rugby but stayed longer and missed the Wales game

Cold and mostly dull – some showers some sun

Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon, Coot, Black Headed Gull, Mallard, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Goldeneye, Little Grebe, Red Breasted Merganser – 1st sighting in the UK – have seen them only in Sweden previously, Carrion Crow – one had some white wing feathers, Buzzard, Magpie, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff – only about 3 metres away but in bushes so no photo as it was behind some of the bush, Dunnock, Robin, Herring Gull, Teal, Gadwall, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron, Starling, Great Crested Grebe, Shoveler, Chaffinch, Moorhen, Jack Snipe – first ever sighting, Stock Dove, Coal Tit, Mute Swan