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by KiwiGav

2018 Edinburgh, Scotland Garden Bird List

January 1, 2018 in sightings

It’s time now for the start of my 2018 Garden bird list 2017 showed most of the common British garden birds with a total of 34 birds, unlike 2016 where I had a few more unusual birds for a city garden and a total of 40.

Sadly Dystonia will mainly have me stuck at home again I am studying horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to learn more about making my garden wildlife friendly.  I may try and do a separate RBGE bird list as the gardens have a great diversity of bird species there and are fantastic to watch.

Previous year lists for my Edinburgh Garden
2017 Edinburgh Garden Bird List
2016 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

Once again for 2018 I’ll be using bird food from RSPB.


The 2018 Edinburgh, Scotland garden bird list:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st – first bird of the year
  2. Black-headed gull – March 4th – FO
  3. Blackcap – Jan 2nd
  4. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  5. Bullfinch – Feb 3rd
  6. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  7. Chaffinch – March 3rd
  8. Coal Tit – Jan 2nd
  9. Collared Dove – Jan 3rd
  10. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  11. Feral Pigeon – Jan 25th
  12. Fieldfare – Jan 18th
  13. Goldcrest – Jan 13th
  14. Goldfinch – Jan 3rd
  15. Common Buzzard – March 7th – FO
  16. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  17. Grey Heron – March 2nd – FO, lots of snow.
  18. Greenfinch – Jan 16th
  19. House Sparrow  – Jan 1st
  20. Jackdaw – Jan – 8th
  21. Kestrel – Feb 22nd – FOx2, only second time I’ve seen Kestrels over the garden.
  22. Lesser black-backed gull – March 4th
  23. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 2nd
  24. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  25. Oystercatcher – Jan 19th – FO
  26. Redwing – March 3rd – snow on the ground.
  27. Robin – Jan 1st
  28. Rook – April 21st
  29. Song Thrush – March 4th – snow still on ground.
  30. Sparrowhawk – Jan 13th
  31. Starlings – Jan 7th
  32. Wren – Jan 10th
  33. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st

8 Species as of January 1st 2018.
12 Species as of January 2nd 2018.
14 Species as of January 3rd 2018.
15 Species as of January 7th 2018.
16 Species as of January 8th 2018.
17 Species as of January 10th 2018.
19 Species as of January 13th 2018.
20 Species as of January 16th 2018.
21 Species as of January 18th 2018.
22 Species as of January 19th 2018.
23 Species as of January 25th 2018.
24 Species as of February 3rd 2018.
25 Species as of February 22nd 2018.
26 Species as of March 2nd 2018.
28 Species as of March 3rd 2018.
31 Species as of March 4th 2018.
32 Species as of March 7th 2018.
33 Species as of April 21st 2018.

If you’re on Twitter my user name is: @ApteryxGav – a great hashtag to follow is #my200birdyear thanks to BirdWatchingMag.
Or instagram: @ApteryxGav – It’s mainly plant photos with a few birds.

I’m currently working on a gardening website that will hopefully be up and running later in 2018, it will obviously have a fair bit about wildlife, and the book Sammy The Shrew for sale which is raising money for charities.

2018 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results, Saturday 27th of January.
A very windy day, grey and over cast, yet warm. The first crocus of the year started showing today.

  1. Blackbird x 7
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal tit x 2
  4. Collared Doves x 2
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Great tit x 3
  7. House Sparrow x 17
  8. Woodpigeon x 1

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. Fieldfare – Dec 29th
  13. Goldcrest – Jan 7th
  14. Goldfinch – February 19th
  15. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  16. Greenfinch – Jan 1st
  17. Grey Heron – April 13th – FO
  18. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  19. Jackdaw – Jan 3rd
  20. Kestrel – May 31st – FO – think this is the first I’ve seen over my garden.
  21. Long-tailed tit – October 14th
  22. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  23. Oystercatcher – July 13th – FO
  24. Redwing – Jan 30th
  25. Robin – Jan 1st
  26. Rook – March 23rd
  27. Siskin – April 28th
  28. Song Thrush – Jan 4th
  29. Sparrowhawk – Jan 7th
  30. Starling – Jan 1st
  31. Stock Dove – Jan 5th
  32. Swift – June 18th – 3 days later than last year, I haven’t seen a single swallow this year.
  33. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  34. 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.
33 Species as of October 14th 2017.
34 Species as of December 29th 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.

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!

by KiwiGav

Over Garden Gulls, Wren & bird list, Edinburgh.

February 27, 2015 in sightings

I was outside in the garden today with my crutches, I must say thanks to my parents for putting in drainage and the pond as I can now move about my garden and not just sink into it. I’ve got off topic, the thing was there were a lot of gulls flying overhead, sadly I’m useless at gull ID, however I did notice there were at least 4 different types.  I’ve added black-headed gull to today’s list as that was a definite. The other 3 I’d have a guess were common gull, herring gull and lesser black-backed gull.

  1. Blackbird x 4 – 3m, 1f
  2. Black-headed Gull x 1
  3. Blue Tit x 1
  4. Carrion crow x 1
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. House Sparrow x 3
  8. Jackdaw x 4
  9. Magpie x 3
  10. Woodpigeon x 1
  11. Wren x 1 – it’s been ages since I’ve seen a wren, a real highlight to my day, it was bobbing about the crocuses that are on their way up and snow drops that are out (only 27 of the 100 I planted have shown.), absolutely beautiful sight!

by KiwiGav

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Results

January 24, 2015 in sightings

I’ve just done the RSPB’s great garden bird watch and I ended up with a fantastic list, I tried to grab a shot of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker and due to tremors I got a lot of blur, I tried holding up the camera against the window and had a dystonia spasm which made a loud noise frightening it off – not being able to hold cameras for shots like this is why I became a landscape photographer, hopefully in the future camera speeds keep getting faster and I can follow my love of wildlife videography and photography. Most of the action happened in the first 20 minutes, no new birds added in last 20.

Don’t forget to submit results at RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.

Here are my results, flyovers not submitted:

  1. Blackbird x 4 2xM, 2xF
  2. Black-headed Gull x 1 – flyover
  3. Blue Tit x 2
  4. Bullfinch x 2 1M, 1F
  5. Carrion crow x 1 – flyover not included in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
  6. Coal Tit x 2 – was worried none would show, then around 39 minutes the garden was quiet of birds and 2 showed.
  7. Dunnock x 1
  8. Feral Pigeon x 2
  9. Great Tit x 1
  10. Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1 – What a stunner for the Big Garden Birdwatch!
  11. House Sparrow x 14 with more in the hedge
  12. Jackdaw x 1 – flyover
  13. Magpie x 2 – flyover
  14. Robin x 2 – even had a fight it was an eventful hour!
  15. Woodpigeon x 1

My wildlife gardening must be working as compared to 2013 list: 2013 Big Garden Bird Watch and 2014 Big Garden Bird Watch – there were a few extras, but both 2013 and 2014 had Fieldfare which was missing this year.

by KiwiGav

Musselburgh and Aberlady, East Lothian, Scotland

October 6, 2014 in sightings

Managed a pretty good day out today seeing a fair few birds:

  1. Sparrowhawk
  2. Greylag geese
  3. Pink Footed Geese – first since being on the site.
  4. Canada Geese
  5. What looked to be a hybrid Canda Goose and White Fronted Goose – hopefully photos to come.
  6. Redshank
  7. Oystercatchers
  8. Lapwings
  9. Little Egret
  10. Little Grebe
  11. Grey Herons
  12. Wigeon – first since being on the site.
  13. Teal – first since being on the site.
  14. Snipe – first since being on the site.
  15. Rook
  16. Carrion Crow
  17. Robin
  18. Curlew
  19. Ruff – first since being on the site.
  20. Dunlin
  21. Black-headed Gull.

My hands have still been quite rubbish, but I have been getting a little bit done for the money pages on Saver Scene Australia – Comparing best savings accounts and in the UK as Vegan month comes up in November I’m helping my wife a vegan get a new website organised called Vegans.UK which will have vegan restaurant reviews, as well as restaurants that cater for vegans but aren’t actually vegan, things like Toby Carvery and the Wetherspoon pubs are often great haunts if in an area where you’re unsure of restaurant choice for vegans. The restaurant reviews will be listed here Restaurants that cater for vegans and there’ll also be a social area with Vegan Forums and Vegan Social Network,this keeps me very busy when my hands are able to do it.  Hopefully be all ready for November 1st with loads of updates through Vegan Month.

by KiwiGav

A short stop at Aberlady Bay for 2 little egrets + Swallows still about.

September 8, 2014 in sightings

Managed a short stop in at Aberlady Bay on the way home from North Berwick, got to see 2 very distant little egrets and a grey heron, rest of the bird list:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Black-headed gull – AB
  3. Blue Tit x 1
  4. Common Buzzard x 1
  5. Dunlin – AB
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Grey Heron – AB
  9. House Sparrow x numerous in garden and at NB
  10. Jackdaw – AB
  11. Little Egret – AB my first recording since starting the website
  12. Magpie NB
  13. Redshank – AB
  14. Robin x 1
  15. Starlings x 7
  16. Swallows x 1
  17. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

Sparrowhawk getting chased off by two Black-headed Gulls.

January 21, 2014 in sightings

Had a flurry of hail today, but there were still a few birds around, I’m hoping to drain parts of my back garden as when we have a few days of rain some parts become unusable and loose your boot muddy!  I’ll be draining it to try and get it to go to a pond and hope for results like Lyn gets in her ponds: Dragonfly Larvae – Recently I’ve made holes to try and soak the water away from the worst patches are already causing interest for birds to bathe in, hopefully a new pond will be great for the wildlife.

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Black-headed Gulls x 2 chasing off a sparrowhawk
  3. Blue Tit x 2
  4. Carrion crow x 2
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 5+
  7. Jackdaw x 2
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Sparrowhawk x 1
  11. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

A day of DIY and few birds.

December 1, 2013 in sightings

Today was spent trying to get a bit of DIY done around the house, one of our many money saving drives on trying to do as much as we can ourselves.  Earlier this year we got a quote for £200 to replace a piece of plasterboard and then skim it!  When my hands work properly this is an easy job for me, it did need to be cut to size in an odd shape but other than that it was straight forward.  I instructed my wife  on how to do it, we went to B&Q paid £7 for plasterboard and screws and about £10 for skim and then spent 2 hours doing it.  You’d never know it wasn’t professionally done!  Not 100% but it wasn’t terrible!  Now we’ve been stripping wallpaper off a wall and my wife is skimming it as it’s bare plasterboard and she’s much better at skimming than me!  So sadly once again little time for birds!

  1. Blackbird x heard
  2. Black-headed Gull x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 2 flying over at dusk.
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. House Sparrow x 5 – wonder what happened to the rest
  6. Magpie x 2
  7. Robin x 1
  8. Starlings x 6 + could hear a lot more.
  9. Woodpigeon x 4

by KiwiGav

Another short walk, hail storm and a double rainbow, plus some birds!

November 9, 2013 in sightings

Managed another short walk today, that’s 2 days in a row!!!  Very happy with that!  Meant I got to see a few extra birds.  The ones in my garden are really going through the RSPB fat pellets!  Don’t forget to add extra now we’re getting frosts.  On the walk got caught in the rain, but just before I did I got to see this great Double Rainbow.

  1. Blackbird x S
  2. Black-headed Gull x S
  3. Carrion crow x S
  4. Coal Tit x G
  5. House Sparrow x G
  6. Jackdaw x S
  7. Magpie x S
  8. Starlings x S
  9. Woodpigeon x S

I made a bug hotel earlier this year, but wow the ideas on these ones are fantastic: put mine to shame!