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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!

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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
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by KiwiGav

Merry Christmas and 18 different species of birds on my list

December 25, 2013 in sightings

I had an amazing Christmas day for birds, the suburb in Edinburgh where I live was so quiet that the birds weren’t getting disturbed and I got to see a fair few!  Really happy to see so many great migrants to the garden.  I mentioned that I’d be setting up a facebook page and a few other pages for my photography the FB one is now up and running here: https://www.facebook.com/picturesqueedinburgh – If you’re on Facebook I’d really appreciate the like. Or on twitter or G+ https://twitter.com/picedinburgh – https://plus.google.com/+PicturesqueEdinburghUK/ – I hope the photos bring enjoyment to the internet.

  1. Blackbird x 6
  2. Blackcap x 1
  3. Blue Tit x 2
  4. Carrion crow x 1 – on drive
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 – on drive.
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Feral Pigeon x 4 – on drive.
  8. Fieldfare x 1
  9. Great Tit x 1
  10. Greenfinch x 1
  11. House Sparrow x 10+
  12. Jackdaw x 2
  13. Magpie x 1
  14. Redwing x 3 – first for year, first time I’ve seen in my garden
  15. Robin x 1
  16. Song Thrush x 1
  17. Stock Dove x 2
  18. Woodpigeon x 2
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by KiwiGav

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Britannia bird lists.

May 9, 2013 in sightings

Once again I took off to watch birds instead of working on my websites, I’ll be posting over on www.saverscene.com.au late into the night the freebies section www.saverscene.com.au/freebies-no-spend-required/ has become very popular over the last few days.

The Marsh/Willow Tit:

Okay after talking to a few people that know a lot more about birds than me, it’s 99% probable I didn’t see a marsh or willow tit.  Although I still think it looked a lot like it I take their word on this matter and am always happy to admit when I’m wrong, it was in poor light at a distance and after spending a few hours near the area I saw Great Tits, Coal Tits and Blackcaps so I’ll put it down to poor IDing on my behalf.

My bird lists for the day: 

In my garden while I was home today:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. Woodpigeon x 1

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

I went back to see if I had

  1. Blackbird – Watched as one filled it’s beak with worms, didn’t see where it flew off to, but did notice it worked it’s way back towards the location of it’s nest, with the collection getting ever bigger and even placing them on the ground occasionally.  Photos below.
  2. Blackcap – look to be breeding
  3. Blue Tit – first birds I saw when arriving and they were mating
  4. Bullfinch – Male bathing, great to watch, got very bad photos in the gloom.
  5. Carrion crow – attacking a magpie
  6. Chaffinch
  7. Chiffchaff – heard only
  8. Coal Tit
  9. Dunnock
  10. Feral Pigeon, one of these landed on my hand as I was watching the nesting hole of the Woodpecker. Gave me a bit of a surprise as I was looking through the camera at the time!
  11. Great Tit
  12. Greater Spotted Woodpecker
  13. Greenfinch
  14. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  15. Magpie
  16. Mallard Duck
  17. Moorhen
  18. Robin – these guys keep popping up next to me
  19. Siskin
  20. Song Thrush
  21. Swallow – first of the year for me.
  22. Treecreaper
  23. Wood Warbler – a first for me, I got to see and hear it, of course it flew away the second my camera started focusing! I had to check the RSPB calls page and then check here: Willow, Wood Warbler and ChiffChaff to make sure I listed the correct warbler.  I paid a lot of attention to the call as I knew this was the way to tell them apart.

Birds from Royal Yacht Britannia that haven’t been listed previously today:

  1. Common Eider – new for the year
  2. Cormorant – new for the year

On the way home

  1. Starlings

Total of 26 different species of birds.

A few photos from today:

Male Blackcap Female Blackcap Black Bird and worms Black Bird and worms Black Bird and worms

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by KiwiGav

Keukenhof gardens and the birds I saw there!

April 20, 2013 in sightings

Had a bumper day today and added a few life birds, Great Crested Grebe (bit slow on that one!), yellow and pied wagtails.  Once again internet has been down most of the evening so just a quick note of the birds in the hope the net stays up long enough!  Most from Keukenhof or on bus journey there!

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blackcap
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Chiffchaff – heard and seen
  5. Common Buzzard
  6. Coots
  7. Dunnock
  8. Feral Pigeon
  9. Great crested grebe
  10. Greylag goose
  11. Grey Heron
  12. House Sparrow
  13. Jackdaw
  14. Morehen
  15. Oystercatchers
  16. Pied Wagtail
  17. Lapwings
  18. Magpie
  19. Mallard Duck
  20. Moorhens
  21. Mute Swans
  22. Skylark – seen and heard
  23. Sparrowhawk
  24. Starlings
  25. Swallow
  26. Tufted duck
  27. Yellow wagtail

The Keukenhof gardens are great, but don’t go on parade day, it’s so busy!  I was hoping to go to Haarlem to see the parade at the end of the day but my ankles were worn out again and I couldn’t face another bus ride.  Hopefully one year I’ll get back over here to see the festival!  I also managed to update the best interest rates for instant access ISAs tonight as I was informed Coventry have changed their best interest rate to a 1 year and no longer instant access, you can see the best instant access ISA here: http://www.saverscene.co.uk/isa/highest-interest-rate-for-instant-access-isa.html – Gardening, birds, saving money and pensions my friends call me middle aged Gav, I’m 34, I sure hope to live to over 68!!!  I’ve been interested in most of these things since my teen years, just I lived in Australia and haven’t seen a lot of European birds and there wasn’t wonderful tax free savings accounts like ISAs there!  Sorry rambling again, had pain killer and beer!  whoops!  – Gav out!

Update, thought I’d list this as a friend asked me what a lapwing looked like, there’s photos on here from when I lived at Musselburgh UK: http://www.wbist.com/archives/367

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by KiwiGav

Snow falling in Edinburgh and my first Blackcap of the year.

January 13, 2013 in sightings

The snow has started to fall again in Edinburgh and there’s been another first for the year a Blackcap – there may have been 2 as one was feeding on some fatballs and another bird flew in and knocked it off, it all happened so fast I didn’t see if it was another blackcap. Remember if you have seen any Blackcaps during January the  is currently running. Also added Feral Pigeon to the list today, I would have thought it’d be one on the list for the year by now but due to the fact I’ve been stuck at home due to injury and it’s not overly common in our garden I hadn’t seen any!

  1. Blackbird x 4
  2. Blackcap x 1 – Female.
  3. Blue Tit x 2
  4. Carrion crow x1
  5. Chaffinch x 2
  6. Coal Tit x 3
  7. Dunnock x 2
  8. Feral Pigeon  x 3
  9. Goldcrest x 2 updated 15.22 – this is another first for the year, and a first I’ve seen in my new garden! 
  10. Greenfinch x 12
  11. House Sparrow x 2
  12. Long-tailed tit x 2 updated 15.37
  13. Magpie x1
  14. Robin x 1 – good to see the Robin back!
  15. Woodpigeon x 5

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by Gavin

BTO – Garden Blackcap Survey

December 28, 2012 in sightings

From the BTO website:

Garden Blackcap Survey – welcome!

Blackcap (Nick Stacey)Do you have more female Blackcaps in your garden than males?

**THIS SURVEY WILL RUN DURING JANUARY 2013**

Blackcaps are an increasingly common sight at garden feeding stations during winter and are spotted most often early in the New Year. The foods that we provide seem to be having a profound effect on the ecology of these birds, changing their migratory patterns and subsequent nesting habits.

With your help, we want to find out more about the behaviour of Blackcaps in winter gardens. Choose one day this January to help us answer these three key questions:

1) Which foods are Blackcaps eating?
2) Are there equal numbers of male and female Blackcaps?
3) Are the Blackcaps aggressive with other, similar sized birds?

Blackcaps and bird feeders
How to spot a Blackcap
Key questions
Instructions and take part

Download a free BTO Factsheet about Wintering Blackcaps

More information on BirdGuides website: BTO: Wanted: sightings of bolshy garden bird

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I haven’t seen one this year and last years sighting was a 5 minute view before it headed off, just a quick re-fuel stop and then quickly heading south. They’re a very nice bird!