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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

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

Edinburgh Farmers Markets and Starlings take over garden.

May 24, 2014 in sightings

Today went to the Edinburgh Farmers Markets just below Edinburgh Castle and unlike “The Armstrong and Millers Show – The Farmers Markets Song” – the organic fruit was actually cheaper than the mass produced flavourless fruit I’ve been getting at Tesco of late – Sainsbury’s have been good but aren’t within walking distance.  It did mean I got to see a few extra birds!

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1 – Worried the Starlings are forcing them out of the garden, they do seem to get a lot of food from my neighbours giant hawthorn tree, it’s beautiful!
  3. Bullfinch x 1 – Near Edinburgh Zoo on way home from Farmer’s Markets.
  4. Carrion crow x 1
  5. Chaffinch x 1 – at Farmer’s Markets
  6. Collared Dove x 1
  7. Common Buzzard x
  8. Dunnock x 3
  9. House Sparrow x 3
  10. Jackdaw x 2
  11. Magpie x 1
  12. Starlings x 25+
  13. Swallows x 1
  14. Woodpigeon x 3

The Armstrong and Miller Show The Farmers Market Song.

by KiwiGav

Trip to the Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

May 11, 2014 in sightings

Had a trip to the Botanic Gardens Edinburgh today, was with friends, which was great but meant I didn’t get a lot of bird watching done, but got a few to add to the list that I wouldn’t see at home, such as chaffinches, mallards and moorhens:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Chaffinch x 1 – at the botanics
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Feral Pigeon x – a fair few at the botanics
  7. House Sparrow x 1
  8. Jackdaw x 2
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Mallard Duck – botanics
  11. Moorhen – botanics
  12. Starlings x 3
  13. Woodpigeon x 2 – and a few at the botanics

by KiwiGav

Wet day in Edinburgh, late to fill the feeders.

January 18, 2014 in sightings

Another wet day here in Edinburgh and I couldn’t get out until late in the day to fill the feeders due to the pain in my feet and legs.  Very quiet list due to that.  About 5 minutes after filling the birds did show:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Chaffinch x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 2
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 10+
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

A very wet day in Edinburgh brought out a lot of blackbirds.

January 17, 2014 in sightings

It was raining heavy today and my garden is getting more and more waterlogged, however the birds seemed to love it, especially the black birds!  They were taking baths in a few of the puddles and it seemed to bring a fair few to the garden.  Sadly my legs were very sore and didn’t get much chance to look out for birds:

  1. Blackbird x 9
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Chaffinch x 1
  4. Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1
  5. House Sparrow x 5+
  6. Jackdaw x 2
  7. Woodpigeon x 4

by KiwiGav

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Stejneger’s Scoter, Melanitta deglandi stejnegeri.

January 16, 2014 in sightings

Got a great view of a Great Spotted Woodpecker today.  But not as exciting as the news:

Stejneger’s Scoter: First for Britain – seen just off my old patch! Lived in Musselburgh for 3 years, a great place to see many wonderful birds and one of the reasons I lived there. Worth a visit if you’re around the area. Sadly we had thuggish neighbours and we had to leave… One of them used to catch goldfinches with sticky paper. He’d thankfully stopped by the time I moved in, but shows the mentality of them!

More about the Stejneger’s Scoter can be seen on Bird Guides and Birding Frontiers:

Although I’m not a fan of seeing birds that get stranded in the wrong place and much prefer to see birds that are meant to be here, it’s quite interesting to hear about it being on my old patch.  It reminds me of one day when I arrived at the Musselburgh hides to find about 50+ cars as a Wilson’s Phalarope had been seen there.  I don’t follow the bird trackers and the rest so I had no idea, I was just there for a Saturday morning bird / cycle, before I injured myself I often strapped my scope to my back and went looking for birds.  Interestingly I sat down a few days later and had a great view of it, I got chatting to the man next me and it turned out to be Frank Hamilton – who was the person that first recorded a Wilson’s Phalarope in the UK back in 1954!

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Chaffinch x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1
  8. House Sparrow x 2 – a lot more were around.
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 3

by KiwiGav

In the garden for a bit, few birds about.

January 15, 2014 in sightings

Tried getting a bit of gardening done today, but my ankles and wrists let me down, got a few bulbs in, can’t remember what they are!  They were just in the shed that I’d picked up at a charity store in the past.  Probably daffodils, hope they look great!

Bird list for today, other than the 6 Jackdaws no big surprises today:

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Chaffinch x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. House Sparrow x 10+
  8. Jackdaw x 6
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

actually the Chaffinch is often a surprise, it’s not a regular to my garden.

by KiwiGav

Chair hide photos of blue tits and garden bird list for January 11th 2014.

January 11, 2014 in sightings

I got out in the back garden to try out my new seat hide – Riverside Outdoor Camo Pop Up Chair Hide Quick Erect Decoying Shooting Photography Tent Waterproof, not bad at all, really have to work on tying down the front flaps though as they kept getting caught in the breeze.  I sadly made some camera errors at the start, still in landscape photography mode and missed some nice shots of a fieldfare, I started to get better but by the time I was back into bird photography mode there were just the blue tits around, they did look good against the red of the dogwood (not sure which cornus it is, probably Sibirica).

The one thing I really noticed about being in the hide was the sounds of birds all around, there are two side flaps but I had to close them as I found myself looking out them and thinking “I’m missing that shot, whilst nothing’s in front of me”.   I didn’t get as close as I’d like but the birds were suspicious of the hide, due to my mild cerebral palsy I do shake and twitch a fair bit and I think this was being passed through the seat to the hide as it’s all one structure which may be a problem.  I’ll stick at it and see how I get on and share more pics in the future.

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Chaffinch x 1
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Fieldfare x 1
  8. Great Tit x 2
  9. House Sparrow x 10+
  10. Jackdaw x 1
  11. Magpie x 2
  12. Robin x 1
  13. Starlings x 15+
  14. Woodpigeon x 4

This first photo is uncropped, the second is cropped but only taking off the tops and bottoms of the shot.

Blue Tit on Dogwood, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Blue Tit on Dogwood, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Blue Tit

Blue Tit on red dogwood, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

by KiwiGav

Not a great day today.

December 27, 2013 in sightings

Not a lot of birds to see today.  I was very busy with work,but it was great to see the chaffinch, been a while!

  1. Blackbird x 6
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Chaffinch x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. House Sparrow x 10+
  7. Jackdaw x 2
  8. Magpie x 1 – The sparrows hid in the hedge the entire time it was in the garden and made a lot of noise!
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 2