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

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.

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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 good day in the gardens and a quick visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

June 5, 2013 in sightings

My mum mentioned that she wanted to see a Woodpecker before she left the UK back to Australia, I knew there was a pair nesting at the Botanics here in Edinburgh and figured a quick trip to see them should get results with ease, and I was right, photos towards the bottom after my lists:

Garden List for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – nest box in full swing
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Collared Dove x 2
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. Magpie x 2
  7. Starlings x 15 – fly overs
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

Royal Botanic Garden Bird List, this was a very quick visit and we spent a lot more time watching the birds than I thought we had time for as it was just to see the woodpecker.  I didn’t take my camera and the photos are from my dad:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion crow
  3. Chaffinch
  4. Chiffchaff – heard only
  5. Great Tit
  6. Greater spotted Woodpecker
  7. Magpie
  8. Mallard Duck
  9. Moorhen
  10. Robin

Photos:

Woodpecker Chick & Adult Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens

Woodpecker Chick & Adult Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens

Woodpecker Chick Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens

Woodpecker Chick Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens

 

I should have taken my camera, I did take binoculars and a few of the staff at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens came to have a look. Sadly it has to be a rather quick visit as I knew I had to get back to do the updates for the credit cards, interest rates for savings accounts and free bank accounts for the Aussie Saver Scene site: http://www.saverscene.com.au/finance/ – finally finished just before 1am. -time is still set to GMT and not BST.

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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

Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, was that a Marsh Tit I saw today?

May 6, 2013 in sightings

I didn’t get as long at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens as I’d hoped as a lot had changed on www.saverscene.co.uk with new interest rates for ISAs and even changes to best credit card deals which is unusual, I haven’t finished the savings accounts yet to my shame!  I will work on it tonight, sometimes gardens and birds have to come first, especially when there are so few decent sunny days in Edinburgh!

It was great to see birds getting really into the spring mood and the blue tit busy going in and out of the nestbox as well as blackbirds gathering nesting material, below the ones with numbers next to them are birds seen in my garden, the ones without are ones I saw at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.  I’m hoping I’m right with the Marsh Tit, but am not 100% sure, I have added the list of birds I know it wasn’t, I hope to get back to the gardens to have a better look, with camera and bins.

  1. Blackbird x 2 – 1 male and 1 female at different times. Then saw a couple together later as they were collecting nesting material.
  2. Blue Tit x 1 – it was going in and out of the RSPB nest box. Very happy! Sounds like there may even be young in there!
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Chaffinch
  5. Chiffchaff – heard only.  not great at my bird songs, but at least that’s one I can recognise!
  6. Coal Tit x 1
  7. Collared Dove x 2 – been a while since I’ve seen them in the garden.
  8. Dunnock x 2 – Dunnocks are fast becoming my most frequant visitor.
  9. Feral Pigeon
  10. Great Tit
  11. Jackdaw x 2
  12. Magpie
  13. Mallard
  14. Marsh Tit Update 9th of May see this post: The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Britannia bird lists – Update 8th of May – Probably not is the news I got from Lothian Bird News on Twitter, no idea what it was – I think, not sure if this is one that is regular, so not 100% sure, I know it wasn’t a great or coal tit, it also wasn’t a Blackcap, for anyone looking in the Lothian region and going to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh it was at the bottom of the Chinese Hill Garden near the water. I’m going to try and go back with camera and bins to get a better view over next few days… I hope!  Marsh Tit has been sighted near the area and as far as I know Willow tit hasn’t so, I’m currently going with Marsh Tit, if so it’d be a new Life Bird for me!
  15. Moorhen
  16. Robin
  17. Starlings
  18. Woodpigeon x 1
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by KiwiGav

Another great day out at Keukenhof gardens, decent bird list.

April 22, 2013 in sightings

Even though I was out doing my real work, photography, I managed to update the savings, ISAs and credit cards over on www.saverscene.co.uk then a few of the banks went and changed their rates and I had to do it again tonight!!!  How inconsiderate of them!  I did get out to Keukenhof today and got to see some great birds as well as a few 100 very nice flower photos.  I sadly missed by just a few minutes the mating dance of the Great Crested Grebe, a few other birders seemed to take real pleasure in telling me!  I didn’t see as many bird species today as I did the other day, here’s my list today:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion crow
  3. Chaffinch
  4. Chiffchaff
  5. Coots
  6. Egyptian Goose
  7. Great crested grebe
  8. Great tits
  9. Greylag goose
  10. Grey Heron
  11. House Sparrow
  12. Jackdaw
  13. Lapwings
  14. Long-tailed tits
  15. Magpie
  16. Mallard Duck
  17. Moorhens
  18. Mute Swans
  19. Oystercatcher
  20. Pied Wagtail
  21. Starlings
  22. Tufted duck
  23. Woodpigeons
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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