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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

New record for house sparrows in my garden.

April 19, 2015 in sightings

A new record for the amount of house sparrows spotted at one time today, totally 23!  Very impressed!  However they seem to be stripping all the buds off the broom, interesting they only seem interested in the Cytisus scoparius ‘Lena’ and leave the others in the garden alone.

  1. Blackbird x 3, 2 m, 1 f.
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x heard only
  4. Collared Dove x 1 – first in a while
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 23
  7. Jackdaw x 1
  8. Woodpigeon x 1 – strangely sitting at the window bobbing up and down looking inside.

by KiwiGav

14 species of birds in the garden today.

April 6, 2015 in sightings

Another amazing sunny day, I heard reports it hit 17C here in Edinburgh today, not bad for April, it was indeed very nice!

  1. Blackbird x 1 male
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Collared Dove x 2 – first in a while.
  6. Common Buzzard x 2
  7. Dunnock x 3
  8. Feral Pigeon x 2, 1 was white dove.
  9. Great Tit x 1
  10. House Sparrow x 7+ more in hedge.
  11. Jackdaw x 2
  12. Magpie x 2
  13. Robin x 1
  14. Woodpigeon x 3

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

Sadly the new pond leaks, but the sparrows love the water.

August 7, 2014 in sightings

We got a pond liner that has a 40 year guarantee today and it didn’t last a day it seemed to be more of a sieve than a waterproof pond liner and made a big mess of the underlay.  Not happy cost a lot of money and now need a replacement or a refund.  Thinking that may be we should go with a concrete liner, not as nice looking but if this is the quality of a liner then that’s just not good enough.  On the plus side of things I’ve got a lot of buckets out to catch rain water and the house sparrows are loving it.  A good sighting for my garden the greenfinch; haven’t seen one of them in ages!

  1. Blue Tit x 1
  2. Collared Dove x 1
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. Greenfinch x 1
  5. House Sparrow x 40+
  6. Woodpigeon x 2

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

Spring is really here! Birds fighting over best territory.

May 1, 2014 in sightings

I noticed both Blackbirds and blue tits fighting today, it was a wet and miserable day in Edinburgh and we’ve even had the heating on!  Can’t remember doing that in May before!  My list for today, great to see a Collared Dove it looked splendid, just beautiful guess it’s got it’s breeding plumage on.

  1. Blackbird x 2 – males fighting.
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Collared Dove x 1
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. Feral Pigeon x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 1
  7. Jackdaw x 2
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Woodpigeon x 1

by KiwiGav

Nice sunny day, bit windy but a few decent birds!

October 1, 2013 in sightings

Not a bad day here in Edinburgh and got a few good birds:

  1. Blue Tit x 1
  2. Bullfinch x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Collared Dove x 1
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. House Sparrow x 4
  8. Jackdaw x 1
  9. Magpie x 1

Back in 1999 – 2000 I approached a few banks and then a few “Angel” investment conferences to try and get a digital camera system that was shock and waterproof set up, as I was doing a lot of downhill mountain biking, I was already attaching a web camera to my helmet that was connected to a laptop in my backpack and would film rides that way, I showed the footage and the business plan but sadly no one was interested as I was only 20, wish I had of stuck at it instead of getting an office job!  Check out the great video from GoPro HERO 3+ which is just about to launch, the bird scene at about 1 minute 40 is pretty cool: