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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

2 new birds for the year thanks to a walk at Cramond West Edinburgh.

October 30, 2013 in sightings

I managed to get out for a walk at Cramond west Edinburgh, took a heap of pain killers as I needed to get out and got to see a few good birds, however no bird count from my garden today:

Walk at Cramond:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion Crow
  3. Starling
  4. Pied Wagtail
  5. Cormorant
  6. Ringed Plover*
  7. Dunlin*
  8. Woodpigeon
  9. Magpie

* new for this year.

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by KiwiGav

Bird list from Germany near Heidelberg on the river Neckar.

July 20, 2013 in sightings

The list from Germany for Monday 15th to 17th of July, sadly I didn’t have a great amount of time to go looking for birds, I did manage to take a trip down the Neckar for an afternoon and got to see a few birds from the boat, I was impressed by the amount of swifts and swallows there.

not in alphabetical order sorry, also sightings only not numbers:

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Egyptian Geese
  3. Swifts
  4. Swallows
  5. Common Buzzard
  6. Mallard Ducks
  7. Magpies
  8. House Sparrows
  9. Feral Pigeons
  10. Carrion Crow
  11. Black-headed Gull
  12. Shag
  13. Cormorant
  14. Chaffinch
  15. Pied Wagtail
  16. Greylag Geese
  17. Blackbird
  18. Jay*

new for the year.

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by KiwiGav

Isle of May photography trip, Firth of Forth just east of Edinburgh.

May 29, 2013 in sightings

My parents are over from Australia and I wanted them to see a part of Scotland that not so many tourists do and I know they’re a fan of Coast and are enjoying the episodes of Springwatch they’ve seen so far, as I wanted them to see the Bass Rock section on the episode of the 28th of May. Although there are boats of 150+ people that turn up on the Isle of May, we went with a group of only 12 for about 3 to 4 hours.  Sadly the water was so choppy getting out there our boat had to go slow and we got less time on the island.  It was still great though and wow what a great island just near Edinburgh.  Tonight I’m listing the birds I remember and know for sure, I need to check a few photos for record shots to see exactly what others were, as not sure if I saw Greater Black Backed-Gull, definitely saw Lesser and Herring but unsure of the Greater…  I’m also unsure if I saw a Meadow pipit or a Rock Pipit, either or would be a great new one for the year list

  1. Common Eider – with chicks.
  2. Common Gull*
  3. Common Tern
  4. Cormorant
  5. Fulmar*
  6. Feral Pigeon
  7. Gannet*
  8. Greater Black Backed-Gull* – update, it was indeed, checked photo and legs were correct, first for year and first I can 100% say I’ve ever seen!
  9. Guillemot*
  10. Herring Gull
  11. House sparrow
  12. Jackdaw
  13. Kittiwake*
  14. Lesser Black Backed-Gull
  15. Magpie
  16. Oystercatcher
  17. Pied Wagtail
  18. Puffin*
  19. Razorbill*
  20. Rock Pipit*
  21. Shag*
  22. Swallow
  23. Swift
  24. Wood Pigeon

* new for 2013

Will update if I remember more and with photos, it’s great to be getting back into photography even slowly, hopefully a few shots I can sell, birds aren’t normally what I photograph commercially as I’m a landscape photographer and that’s my first photography passion and want to get back to it!  However often birds are now more accessible for me than landscapes and I love watching birds, so I am going to be pushing more into birds professionally, if I’m good enough.  For now though, ice pack pain killers and catching up on Australian finance updates – www.saverscene.com.au/finance/  and get all the top interest rates, credit cards and free bank accounts sorted.  Then I may have a quick glance over my photos and bed!  Hope everyone had a great birding day!

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by KiwiGav

Wildfowl & Wetland Trust London Wetland Centre Bird list for 22nd of May 2013.

May 23, 2013 in sightings

I was hoping to have this list up a lot earlier today as it’s from 22nd of May however I was so busy doing the http://www.saverscene.com.au/finance/ updates for Australian best savings, credit cards and due to the fact many Aussies have to pay for bank accounts the best free bank account offers it took longer than expected as their saving interest rates are going the same way as the UK ones.

Now to birds thanks to the suggestion of Wes and the ease of getting to the WWT – Wildfowl & Wetland Trust in London Wetland Centre – see their twitter account here:  @WWTLondon I managed my best bird list for the UK this year, sadly I didn’t have my camera and my legs didn’t hold out for a long time, it was still great getting 28 different species at the WWT London and finishing it off with a kestrel at Luton airport for the longest list of the year so far!

2 new birds were on my list for life, and they were both cracking views, there was a pair of reed warblers nesting almost directly outside the Observatory which gave amazing views, they came right up to the reeds in front of the windows.  The other new bird was the Little Greeb I had amazing views of it feeding in clear water under the bridge just before you get to the Wildside hide,  Fantastic to see!

The bird list for May 22nd from WWT London Wetland Centre:

  1. Feral Pigeon
  2. Reed Warbler
  3. Mallard Duck – with young
  4. Moorhen
  5. Coot – with chicks
  6. Woodpigeon
  7. Starlings
  8. Carrion Crow
  9. Jackdaw
  10. Egyptian Geese
  11. Mute Swans
  12. Cormorant
  13. Grey Heron
  14. Blackbird
  15. Pied Wagtail
  16. Common Tern – new for the year
  17. Tufted Duck
  18. Lapwing
  19. Swallows
  20. Magpie
  21. Robin
  22. Black-headed Gull
  23. Great Tit
  24. Little Grebe
  25. Canada Geese – new for the year
  26. House Martin – new for the year
  27. Swift – new for the year
  28. Greylag Geese

1 more bird seen at Luton airport, hovering over the grass:

  1. Kestrel

Fantastic day of birding, can’t wait until I can walk for longer times and see more, I would often get 40 to 50 species at Musselburgh east of Edinburgh.

Whilst looking for bird sightings as I’d thought I’d seen something that I’m used to up in Scotland but wasn’t sure, I came across this Open University site: http://www.ispot.org.uk/ fantastic service and great for finding if a bird has been seen in the area!

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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

Last day in the Netherlands – Bird count was low.

April 24, 2013 in sightings

Edit – this was for April 23rd – Spent most of the last day resting either at the hotel or at the airport just to relax my feet, still managed a few birds:

  1. Common Buzzard
  2. Coots
  3. Cormorant
  4. House Sparrow
  5. Jackdaw
  6. Lapwings
  7. Magpie
  8. Pied Wagtail
  9. Starlings
  10. Woodpigeons

The gardens in the Netherlands were amazing, however we were a little too early for a lot of the Tulips this year, normally would have been the peak week but the cold weather was not great for them, I’d love to go back! I’ll try and get a few photos up in the next few days, I’ve got a lot of work to do on the money saving websites and a few smaller jobs I’ve got to send out photos for.  Hope there’ll still be time for bird watching, I hope to try and get to a few of the RSPB reserves in Scotland – find your closest ones: http://www.rspb.org.uk/scotland/ over the next few weeks, I think my feet are finally up to the challenge 😀

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A day in Amsterdam, a few birds.

April 19, 2013 in sightings

After saying how great it was to have free internet the hotel’s internet has been down all evening this will just be a quick one, with my bird list, pretty short today:

  1. Coot
  2. Cormorant*
  3. Greylag geese
  4. Jackdaw
  5. Magpie
  6. Mallard Duck
  7. Mute Swan

* new for this year

I’ll hopefully be back out at the gardens for the tulip festivals tomorrow, my ankles couldn’t handle the pace of the city and getting bumped a lot at the central train station, I’ve decided to try and get more good photos from the tulip gardens.

Hope others are getting to see a lot of great birds!