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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

My first Water rail – videos from Inverleith Pond Edinburgh

February 5, 2015 in sightings

As I can no longer hold a heavy DSLR I’m trying out a lightweight video camera and currently I’m enjoying it.  First up a few birds I saw today, all but the common buzzard and fieldfare are firsts for the year as I’ve hardly left the house.  There were many other birds seen but these in the list were the new ones for the year and/or rarities for me:

  1. Common Buzzard x 2
  2. Coot
  3. Fieldfare
  4. Moorhen
  5. Mute Swan
  6. Oystercatchers x 7
  7. Pied wagtail
  8. Redshank x 2
  9. Redwing
  10. Song Thrush
  11. Water rail – first time ever!

The 4 videos I’ve currently uploaded, my favourite first – less sounds of my crutches and my dodgy zooms and pans.  Lot for me to learn and see if my dystonia spasms and shakes are ok with video work.

Water Rail preening 2 – Inverleith Pond – Edinburgh – 5th of February 2015. 

Water Rail – Inverleith Pond – Edinburgh – 5th of February 2015 – WBIST 

Water Rail – Inverleith Pond – Edinburgh – 5th of February 2015 – WBIST 

Water Rail preening – Inverleith Pond – Edinburgh – 5th of February 2015.
I do like the splashing about near the start of this video.

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First Fieldfare of the year and Water rail Inverleith Park Edinburgh.

February 4, 2015 in sightings

Just a quick update today, I managed to get outside for a bit and saw a fieldfare in my neighbours garden, first for the year.

There’s also been great sightings of a Water rail at the pond in Inverleith Park, just near the Edinburgh botanic gardens, I’m hoping that I may be able to go and see it on Friday if it’s still there, I’ve never managed to spot one in the past.

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Not a bad list for 1 hour of watching on RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

January 25, 2014 in sightings

Day 1 of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, I’ll do another hour count tomorrow and see what shows, then submit the best day… Or does anyone know if we can submit both days?  Would that mess things up for them?

  1. Blackbird x 8
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Carrion crow x 2 – fly over, not in the RSPB garden list.
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Feral Pigeon x 1
  7. Fieldfare x 1
  8. House Sparrow x 12
  9. Jackdaw x 2
  10. Starlings x heard only – not in the RSPB hour.
  11. Woodpigeon x 1 – during the watch.  2 later in the day.
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A few hours in the hide, great views of birds but no photos.

January 13, 2014 in sightings

Couldn’t get out with the hide until after I’d finished work today, although the house sparrows were jumping on the feeder as I was setting up the hide and didn’t seem to care I was there, once I’d settled in they hid in the dogwood at it’s thickest parts.  The blue tits showed well again and a robin very briefly, but nothing overly photogenic as the light was rubbish, was still great to be in close to the birds.  I left it out for another 2 hours after I’d got out of it, birds were wandering around very close to it, hopefully the regulars are getting used to it.  My garden bird list for today, obviously not as much time as weekend to watch, but still decent.

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Fieldfare x 1
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. Greater Spotted Woodpecker x 1 – whist driving near Murrayfield Edinburgh
  8. House Sparrow x 15+
  9. Jackdaw x 1
  10. Robin x 1
  11. Starlings x 20+
  12. Stock Dove x 1
  13. Woodpigeon x 2
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A short time to watch, very few birds spotted.

January 12, 2014 in sightings

Sadly my ankles were so sore I didn’t get out of bed until midday and by then most of the birds had gone.  I’d hoped to be out with the hide and camera today, but instead spent most of the afternoon fixing a friends laptop.

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Fieldfare x 1
  4. House Sparrow x 1
  5. Starlings x 50+ – a great site to see as they flocked before they went to roost in a monkey puzzle tree across the road from my house.
  6. Woodpigeon x 2

This photo was from last year, but it’s the tree that the starlings roost in over night, this was the biggest flock I’d seen fly into it.

Monkey Puzzle tree silhouette

Monkey Puzzle tree silhouette – you can also see the silhouette of a woodpigeon just to the left.

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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.

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A good list on another calm day

January 5, 2014 in sightings

Not a bad day today, including the most blue tits I’ve see altogether in the garden:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 4
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Fieldfare x 1
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. House Sparrow x 5+
  8. Jackdaw x 2
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Starlings x 25
  11. Woodpigeon x 2
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Good day for birds, calm and no rain.

January 4, 2014 in sightings

The woodpecker was back as were 2 fieldfare!  Great to see!  Strangely not a single tit:

  1. Blackbird x 4
  2. Carrion Crow x 2 – chasing the sparrowhawk – drive west Edinburgh.
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. Fieldfare x 2
  5. Greater Spotted Woodpecker x 1
  6. Greenfinch x 2
  7. House Sparrow x 5
  8. Jackdaw x 4
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Pied Wagtail x 1 – drive west Edinburgh
  11. Robin x 1
  12. Sparrowhawk x 1 – drive west Edinburgh
  13. Woodpigeon x 2
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by KiwiGav

A Great Spotted Woodpecker feeds on my RSPB feeders.

January 2, 2014 in sightings

Had a great sighting today, a Greater spotted woodpecker was feeding on one of my RSPB half coconut fat feeders!  There were also 9 magpies, which is similar to this time last year, not quite as many but a good start!

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Fieldfare x 1
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. Greater Spotted Woodpecker x 1
  8. House Sparrows x 10+
  9. Magpie x 9
  10. Woodpigeon x 2