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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!

by KiwiGav

Song Thrush, Goldcrest and Great Spotted Woodpecker

December 26, 2015 in sightings

Merry Christmas everyone!  I had 3 great birds in my garden today on top of all the other fantastic birds that usually grace the garden.  Christmas day has often been a great time for birds in my garden as all the roads are quiet around here and more birds venture into the garden.  Over the last 4 Christmases in this house it’s been getting better and better.  no Blackcaps, redwings or fieldfares this year, but the 3 listed are pretty good in my opinion!

by KiwiGav

Jay in an Edinburgh garden, swift and the sparrows are back.

July 10, 2015 in sightings

Sorry it’s been so long things have gotten really bad with my dystonia and my hands have stopped working a lot, now managed to get tennis elbow from the shakes, it’s meant after work I can no longer garden, very frustrating as the weeds are getting a bit much.  But hey-ho on the plus side I sit a lot more in the garden as still as someone with a tremor can, which means more birds come out of the hedges and trees.

Lately we’ve been getting bullfinches they’ve even been using the pond to wash themselves, great to witness, the sparrows are back some with young I gather they must be a different group that were nesting elsewhere as 100% sure all the nests were abandoned when my neighbour cut the hedge back.

Love to be gardening but am taking to the smaller and macro worlds of mosses, ferns and terrariums things that I hope not to need to use my arms as much and not need to turn heavy amounts of clay.  Enough about that and onto the birds!

Bird list for 10th of July 2015:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – must have young as it’s back and forth with a beak full of RSPB Coconut shell suet treats still not managed to find a vegan alternative yet.
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – one looking a bit worse for wear after a heavy breeding season!
  3. Bullfinch x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 over garden and 1 over Livingston
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Great Spotted Woodpecker x
  9. House Sparrow x 10+
  10. Jackdaw x 3
  11. Robin x 1
  12. Swifts x 1
  13. Woodpigeon x 1

by KiwiGav

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Springwatch

May 31, 2015 in sightings

Today we had a great spotted woodpecker been a while since I’ve seen one.  After my last operation my wife would set up a video camera watching the feeders so that I could see the birds whilst laid up in bed and she managed to get good footage of one.  very impressed!

Don’t forget springwatch is back as is unsprung.  You can see the live cams through here: BBC Springwatch very helpful for people laid up in bed!

by KiwiGav

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Results

January 24, 2015 in sightings

I’ve just done the RSPB’s great garden bird watch and I ended up with a fantastic list, I tried to grab a shot of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker and due to tremors I got a lot of blur, I tried holding up the camera against the window and had a dystonia spasm which made a loud noise frightening it off – not being able to hold cameras for shots like this is why I became a landscape photographer, hopefully in the future camera speeds keep getting faster and I can follow my love of wildlife videography and photography. Most of the action happened in the first 20 minutes, no new birds added in last 20.

Don’t forget to submit results at RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.

Here are my results, flyovers not submitted:

  1. Blackbird x 4 2xM, 2xF
  2. Black-headed Gull x 1 – flyover
  3. Blue Tit x 2
  4. Bullfinch x 2 1M, 1F
  5. Carrion crow x 1 – flyover not included in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
  6. Coal Tit x 2 – was worried none would show, then around 39 minutes the garden was quiet of birds and 2 showed.
  7. Dunnock x 1
  8. Feral Pigeon x 2
  9. Great Tit x 1
  10. Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1 – What a stunner for the Big Garden Birdwatch!
  11. House Sparrow x 14 with more in the hedge
  12. Jackdaw x 1 – flyover
  13. Magpie x 2 – flyover
  14. Robin x 2 – even had a fight it was an eventful hour!
  15. Woodpigeon x 1

My wildlife gardening must be working as compared to 2013 list: 2013 Big Garden Bird Watch and 2014 Big Garden Bird Watch – there were a few extras, but both 2013 and 2014 had Fieldfare which was missing this year.

by KiwiGav

Great Spotted Woodpecker in Edinburgh Garden. Waxwings reports.

December 16, 2014 in sightings

It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of these beauties, actually not since 17th of January 2014, almost a year!  Great to have a 10 minute view today.  I’ve also heard reports of waxwings in the Edinburgh region, sadly none seen at my place yet, doubt I’ll get any, the blackbirds have pretty much stripped all the berries from the small bushes I currently have.

  1. Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1

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

A good showing of magpies and blackbirds, plus a greater spotted woodpecker.

January 14, 2014 in sightings

I think I had 2 tree sparrows in the garden today, very brief and on the other side of the garden to where all the house sparrows were, perfect chestnut coloured heads and cheek markings, but I’ve only ever seen one before and although I’m 99% sure it was, I haven’t counted them as a sighting just in case I got it wrong.

A good showing of Blackbirds and Magpies today:

  1. Blackbird x 5
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. Greater Spotted Woodpecker x 1
  8. House Sparrow x 15+
  9. Jackdaw x 2
  10. Magpie x 14
  11. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

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