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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

Finches, green and bull in the garden today.

July 27, 2015 in sightings

It’s been a while since I’ve seen either, as someone that regularly changes out feeders with clean ones; I have a numerous stock of feeders people have given me over the years so I change the ones in the garden at each fill, I have hoped to get flocks of healthy greenfinches in my garden, but sadly there’s not a lot of them around any more and to see one is a highlight of this winter… erm I mean summer (don’t think it got above 12C here in Edinburgh today!) then to get 2 bullfinches as well it was pretty special.

Today’s birds:

  1. Blackbird x 1 male
  2. Bullfinch x 2, m and f
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. Great Tit x 1 looked to be a chick
  5. Greenfinch x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 20+ including chicks very happy with that
  7. Jackdaw x 4
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

For those wondering about my dystonia I’ve been trying new medicines and looking at trying to relax more while thinking of work problems I find watching birds a great help as well as newts in the pond, fern leaves swaying in the wind and occasionally getting a loupe viewer out to view mosses, or just enjoy the carpets of moss that this cold summer has started to form, I never appreciated how much moss was a calming influence and great for people with brain issues like mine, it slows the twitching down.

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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
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by KiwiGav

Beautiful Bullfinch shows up just before the rain.

April 24, 2015 in sightings

Weather’s starting to change, the sun has been lovely but the pond level’s been dropping about an inch per day, a mix of evaporation, dogs and birds drinking the water, and lots of splashing from both my dog and the birds. I also guess the foxes use it at night as there’s a lot of fox marking around the edges of the pond, water’s a good resource to have in a territory in these warm times.

  1. Blackbird x 1 – male
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 1 – male
  4. Carrion crow x 4
  5. Coal Tit x 1
  6. Common Buzzard x 2
  7. Dunnock x 2
  8. Great Tit x 1
  9. House Sparrow x 15+ loads of pond and dust bathing.
  10. Jackdaw x 4
  11. Magpie x 2
  12. Woodpigeon x 3
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by KiwiGav

Great day to be outside, decent bird list.

April 16, 2015 in sightings

Been real sore, quick list for tday as was outside catching up on study/work whilst in the sun a lot:

  1. Blackbird x 2, m & f
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 4
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 – mobbed by gulls not sure what type.
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Grey Heron x 1
  9. Greenfinch x 1 – first in a while
  10. House Sparrow x 12+
  11. Magpie x 3
  12. Woodpigeon x 5
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Common Buzzards seen, but no Osprey or Swallows.

April 9, 2015 in sightings

I was in a fair bit of pain today and didn’t really get out of bed before midday, instead worked from bed and finally managed to have time to finish Eric Hosking’s fantastic book: An Eye for a Bird to have been to as many great spots as Eric would just be amazing, to see all those birds on top would blow my mind, sadly having dystonia means sitting in a hide all nice and still is out of my control and why, when I could still walk, I was a professional landscape photographer rather than a bird and wildlife photographer (my dream).  I am now concentrating on setting up to be a plant and still life photographer – 3rd choice, but still to have had the chance to take some great photos of wild places and the occasional bird and wildlife has been amazing.

After midday I went outside to see if the Osprey was anywhere to be seen as there were more reports on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, nothing, also had friends report swallows starting to show. Nothing here yet.

  1. Blackbird x 1m
  2. Blue Tit x 2, both flying in and out of nestbox, really sounds like they’ve got young.
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 2
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Feral Pigeon x 1
  8. Great Tit x 2
  9. House Sparrow x 7- loads more in hedge as ever.
  10. Jackdaw x 2
  11. Magpie x 2 – seem to be nesting right outside my bedroom window.
  12. Robin x 1 – sitting on top of neighbours hawthorn singing loudly.
  13. Woodpigeon x 1

Thought I’d just brighten up this post with a Rainbow Lorikeet, I was working on a project I think it was called Nightscape – it was commissioned by an art college in Sydney to try and show different styles of photography that they taught, anyway I was often out photographing from 9pm until 4am and then these fun birds would turn up at 5am…  I couldn’t be mad with only getting an hours sleep if I was lucky and instead would spend 2 or 3 hours photographing them most days during processing time on photos.

Drenched Rainbow Lorikeet

Drenched Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

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by KiwiGav

What a wonderfully sunny day, 6 common buzzards

April 8, 2015 in sightings

There’s an Osprey over the Lothian area, I’ve been keeping an eye out for it, but no luck so far. Whilst looking into the sky I did manage to spot 6 common buzzards circling and occasionally fighting in the air. Here’s the rest of my list:

  1. Blackbird x 2, 1m, 1f.
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – one coming out of the nestbox.
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 6 flying high.
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Feral Pigeon x 1
  8. Great Tit x 2
  9. House Sparrow x 20+ more in the hedge! I managed to spot 14 having a dust bath at once and then 6 on feeders at the same time.
  10. Jackdaw x 2
  11. Magpie x 2
  12. Robin x 2
  13. Woodpigeon x 3
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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
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by KiwiGav

What an amazing sunny day in Edinburgh!

April 5, 2015 in sightings

I managed to sit outside almost all day today, actually slightly sun burnt!  I noticed Great Tits taking hair from the RSPB Terracotta Apple which I was very happy with that.  The Blue Tits are going back and forth to the nestbox, not sure if they’re feeding or building the nest, but there was a lot of tapping on the entrance hole of the box.

One of the most amazing things was there were 15 house sparrows having dust baths, the sound was amazing, it’s right under a privet hedge where I just put nasturtiums as the beds need a lot more work than I can physically do at the moment and the soil is rubbish, but I want something in there with a bit of colour and wildlife benefit, I’ll be leaving a bit more ground bare this year though to let the sparrows dust bath.

  1. Blackbird x heard only
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – nestbox action.
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 – very very high.
  6. Dunnock x 3, once again the mating game was on.
  7. Feral Pigeon x 2, 1 white dove.
  8. Great Tit x 2 – taking hair for nesting.
  9. House Sparrow x 15+
  10. Jackdaw x 2
  11. Magpie x 2
  12. Robin x 1
  13. Woodpigeon x 3
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by KiwiGav

Easter and Spring are really in full flow!

April 4, 2015 in sightings

Not a lot of outside time today and very little yesterday too – the reason for no update yesterday – but the time I did get to spend outside resulted in good news the birds have started taking my hair from the RSPB Terracotta Apple that I mentioned in this post for 1st of March. I also spotted the blue tit coming out of the nestbox again.  I’m still not happy with it’s position but I’m hoping the hedge grows fast and the box is in shade by the times the chicks are filling it with their heat.  Sadly missed BBC Springwatch at Easter and the BBC iplayer doesn’t want to work for me at the moment.  Talking of Easter I got to sample some very nice vegan dairy free eggs for my wife’s website: Vegans.UK – Dairy Free Vegan Easter Eggs, who would have thought they could be so yummy!?  Most even better than many dairy eggs, but I do love dark chocolate.  Now onto the birds I managed to spot:

  1. Blackbird x heard only
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Dunnock x 3 – really in the breeding mood, lots of chasing about the garden, alpha and beta males displaying a lot.
  5. Great Tit x 2
  6. House Sparrow x 7 – as ever a lot more in the hedge.
  7. Jackdaw x 4
  8. Magpie x 2 – wow! they were looking great, their feathers were catching the light of the lowish spring sun and looked fantastic!
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 5