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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. Goldcrest – Jan 7th
  13. Goldfinch – February 19th
  14. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  15. Greenfinch – Jan 1st
  16. Grey Heron – April 13th – FO
  17. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  18. Jackdaw – Jan 3rd
  19. Kestrel – May 31st – FO – think this is the first I’ve seen over my garden.
  20. Long-tailed tit – October 14th
  21. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  22. Oystercatcher – July 13th – FO
  23. Redwing – Jan 30th
  24. Robin – Jan 1st
  25. Rook – March 23rd
  26. Siskin – April 28th
  27. Song Thrush – Jan 4th
  28. Sparrowhawk – Jan 7th
  29. Starling – Jan 1st
  30. Stock Dove – Jan 5th
  31. Swift – June 18th – 3 days later than last year, I haven’t seen a single swallow this year.
  32. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  33. 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.

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.

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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

Wren and Song Thrush

December 24, 2015 in sightings

As I get ready to go in for another operation to end the year I’ve been trying to do a small amount of birdwatching when I can, I finally managed to add Wren and Song Thrush to my garden bird list this year.

The last few days we’ve had a wren around a fair bit and then today the Song Thrush showed up, very very happy with this bird being in the garden as it was drinking from the pond and moving around under plants that I’ve been trying to grow to encourage wildlife.  The pond has been a great success for wildlife and draining parts of the garden, very happy after the dramas of making the pond.  I also hope that the pond has helped prevent lower ground being flooded!

Greenfinches are also becoming a more common in my garden.  After 3 and a half years in this spot in Edinburgh from having a few woodpigeons and the very occasional blackbird we now have blue, coal and great tits every day, a roost of house sparrows which get up to 30 in the garden at one time and woodpeckers and greenfinches at least weekly.  We are also attracting predatory birds, I’ve seen a sparrowhawk and a kestrel in the last week.

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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

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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by KiwiGav

Great start to Spring!

March 21, 2015 in sightings

What a great day in Edinburgh, welcome to Spring! First bee feeding on flowers, first warbler but wasn’t sure what sort it was; it made a sharp tweet sound fluttered around 3 different feeders then took off, also had the first greenfinches since September 11th 2014 when: Trichomonosis strikes my garden. Also spotted a female blackbird, first in a while and had a very close encounter with a sparrowhawk; my wife and I were sitting enjoying the sun in the late afternoon when pretty much between us the sparrowhawk dived towards the feeders, my dog barked and the sparrowhawk turned mid-air and came back over our heads with no prey. What a whoosh! Hadn’t had that close an experience of a diving bird since Australia when a magpie dive bombed me whilst I was cycling and grabbed my earlobe ripping it, spilling blood down my neck. Oh wait, I had a common tern peck me on the Isle of May in 2013, but they’re pretty small and not that aggressive.

  1. Blackbird x 2 1m, 1f.
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Feral Pigeon x 2
  7. Greenfinch x 2
  8. House Sparrow x 14+ more in the hedge.
  9. Jackdaw x 2
  10. Magpie x 1
  11. Robin x 1
  12. Sparrowhawk x 1
  13. Woodpigeon x 3
  14. + warbler – unknown
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by KiwiGav

Trichomonosis strikes my garden. Swallows still around.

September 11, 2014 in sightings

A great day and a bad day in the garden, the good news first there were 7 that’s right 7 blackbirds in the garden, okay not my garden but 3 in my garden and 4 in the neighbours as they’ve got a brilliant hawthorn tree and the birds were eating berries from it, I’ve got 4 or 5 hawthorn bushes but they’re years away from producing much, only planted in January 2013 as part of the wildlife hedge as mentioned in here Garden Getting better for wildlife.

The Sad News: a greenfinch that looked to be suffering from Trichomonosis was spotted in the garden.  For more about this sad disease see Finches Continue to die, BTO – Trichomonosis and RSPB Trichomonosis advice – I regularly clean my feeders and as soon as I saw the bird looking in a bad state I spread the feed out on the ground over a large area and removed my feeders, gave them a big wash and will not be putting them back for a few months.  I am trying to get more in the way of natural food in the garden, but it’s a slow process growing trees and I’ve not been able to grow anything that’d be great for finches yet.  On a positive note the insect density is growing and I see more bats in the evening and a lot more spiders around the garden.

  1. Blackbird x 7
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. Greenfinch x 1 – sadly diseased.
  7. House Sparrow x 5
  8. Jackdaw x 1
  9. Magpie x 2
  10. Robin x 3 – 2 heard only
  11. Starlings x 3
  12. Swallows x 2
  13. Woodpigeon x 1
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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
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by KiwiGav

Carpal Tunnel’s getting worse, may not be here for next week.

May 31, 2014 in sightings

Very sore – just the list:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 1 – male
  4. Carrion crow x 1 in my garden, +50 or more – not in my garden
  5. Coal Tit x 1 – not in my garden
  6. Common Buzzard x 1 + 1 not in my garden
  7. Dunnock x 1
  8. Great Tit x 1 – not in my garden
  9. Greenfinch x 2
  10. House Sparrow x 2
  11. Jackdaw x 1 – not in my garden
  12. Magpie x 1
  13. Robin x 1 – not in my garden
  14. Starlings x 3
  15. Swallows x 1
  16. Woodpigeon x 2
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by KiwiGav

Blackbirds eating a lot of ants, plus Greenfinch again!

May 30, 2014 in sightings

After not seeing any Greenfinches for a while I saw another today.

  1. Blackbird x 2 – they’ve been singing all day.  It’s amazing to hear!  Also saw 1m 1f eating a lot of ants off the footpath in front of my house.
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Feral Pigeon x 2
  6. Greenfinch x 1
  7. House Sparrow x 2
  8. Jackdaw x 1
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Starlings x 5
  11. Swallows x 1
  12. Woodpigeon x 2