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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. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  21. Oystercatcher – July 13th – FO
  22. Redwing – Jan 30th
  23. Robin – Jan 1st
  24. Rook – March 23rd
  25. Siskin – April 28th
  26. Song Thrush – Jan 4th
  27. Sparrowhawk – Jan 7th
  28. Starling – Jan 1st
  29. Stock Dove – Jan 5th
  30. Swift – June 18th – 3 days later than last year, I haven’t seen a single swallow this year.
  31. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  32. 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.

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

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

Stuck inside most of the weekend

March 29, 2015 in sightings

Just a few quick trips outside, the pain has been bad this weekend. Sorry no bird list for Saturday, but here’s Sunday’s list, the weather has been terrible which means I’ve not missed too much, sleeting as I write this.  Other than the coal tit, grey heron, sparrows and the dunnocks all are seen from the window whilst either doing exercise or the quick glimpse out during gardening TV shows:

  1. Carrion crow x 1
  2. Coal Tit x 1
  3. Dunnock x 2 – singing loudly at about 7.30am, went out for a brief walk around my smallish garden.
  4. Grey Heron x 1
  5. House Sparrow x 12
  6. Jackdaw x 3
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Woodpigeon x 2
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by KiwiGav

Grey Heron checks out the pond.

March 24, 2015 in sightings

I wasn’t able to get outside much today, but I went out around 3pm as that’s roughly the time the sparrowhawk has been flying by and after waiting a few minutes I heard a different sort of a whoosh this time of a powerful wing beat, I look up to see a Grey Heron overhead it had spotted me and changed course.  Our two neighbours behind currently have ponds, sadly one’s about to be built over, it went to the one that’s going to be built over in the next few months and stayed for about 5 minutes before flying up in the air, once again it came back over our garden heading towards the pond.  I was close enough you could see it’s eyes scanning the pond then move to me and with a startled response and a lot of power in a wing beat change direction.

I’m hoping my pond will be well enough established to take in some of the pond refugees that will be made when the much larger pond in the garden behind gets house extensions built over by the new owners.

Other than this wonderful sighting not a lot of other birds due to lack of outdoor time:

  1. Blackbird x 2 both male
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Dunnock x 2
  4. Great Tit x 1
  5. Grey Heron x 1 – what a great sight would have said it was 10 meters if that away.
  6. House Sparrow x 16+ more in the hedge, thought I was at 17 when a bird popped out but it was a robin, would have been a record (I think) for sightings of sparrows at once in my garden.
  7. Jackdaw x 2
  8. Magpie x 2 – collecting nesting material
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 4
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by KiwiGav

Edinburgh A720 Bypass – Grey Heron and Common Buzzard

January 20, 2015 in sightings

I’ve recently been fully diagnosed with dystonia (I had a diagnosis about 13 years ago but didn’t care much as I could handle things in my early 20s) and it’s the reason I get spasms that tear tendons off bones and cause really bad carpal tunnel.  It means loads of trips to the hospital and whilst getting an MRI scan today to take my mind off things I was thinking about the birds I’d love to see in 2015 – 1: Crossbill – either Loxia curvirostra or Loxia scotica would be great, 2: Bearded Tit (Panurus biarmicus) and Crested tit (Lophophanes cristatus) – Marsh and Willow tits would also be a great sighting.  5 birds I’ve never seen before!

Today I did get to see 2 great birds, one you’d expect on roadsides and the other I was a little more surprised at:

  1. Common Buzzard x 1
  2. Grey Heron x 1
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by KiwiGav

Musselburgh and Aberlady, East Lothian, Scotland

October 6, 2014 in sightings

Managed a pretty good day out today seeing a fair few birds:

  1. Sparrowhawk
  2. Greylag geese
  3. Pink Footed Geese – first since being on the site.
  4. Canada Geese
  5. What looked to be a hybrid Canda Goose and White Fronted Goose – hopefully photos to come.
  6. Redshank
  7. Oystercatchers
  8. Lapwings
  9. Little Egret
  10. Little Grebe
  11. Grey Herons
  12. Wigeon – first since being on the site.
  13. Teal – first since being on the site.
  14. Snipe – first since being on the site.
  15. Rook
  16. Carrion Crow
  17. Robin
  18. Curlew
  19. Ruff – first since being on the site.
  20. Dunlin
  21. Black-headed Gull.

My hands have still been quite rubbish, but I have been getting a little bit done for the money pages on Saver Scene Australia – Comparing best savings accounts and in the UK as Vegan month comes up in November I’m helping my wife a vegan get a new website organised called Vegans.UK which will have vegan restaurant reviews, as well as restaurants that cater for vegans but aren’t actually vegan, things like Toby Carvery and the Wetherspoon pubs are often great haunts if in an area where you’re unsure of restaurant choice for vegans. The restaurant reviews will be listed here Restaurants that cater for vegans and there’ll also be a social area with Vegan Forums and Vegan Social Network,this keeps me very busy when my hands are able to do it.  Hopefully be all ready for November 1st with loads of updates through Vegan Month.

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by KiwiGav

A short stop at Aberlady Bay for 2 little egrets + Swallows still about.

September 8, 2014 in sightings

Managed a short stop in at Aberlady Bay on the way home from North Berwick, got to see 2 very distant little egrets and a grey heron, rest of the bird list:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Black-headed gull – AB
  3. Blue Tit x 1
  4. Common Buzzard x 1
  5. Dunlin – AB
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Grey Heron – AB
  9. House Sparrow x numerous in garden and at NB
  10. Jackdaw – AB
  11. Little Egret – AB my first recording since starting the website
  12. Magpie NB
  13. Redshank – AB
  14. Robin x 1
  15. Starlings x 7
  16. Swallows x 1
  17. Woodpigeon x 2
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by KiwiGav

The fox stole my fat pellet feeder!

September 2, 2014 in sightings

Since my parents have been here from Australia they’ve been doing a lot of jobs I’ve not been able to get done, such as re-felt my garden shed.  Only problem was I had a bracket on the side of the shed that had a fat pellet feeder hanging off it.  They took it off left it on the ground, I noticed this and hung it on a tree, sadly too low as I gather a fox took off with it.  I’ve checked all over my garden and no luck it’s gone, I’ve got other feeders in reserve but none for pellets, I put some in one of the other feeders and hung it higher, it seems to have worked, but the sparrows aren’t as pleased.

Bird list today includes 2 grey heron that I saw at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, I was there for seeing about their adult education courses.  Hopefully be able to study a bit about gardening in 2015.

Here’s the list:

  1. Blue Tit x 2
  2. Bullfinch x 2 m and f – a nice early sighting about 06.00.
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Grey Heron x 2 – RBGE
  6. House Sparrow x 1
  7. Jackdaw x 2
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 1

One other thing, I really need to learn my gulls as there were a few in fields near the botanics but I’m not 100% sure on them unless I get a great view through binoculars or a scope.

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by KiwiGav

Grey Heron flew over today.

March 1, 2014 in sightings

I’ve been watching the birds as much as possible, the starling groups have been getting bigger and I saw a magpie collecting nest materials yesterday 28th of February 2014.  Very early, I also saw the first aphids of the season 28/02.  Today 01/03/14 I saw the first ladybird getting ready to eat the aphids!

Haven’t been taking a full list of the birds but the usuals are around and as the title says a grey heron.

1st of March 2014

  1. Grey Heron x 1

28th of February 2014

  1. Magpie – collecting nesting material

It’s the time of year that I start doing ISA updates again and once the main season of ISA updates are over about 5 to 6 weeks I hope to be back doing my regular updates.

If you’ve not used up your 2013/14 Tax free ISA Allowance please do check the best rates on here: http://www.saverscene.co.uk/isa/

If you’re on Google + and want to add bird lists or photos I’ve started a Google Plus community (also currently on hold, but any member can post) https://plus.google.com/communities/113128547447730333692 and there’s also the UK Birds page:

https://plus.google.com/+WbistUKBirds/

Sorry again about hands and feet, I was really hoping that 2014 would be better than the last 5 years!