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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

Out and about in Edinburgh, first swallow of the year!

May 3, 2014 in sightings

We’re currently trying to get a bathroom repaired and went looking at a few places to get bathroom gear and managed to get a good bird list from the car around the bypass of Edinburgh or from the gardens near my house:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blue Tit
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Coal Tit
  5. Dunnock
  6. Feral Pigeon
  7. Great Tit
  8. Greenfinch
  9. Herring Gull
  10. House Sparrow
  11. Jackdaw
  12. Magpie
  13. Robin
  14. Rook
  15. Starlings
  16. Swallows – the first of the season – last year for me it was the 9th for Scotland:
  17. Woodpigeon

by KiwiGav

Garden Bird List for May 30th 2013, young still in nests.

May 30, 2013 in sightings

Late night again, so have to be quick, here’s the garden bird list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – both going into the nest box and you could really hear the young.
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 3 – also the nest is still making a load of noise!
  6. Herring Gull x 1
  7. House Sparrow x 1 – a male this time, so glad to see at least one!
  8. Jackdaw x 2
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

Not as exciting as the Isle of May list from yesterday, but I still love my garden birds and hope to see young in the garden soon.  Here’s one I saw last year, pretty sure it was 2012, 2011 at the earliest:

Blue Tit Chick in a tree

Blue Tit Chick in a tree

by KiwiGav

Isle of May photography trip, Firth of Forth just east of Edinburgh.

May 29, 2013 in sightings

My parents are over from Australia and I wanted them to see a part of Scotland that not so many tourists do and I know they’re a fan of Coast and are enjoying the episodes of Springwatch they’ve seen so far, as I wanted them to see the Bass Rock section on the episode of the 28th of May. Although there are boats of 150+ people that turn up on the Isle of May, we went with a group of only 12 for about 3 to 4 hours.  Sadly the water was so choppy getting out there our boat had to go slow and we got less time on the island.  It was still great though and wow what a great island just near Edinburgh.  Tonight I’m listing the birds I remember and know for sure, I need to check a few photos for record shots to see exactly what others were, as not sure if I saw Greater Black Backed-Gull, definitely saw Lesser and Herring but unsure of the Greater…  I’m also unsure if I saw a Meadow pipit or a Rock Pipit, either or would be a great new one for the year list

  1. Common Eider – with chicks.
  2. Common Gull*
  3. Common Tern
  4. Cormorant
  5. Fulmar*
  6. Feral Pigeon
  7. Gannet*
  8. Greater Black Backed-Gull* – update, it was indeed, checked photo and legs were correct, first for year and first I can 100% say I’ve ever seen!
  9. Guillemot*
  10. Herring Gull
  11. House sparrow
  12. Jackdaw
  13. Kittiwake*
  14. Lesser Black Backed-Gull
  15. Magpie
  16. Oystercatcher
  17. Pied Wagtail
  18. Puffin*
  19. Razorbill*
  20. Rock Pipit*
  21. Shag*
  22. Swallow
  23. Swift
  24. Wood Pigeon

* new for 2013

Will update if I remember more and with photos, it’s great to be getting back into photography even slowly, hopefully a few shots I can sell, birds aren’t normally what I photograph commercially as I’m a landscape photographer and that’s my first photography passion and want to get back to it!  However often birds are now more accessible for me than landscapes and I love watching birds, so I am going to be pushing more into birds professionally, if I’m good enough.  For now though, ice pack pain killers and catching up on Australian finance updates –  and get all the top interest rates, credit cards and free bank accounts sorted.  Then I may have a quick glance over my photos and bed!  Hope everyone had a great birding day!

by KiwiGav

BBC’s Winterwatch great footage of Long-tailed Tits, Garden bird list.

January 16, 2013 in sightings

The snow is still lying on the ground but there seems to be very few birds around in my garden.  I’ve just been watching BBC’s Winterwatch episode 2; if you’re a fan of Long-tailed Tits there’s a great piece about 9 or 10 minutes in: BBC iplayer Winterwatch I’ve only seen them roosting once before, but not nestling down, just a pure accident.  Here’s my garden bird list so far, hope to update later in the day.

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Black-headed x 2, One of them didn’t have a tail, it seemed to be doing very well though!
  3. Blue Tit x 3
  4. Bullfinch x 3  – updated 11.13
  5. Carrion crow x 2
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Herring Gull x 1
  8. House Sparrows x 5 – updated 11.13
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 3

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by KiwiGav

Wood Pigeons already mating and a new bird to the list.

January 10, 2013 in sightings

I witnessed wood pigeons mating today, as well as very frisky dunnocks, also added another bird to the year list a Jackdaw, shocked it’s taken this long but first I’ve seen so far, here’s today’s garden bird list:

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Black-headed gull x 1
  3. Blue Tit x 2
  4. Carrion crow x 2
  5. Chaffinch x 1
  6. Coal Tit x 1
  7. Dunnock x 3
  8. Herring Gull x 1
  9. House Sparrow x 4
  10. Jackdaw x 1
  11. Magpie x 1
  12. Woodpigeon x 2

Only one that’s missing for the year so far that I thought I would have seen by now in the garden is the wren.

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by KiwiGav

Long-tailed Tit & a mixed flock of tits in the garden today.

January 6, 2013 in sightings

Thought it was going to be incredibly quiet in the garden today as there’d been very little and then a mixed flock of tits came through including 3 of my favourites the Long-tailed Tit – Know Your Tits – Long-tailed Tits – something I wrote last year as I was trying to get my hands working again and get myself excited about photography & birding – okay never lost either passion just hadn’t been doing it.  I would get a bit down when I heard of a great bird sighting or seeing a fantastic photo as I knew I couldn’t get out and see the bird or take photos!  I’ve added a photo of a Long-tailed Tit that was shot out of the bedroom window while I was recovering from my first ankle surgery.   The flock included the 3 long-tailed tits, 3 coal tits, 2 blue tits and a great tit:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Coal Tit x 3
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. Great Tit x 1
  6. Herring Gull x 1 – I think it looked to be a juvenile
  7. House Sparrow x 2
  8. Long-tailed Tit x 3
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 3

Long Tail Tit - Aegithalos caudatus - Scotland UK

Long-tailed tit in the rain.

My location as ever at my house, I hope this changes soon!

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by KiwiGav

Very few birds today, getting ready for the RSPB hedge.

January 5, 2013 in sightings

There were very few birds in the garden today, but it maybe due to activity as my wife was helping, okay doing most of the work due to my injuries, digging over the area that the hedge is to go into, hope to take some photos of the rest of the project, forgot today.  It’s only about half done as she has to work Saturdays but it’s a start and it should be a few more days before the plants come.  If you are after a good mix for a hedge the RSPB have a good page: RSPB – Homes for Wildlife – Hedge of Glory it takes you to the Ashridge Trees website for their package of a bird friendly hedge: Ashbridge Bird Friendly Hedge – – you can watch their video on how to plant a hedge:

1 – How to Plant a Country Hedge – Ashridge Trees

Hedge planting youtube video

Here’s my bird list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 1 (fly over)
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 2
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Herring Gull x 2 (fly over)
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

Sparrowhawk in the garden a new bird for the year list.

January 4, 2013 in sightings

Another new bird for the year list, a Sparrowhawk almost hit me in the face, okay it was about 60 centimetres away, but for something moving at such speed it seemed very close.

How I got to the point of having a sparrowhawk 2 feet away from me; there were few birds in the garden, just 1 blackbird so I thought better take the dog out and check if there’s a cat lurking in the back undergrowth as there often is.  The dog went crazy sniffing the ground and it was obvious to him that a cat had just been there, but I didn’t see it, about half a minute passed and the tinkle of the cat’s bell over a neighbours fence gave it away (good on the owner for putting a bell on it) and the dog went into a quick barking fit, then all fell very silent, still no birds and the cat was away.  I bent over to pick-up some litter that had blown into the garden and as I stood up there in my face was a sparrowhawk coming straight at me, it changed just before collision.  Well what seemed like a collision point to me, to it I’m sure it felt it had hours to divert it’s course.

This is only the second time I’ve seen a sparrowhawk in the garden, first for this year, last time it was hunting and not in a way I’d seen sparrowhawks hunt before it was actually going to ground then entering the dogwood shrub that is next to one of the feeders and flushing birds out that way, instead of circling the shrub or hedge and getting the birds to fly out.  I was surprised at how well it went into the hedge, I got some video footage but it was on a small digital camera and rather rubbish as due to my cerebral palsy I shake so much.  The other thing I noticed that day was how different the small birds alarm call was to when they see a cat, they obviously have a different call for sparrowhawk than they do cat predators.

Here’s a list of the 9 different species I’ve seen today, the Magpies are back in decent numbers, not as many as on Christmas day but they’re being just as noisy:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 1 (male)
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 2
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Herring Gull x 1 (flying over)
  8. Magpie x 11
  9. Sparrowhawk x 1

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by KiwiGav

Added Carrion Crow to the year list, and a great new blog!

January 3, 2013 in sightings

Hi all, hope the new year has been treating you well.  Ian from Riding the Waves to Eternity has joined in the fun of bird watching and is very close by to me, so be interesting to see what he sees in his garden, not just birds he’s listing he’s putting all his wildlife on a new blog called In a Corstorphine Garden – a great list of wildlife especially for a suburban area very cool!  You can also follow Ian on twitter: Cosmic_Serf.

This morning started off very windy but has calmed down, the herring gulls that were flying over were really enjoying the gusts as were the 3 Carrion Crow that hovered by, a new addition to my year species list, once again from my garden (or flying over):

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Carrion crow x 3 fly over
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 3
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Herring Gull x 3 fly over
  8. Magpie x 2
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 3

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