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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

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

First Goldfinch in the garden for 2015!

May 9, 2015 in sightings

Sorry it’s been so long, my dystonia has been really bad of late, often can’t even hold a tooth brush and having problems with knives and forks – I could never eat soup, well not in public – making it hard to type, but I really wanted to add a few birds that have shown up of late.

Goldfinch – 1 today 9th of May 2015.
Bullfinches – male and female – turning up most days in the evening, wondering if they’re nesting in a hedge in the front garden.
Crows – very regular of late.
Starlings – getting up to 10 a few times a day.
Jackdaws – 2 to 4 most days.

Blue Tits – I know these are always regular, but I’m not sure if they’ve had a brood or not, the nest box they were using is no longer getting used and I’ve seen a pair, not sure if it’s the same pair or another pair moved into a different nest box in the garden.  I wonder if it may have been because the neighbours cut one of the trees down next to the fence about 2 weeks ago, the tree used to cast a shadow across the nest box during the afternoon sun, now it’s not as protected.  I’m hoping they already fledged and there’s young out there, but will check the nest box around September to see what’s left.

Not Birds – Newts, getting decent views of 2 newts of late in the pond – the pond has also been very popular with sparrows, starlings and wood pigeons, the wood pigeons leave quite the white chalky cover over the pond after they’ve had a bath.  Been glad of a bit of rain of late as the 3 or 4 weeks of sun through April and early May had evaporated about half the level of the water!

That’s my hands for now, hopefully new type of parkinson’s medicine that I start at the end of May might help my hands stop their shakes and spasms and I can go back to get another round of carpal tunnel surgery.

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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

New record for house sparrows in my garden.

April 19, 2015 in sightings

A new record for the amount of house sparrows spotted at one time today, totally 23!  Very impressed!  However they seem to be stripping all the buds off the broom, interesting they only seem interested in the Cytisus scoparius ‘Lena’ and leave the others in the garden alone.

  1. Blackbird x 3, 2 m, 1 f.
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x heard only
  4. Collared Dove x 1 – first in a while
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 23
  7. Jackdaw x 1
  8. Woodpigeon x 1 – strangely sitting at the window bobbing up and down looking inside.
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by KiwiGav

Edinburgh Garden Birds for 18th of April 2015.

April 19, 2015 in sightings

Another great sunny day in Edinburgh and was fantastic to have a bullfinch couple arrive a few times through the day. Here’s the list:

  1. Blackbird x 2, m and f
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – including nest box.
  3. Bullfinch x 2, m and f
  4. Carrion crow x 3
  5. Coal Tit x 1
  6. Common Buzzard x heard only
  7. Dunnock x 3
  8. Feral Pigeon x 1
  9. House Sparrow x 15+
  10. Jackdaw x 2
  11. Magpie x 2
  12. Woodpigeon x 3
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by KiwiGav

A very quiet day in the garden.

April 10, 2015 in sightings

Was nice and sunny in the morning, rainy and cloudy in the afternoon, not a lot birds around:

  1. Blackbird x 1, m
  2. Blue Tit x 1 – didn’t see it going into the nest box today.
  3. Carrion crow x 3
  4. Dunnock x 3
  5. Feral Pigeon x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 11
  7. Jackdaw x 2
  8. Magpie x 2
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 1
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by KiwiGav

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