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by KiwiGav

Bird list from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 26th February 2015

February 26, 2015 in sightings

On the way home from physio managed a trip to Royal Edinburgh Botanic Gardens today, they have mobility scooters you can use to get around, a great help as I really wanted to check the alpine collection out. Only problem is you get so cold using the mobility scooters instead of walking as you’re just sitting. There were a few birds I managed to see, I found it harder to watch birds as I had to keep my eyes on the path more than when walking, so the list isn’t as big as previous RBGE visits. The highlight had to be the decent views of the Kingfisher:

  1. Blackbird x 3 at Botanics
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 30+ flying past at dusk
  4. House Sparrow x 4
  5. Kingfisher x 1 at Botanics
  6. Magpie x 1 – 4 at Botanics
  7. Mallard ducks x 7 at Botanics
  8. Moorhen x 4 at Botanics
  9. Robin x 2 – botanics
  10. Woodpigeon x 3

by KiwiGav

My first Water rail – videos from Inverleith Pond Edinburgh

February 5, 2015 in sightings

As I can no longer hold a heavy DSLR I’m trying out a lightweight video camera and currently I’m enjoying it.  First up a few birds I saw today, all but the common buzzard and fieldfare are firsts for the year as I’ve hardly left the house.  There were many other birds seen but these in the list were the new ones for the year and/or rarities for me:

  1. Common Buzzard x 2
  2. Coot
  3. Fieldfare
  4. Moorhen
  5. Mute Swan
  6. Oystercatchers x 7
  7. Pied wagtail
  8. Redshank x 2
  9. Redwing
  10. Song Thrush
  11. Water rail – first time ever!

The 4 videos I’ve currently uploaded, my favourite first – less sounds of my crutches and my dodgy zooms and pans.  Lot for me to learn and see if my dystonia spasms and shakes are ok with video work.

Water Rail preening 2 – Inverleith Pond – Edinburgh – 5th of February 2015. 

Water Rail – Inverleith Pond – Edinburgh – 5th of February 2015 – WBIST 

Water Rail – Inverleith Pond – Edinburgh – 5th of February 2015 – WBIST 

Water Rail preening – Inverleith Pond – Edinburgh – 5th of February 2015.
I do like the splashing about near the start of this video.

by KiwiGav

Trip to the Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

May 11, 2014 in sightings

Had a trip to the Botanic Gardens Edinburgh today, was with friends, which was great but meant I didn’t get a lot of bird watching done, but got a few to add to the list that I wouldn’t see at home, such as chaffinches, mallards and moorhens:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Chaffinch x 1 – at the botanics
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Feral Pigeon x – a fair few at the botanics
  7. House Sparrow x 1
  8. Jackdaw x 2
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Mallard Duck – botanics
  11. Moorhen – botanics
  12. Starlings x 3
  13. Woodpigeon x 2 – and a few at the botanics

by KiwiGav

Edinburgh Botanic Gardens 10th of October 2013.

October 10, 2013 in sightings

Sadly lost my bird list for today. I was at the Edinburgh Botanics for a bit today and I know there were :

  1. Mallard Ducks
  2. Moorhens
  3. Blue Tits
  4. Great Tits
  5. Coal Tits
  6. Magpies
  7. Woodpigeons
  8. Blackbirds

by KiwiGav

Walk along the water of Leith in Edinburgh shows a Kingfisher & Grey Heron

October 5, 2013 in sightings

I’m so proud of myself and excited for the future; today I walked about 4 miles and my ankle tendons didn’t pop out of place once, I am so happy, as long as I take tomorrow easy I hope this is me finally on the mend after 5 years and up to 12 hours of physio per day.   It may finally mean a chance to get out and see more birds around Britain.  The walk was from Dean Gallery Edinburgh back to my place in Corstorphine Edinburgh, my wife dog and I walked along the Water of Leith until Roseburn then along St Johns Rd up through Corstorphine Hill behind the Zoo and then home.

The exciting thing was we got to see a Kingfisher on the water of Leith it posed on a branch for a while, it was a bit far off to get a great view, but it was my wife’s first kingfisher ever, very very exciting!  There was also a heron, still and posed and not caring about the many people and dogs that walked by, absolutely fantastic!

Ended up with not a bad list for the day:

  1. Blue Tit – seen
  2. Carrion crow – seen
  3. Dunnock – seen
  4. Grey Heron x 1
  5. House Sparrow -seen
  6. Jackdaw – Seen
  7. Kingfisher – Seen -first of the year
  8. Mallard Duck – seen
  9. Moorhen – Seen
  10. Pied Wagtail – Seen
  11. Robin – heard

by KiwiGav

A good day in the gardens and a quick visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

June 5, 2013 in sightings

My mum mentioned that she wanted to see a Woodpecker before she left the UK back to Australia, I knew there was a pair nesting at the Botanics here in Edinburgh and figured a quick trip to see them should get results with ease, and I was right, photos towards the bottom after my lists:

Garden List for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – nest box in full swing
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Collared Dove x 2
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. Magpie x 2
  7. Starlings x 15 – fly overs
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

Royal Botanic Garden Bird List, this was a very quick visit and we spent a lot more time watching the birds than I thought we had time for as it was just to see the woodpecker.  I didn’t take my camera and the photos are from my dad:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion crow
  3. Chaffinch
  4. Chiffchaff – heard only
  5. Great Tit
  6. Greater spotted Woodpecker
  7. Magpie
  8. Mallard Duck
  9. Moorhen
  10. Robin


Woodpecker Chick & Adult Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens

Woodpecker Chick & Adult Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens

Woodpecker Chick Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens

Woodpecker Chick Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens


I should have taken my camera, I did take binoculars and a few of the staff at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens came to have a look. Sadly it has to be a rather quick visit as I knew I had to get back to do the updates for the credit cards, interest rates for savings accounts and free bank accounts for the Aussie Saver Scene site: – finally finished just before 1am. -time is still set to GMT and not BST.

by KiwiGav

Garden bird list and birds of Gardening Scotland

May 31, 2013 in sightings

earlier today I posted a few pictures from the Isle of May trip, but a friend on twitter @RoseCottageFife wrote a much more in depth and informative piece about here trip to the Isle of May here: and there’s the Isle of May Blog from 15th of May announcing they do have puffins: – I would love to spend time out there as a scientist or conservationist, only problem is I have no degree in either!!!  Silly me for pursuing computers and photography… Maybe they need a professional photographer!?  Would love that, I’ll bring my own food!

My bird list today, there’s 2 lists as I went to Gardening Scotland and managed a few sightings there:

Garden list:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – singing very very early! My wife has started putting earplugs next to the bed so that when they start at 3.30am she can dull the sound a bit.
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – going into nest box
  3. Carrion crow x 4
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Jackdaw x 2
  7. Magpie x 1
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

At Gardening Scotland:

  1. Moorhens
  2. Oystercatcher
  3. Rook
  4. Starlings
  5. Swallows – a few nests around the buildings there.

by KiwiGav

Wildfowl & Wetland Trust London Wetland Centre Bird list for 22nd of May 2013.

May 23, 2013 in sightings

I was hoping to have this list up a lot earlier today as it’s from 22nd of May however I was so busy doing the updates for Australian best savings, credit cards and due to the fact many Aussies have to pay for bank accounts the best free bank account offers it took longer than expected as their saving interest rates are going the same way as the UK ones.

Now to birds thanks to the suggestion of Wes and the ease of getting to the WWT – Wildfowl & Wetland Trust in London Wetland Centre – see their twitter account here:  @WWTLondon I managed my best bird list for the UK this year, sadly I didn’t have my camera and my legs didn’t hold out for a long time, it was still great getting 28 different species at the WWT London and finishing it off with a kestrel at Luton airport for the longest list of the year so far!

2 new birds were on my list for life, and they were both cracking views, there was a pair of reed warblers nesting almost directly outside the Observatory which gave amazing views, they came right up to the reeds in front of the windows.  The other new bird was the Little Greeb I had amazing views of it feeding in clear water under the bridge just before you get to the Wildside hide,  Fantastic to see!

The bird list for May 22nd from WWT London Wetland Centre:

  1. Feral Pigeon
  2. Reed Warbler
  3. Mallard Duck – with young
  4. Moorhen
  5. Coot – with chicks
  6. Woodpigeon
  7. Starlings
  8. Carrion Crow
  9. Jackdaw
  10. Egyptian Geese
  11. Mute Swans
  12. Cormorant
  13. Grey Heron
  14. Blackbird
  15. Pied Wagtail
  16. Common Tern – new for the year
  17. Tufted Duck
  18. Lapwing
  19. Swallows
  20. Magpie
  21. Robin
  22. Black-headed Gull
  23. Great Tit
  24. Little Grebe
  25. Canada Geese – new for the year
  26. House Martin – new for the year
  27. Swift – new for the year
  28. Greylag Geese

1 more bird seen at Luton airport, hovering over the grass:

  1. Kestrel

Fantastic day of birding, can’t wait until I can walk for longer times and see more, I would often get 40 to 50 species at Musselburgh east of Edinburgh.

Whilst looking for bird sightings as I’d thought I’d seen something that I’m used to up in Scotland but wasn’t sure, I came across this Open University site: fantastic service and great for finding if a bird has been seen in the area!

by KiwiGav

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Britannia bird lists.

May 9, 2013 in sightings

Once again I took off to watch birds instead of working on my websites, I’ll be posting over on late into the night the freebies section has become very popular over the last few days.

The Marsh/Willow Tit:

Okay after talking to a few people that know a lot more about birds than me, it’s 99% probable I didn’t see a marsh or willow tit.  Although I still think it looked a lot like it I take their word on this matter and am always happy to admit when I’m wrong, it was in poor light at a distance and after spending a few hours near the area I saw Great Tits, Coal Tits and Blackcaps so I’ll put it down to poor IDing on my behalf.

My bird lists for the day: 

In my garden while I was home today:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. Woodpigeon x 1

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

I went back to see if I had

  1. Blackbird – Watched as one filled it’s beak with worms, didn’t see where it flew off to, but did notice it worked it’s way back towards the location of it’s nest, with the collection getting ever bigger and even placing them on the ground occasionally.  Photos below.
  2. Blackcap – look to be breeding
  3. Blue Tit – first birds I saw when arriving and they were mating
  4. Bullfinch – Male bathing, great to watch, got very bad photos in the gloom.
  5. Carrion crow – attacking a magpie
  6. Chaffinch
  7. Chiffchaff – heard only
  8. Coal Tit
  9. Dunnock
  10. Feral Pigeon, one of these landed on my hand as I was watching the nesting hole of the Woodpecker. Gave me a bit of a surprise as I was looking through the camera at the time!
  11. Great Tit
  12. Greater Spotted Woodpecker
  13. Greenfinch
  14. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  15. Magpie
  16. Mallard Duck
  17. Moorhen
  18. Robin – these guys keep popping up next to me
  19. Siskin
  20. Song Thrush
  21. Swallow – first of the year for me.
  22. Treecreaper
  23. Wood Warbler – a first for me, I got to see and hear it, of course it flew away the second my camera started focusing! I had to check the RSPB calls page and then check here: Willow, Wood Warbler and ChiffChaff to make sure I listed the correct warbler.  I paid a lot of attention to the call as I knew this was the way to tell them apart.

Birds from Royal Yacht Britannia that haven’t been listed previously today:

  1. Common Eider – new for the year
  2. Cormorant – new for the year

On the way home

  1. Starlings

Total of 26 different species of birds.

A few photos from today:

Male Blackcap Female Blackcap Black Bird and worms Black Bird and worms Black Bird and worms

by KiwiGav

Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, was that a Marsh Tit I saw today?

May 6, 2013 in sightings

I didn’t get as long at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens as I’d hoped as a lot had changed on with new interest rates for ISAs and even changes to best credit card deals which is unusual, I haven’t finished the savings accounts yet to my shame!  I will work on it tonight, sometimes gardens and birds have to come first, especially when there are so few decent sunny days in Edinburgh!

It was great to see birds getting really into the spring mood and the blue tit busy going in and out of the nestbox as well as blackbirds gathering nesting material, below the ones with numbers next to them are birds seen in my garden, the ones without are ones I saw at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.  I’m hoping I’m right with the Marsh Tit, but am not 100% sure, I have added the list of birds I know it wasn’t, I hope to get back to the gardens to have a better look, with camera and bins.

  1. Blackbird x 2 – 1 male and 1 female at different times. Then saw a couple together later as they were collecting nesting material.
  2. Blue Tit x 1 – it was going in and out of the RSPB nest box. Very happy! Sounds like there may even be young in there!
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Chaffinch
  5. Chiffchaff – heard only.  not great at my bird songs, but at least that’s one I can recognise!
  6. Coal Tit x 1
  7. Collared Dove x 2 – been a while since I’ve seen them in the garden.
  8. Dunnock x 2 – Dunnocks are fast becoming my most frequant visitor.
  9. Feral Pigeon
  10. Great Tit
  11. Jackdaw x 2
  12. Magpie
  13. Mallard
  14. Marsh Tit Update 9th of May see this post: The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Britannia bird lists – Update 8th of May – Probably not is the news I got from Lothian Bird News on Twitter, no idea what it was – I think, not sure if this is one that is regular, so not 100% sure, I know it wasn’t a great or coal tit, it also wasn’t a Blackcap, for anyone looking in the Lothian region and going to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh it was at the bottom of the Chinese Hill Garden near the water. I’m going to try and go back with camera and bins to get a better view over next few days… I hope!  Marsh Tit has been sighted near the area and as far as I know Willow tit hasn’t so, I’m currently going with Marsh Tit, if so it’d be a new Life Bird for me!
  15. Moorhen
  16. Robin
  17. Starlings
  18. Woodpigeon x 1