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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

Bird list from Germany near Heidelberg on the river Neckar.

July 20, 2013 in sightings

The list from Germany for Monday 15th to 17th of July, sadly I didn’t have a great amount of time to go looking for birds, I did manage to take a trip down the Neckar for an afternoon and got to see a few birds from the boat, I was impressed by the amount of swifts and swallows there.

not in alphabetical order sorry, also sightings only not numbers:

  1. Mute Swan
  2. Egyptian Geese
  3. Swifts
  4. Swallows
  5. Common Buzzard
  6. Mallard Ducks
  7. Magpies
  8. House Sparrows
  9. Feral Pigeons
  10. Carrion Crow
  11. Black-headed Gull
  12. Shag
  13. Cormorant
  14. Chaffinch
  15. Pied Wagtail
  16. Greylag Geese
  17. Blackbird
  18. Jay*

new for the year.

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

Another great day out at Keukenhof gardens, decent bird list.

April 22, 2013 in sightings

Even though I was out doing my real work, photography, I managed to update the savings, ISAs and credit cards over on then a few of the banks went and changed their rates and I had to do it again tonight!!!  How inconsiderate of them!  I did get out to Keukenhof today and got to see some great birds as well as a few 100 very nice flower photos.  I sadly missed by just a few minutes the mating dance of the Great Crested Grebe, a few other birders seemed to take real pleasure in telling me!  I didn’t see as many bird species today as I did the other day, here’s my list today:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion crow
  3. Chaffinch
  4. Chiffchaff
  5. Coots
  6. Egyptian Goose
  7. Great crested grebe
  8. Great tits
  9. Greylag goose
  10. Grey Heron
  11. House Sparrow
  12. Jackdaw
  13. Lapwings
  14. Long-tailed tits
  15. Magpie
  16. Mallard Duck
  17. Moorhens
  18. Mute Swans
  19. Oystercatcher
  20. Pied Wagtail
  21. Starlings
  22. Tufted duck
  23. Woodpigeons

by KiwiGav

Keukenhof gardens and the birds I saw there!

April 20, 2013 in sightings

Had a bumper day today and added a few life birds, Great Crested Grebe (bit slow on that one!), yellow and pied wagtails.  Once again internet has been down most of the evening so just a quick note of the birds in the hope the net stays up long enough!  Most from Keukenhof or on bus journey there!

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blackcap
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Chiffchaff – heard and seen
  5. Common Buzzard
  6. Coots
  7. Dunnock
  8. Feral Pigeon
  9. Great crested grebe
  10. Greylag goose
  11. Grey Heron
  12. House Sparrow
  13. Jackdaw
  14. Morehen
  15. Oystercatchers
  16. Pied Wagtail
  17. Lapwings
  18. Magpie
  19. Mallard Duck
  20. Moorhens
  21. Mute Swans
  22. Skylark – seen and heard
  23. Sparrowhawk
  24. Starlings
  25. Swallow
  26. Tufted duck
  27. Yellow wagtail

The Keukenhof gardens are great, but don’t go on parade day, it’s so busy!  I was hoping to go to Haarlem to see the parade at the end of the day but my ankles were worn out again and I couldn’t face another bus ride.  Hopefully one year I’ll get back over here to see the festival!  I also managed to update the best interest rates for instant access ISAs tonight as I was informed Coventry have changed their best interest rate to a 1 year and no longer instant access, you can see the best instant access ISA here: – Gardening, birds, saving money and pensions my friends call me middle aged Gav, I’m 34, I sure hope to live to over 68!!!  I’ve been interested in most of these things since my teen years, just I lived in Australia and haven’t seen a lot of European birds and there wasn’t wonderful tax free savings accounts like ISAs there!  Sorry rambling again, had pain killer and beer!  whoops!  – Gav out!

Update, thought I’d list this as a friend asked me what a lapwing looked like, there’s photos on here from when I lived at Musselburgh UK:

by KiwiGav

A day in Amsterdam, a few birds.

April 19, 2013 in sightings

After saying how great it was to have free internet the hotel’s internet has been down all evening this will just be a quick one, with my bird list, pretty short today:

  1. Coot
  2. Cormorant*
  3. Greylag geese
  4. Jackdaw
  5. Magpie
  6. Mallard Duck
  7. Mute Swan

* new for this year

I’ll hopefully be back out at the gardens for the tulip festivals tomorrow, my ankles couldn’t handle the pace of the city and getting bumped a lot at the central train station, I’ve decided to try and get more good photos from the tulip gardens.

Hope others are getting to see a lot of great birds!

by KiwiGav

Hello from the Netherlands a few new birds for the year!

April 18, 2013 in sightings

Hi all I’m writing from the Netherlands here to see the displays, amazing gardens!  I wasn’t sure about the internet access but the hotel I’m currently in has free wifi, a few new birds for the year as well as a Bat (not sure what type) and 2 hares have shown up while out on the bus and when managing to do some walking, ankle tendon’s popped out a few times sadly.

Bird list from Netherlands mostly from Keukenhof:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Chaffinch
  3. Coot*
  4. Dunnock
  5. Egyptian Goose*
  6. Great Tit
  7. Grey Herron
  8. House Sparrow
  9. Jackdaw
  10. Lapwing*
  11. Mallard Duck
  12. Mute Swan
  13. Starling
  14. Swallow*

*new for the year 😀

Thanks to having internet access I also managed to update the Saver Scene Australia finance pages: for best savings, credit cards and bank accounts.  I love having free wifi, it’s amazing just how many places in Holland have it, although I try not to be in front of my computer while travelling it’s helpful for a few things like listing birds 😀 and updating money saving websites and forums!  I hope to have time to update the UK one on Monday as i have to take time off my feet due to the torn ankle tendons.   I’ll process some pictures when back in Edinburgh to show the beauty of the Dutch gardens!


by KiwiGav

Yesterday at St Margaret’s Loch Edinburgh

January 22, 2013 in sightings

I managed to get out for a few minutes after seeing the surgeon that did my ankle op, sadly another two are needed, however it meant I was out of the house and could go somewhere else to see some birds which was great!  The weather turned very bad as the last photo shows and I didn’t have gloves or a hat so I didn’t get a good chance to count, so I’ll just list the species:

  1. Mute Swans
  2. Black-headed Gulls
  3. Mallard Ducks
  4. Tufted Ducks
  5. Greylag Geese
  6. Moorhen
  7. Wood Pigeons

There were other Gulls, but from where I was, without bins, I wasn’t sure if they were lesser black-backed gull, herring gull or common gull, so I’ve just listed the black-headed ones.  I added a few photos that I managed to take before the weather got too bad, the first photo was from a previous trip to St Margaret’s Loch, the others were in the snow yesterday:

St Margaret's Loch Edinburgh

St Margaret’s Loch Edinburgh

Gulls on the Ice at St Margaret's Park, Ediinburgh UK

Gulls on the Ice at St Margaret’s Park, Ediinburgh UK

Tufted Duck at St Margaret's Park, Ediinburgh UK

Tufted Duck at St Margaret’s Park, Ediinburgh UK

Tufted Duck at St Margaret's Park, Ediinburgh UK

Tufted Duck at St Margaret’s Park, Ediinburgh UK

Swans in the snow.

Swans in the snow.

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