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by KiwiGav

2018 Edinburgh, Scotland Garden Bird List

January 1, 2018 in sightings

It’s time now for the start of my 2018 Garden bird list 2017 showed most of the common British garden birds with a total of 34 birds, unlike 2016 where I had a few more unusual birds for a city garden and a total of 40.

Sadly Dystonia will mainly have me stuck at home again I am studying horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to learn more about making my garden wildlife friendly.  I may try and do a separate RBGE bird list as the gardens have a great diversity of bird species there and are fantastic to watch.

Previous year lists for my Edinburgh Garden
2017 Edinburgh Garden Bird List
2016 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

Once again for 2018 I’ll be using bird food from RSPB.


The 2018 Edinburgh, Scotland garden bird list:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st – first bird of the year
  2. Black-headed gull – March 4th – FO
  3. Blackcap – Jan 2nd
  4. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  5. Bullfinch – Feb 3rd
  6. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  7. Chaffinch – March 3rd
  8. Coal Tit – Jan 2nd
  9. Collared Dove – Jan 3rd
  10. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  11. Feral Pigeon – Jan 25th
  12. Fieldfare – Jan 18th
  13. Goldcrest – Jan 13th
  14. Goldfinch – Jan 3rd
  15. Common Buzzard – March 7th – FO
  16. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  17. Grey Heron – March 2nd – FO, lots of snow.
  18. Greenfinch – Jan 16th
  19. House Sparrow  – Jan 1st
  20. Jackdaw – Jan – 8th
  21. Kestrel – Feb 22nd – FOx2, only second time I’ve seen Kestrels over the garden.
  22. Lesser black-backed gull – March 4th
  23. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 2nd
  24. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  25. Oystercatcher – Jan 19th – FO
  26. Redwing – March 3rd – snow on the ground.
  27. Robin – Jan 1st
  28. Rook – April 21st
  29. Song Thrush – March 4th – snow still on ground.
  30. Sparrowhawk – Jan 13th
  31. Starlings – Jan 7th
  32. Wren – Jan 10th
  33. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st

8 Species as of January 1st 2018.
12 Species as of January 2nd 2018.
14 Species as of January 3rd 2018.
15 Species as of January 7th 2018.
16 Species as of January 8th 2018.
17 Species as of January 10th 2018.
19 Species as of January 13th 2018.
20 Species as of January 16th 2018.
21 Species as of January 18th 2018.
22 Species as of January 19th 2018.
23 Species as of January 25th 2018.
24 Species as of February 3rd 2018.
25 Species as of February 22nd 2018.
26 Species as of March 2nd 2018.
28 Species as of March 3rd 2018.
31 Species as of March 4th 2018.
32 Species as of March 7th 2018.
33 Species as of April 21st 2018.

If you’re on Twitter my user name is: @ApteryxGav – a great hashtag to follow is #my200birdyear thanks to BirdWatchingMag.
Or instagram: @ApteryxGav – It’s mainly plant photos with a few birds.

I’m currently working on a gardening website that will hopefully be up and running later in 2018, it will obviously have a fair bit about wildlife, and the book Sammy The Shrew for sale which is raising money for charities.

2018 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results, Saturday 27th of January.
A very windy day, grey and over cast, yet warm. The first crocus of the year started showing today.

  1. Blackbird x 7
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal tit x 2
  4. Collared Doves x 2
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Great tit x 3
  7. House Sparrow x 17
  8. Woodpigeon x 1

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. Fieldfare – Dec 29th
  13. Goldcrest – Jan 7th
  14. Goldfinch – February 19th
  15. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  16. Greenfinch – Jan 1st
  17. Grey Heron – April 13th – FO
  18. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  19. Jackdaw – Jan 3rd
  20. Kestrel – May 31st – FO – think this is the first I’ve seen over my garden.
  21. Long-tailed tit – October 14th
  22. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  23. Oystercatcher – July 13th – FO
  24. Redwing – Jan 30th
  25. Robin – Jan 1st
  26. Rook – March 23rd
  27. Siskin – April 28th
  28. Song Thrush – Jan 4th
  29. Sparrowhawk – Jan 7th
  30. Starling – Jan 1st
  31. Stock Dove – Jan 5th
  32. Swift – June 18th – 3 days later than last year, I haven’t seen a single swallow this year.
  33. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  34. 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.
33 Species as of October 14th 2017.
34 Species as of December 29th 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.

by KiwiGav

All the sparrows gone.

June 24, 2015 in sightings

Sadly my neighbour’s obsession with clean lines has meant all the sparrow nests, probably 10 to 15 were destroyed.  Now the House Sparrows have left as have the dunnocks, the last 2 days in the garden have been so quiet.  It’s like it’s night time in the garden due to the lack of chirping and bird song.  Very frustrating.  Need to move from the city!  Want a hectare with many hedges and wildlife spots, but my generalised dystonia would not let me take care of that much land, can’t even take care of .15 of an acre.

In good news, loads of newt babies and the Rook has been showing up a bit.

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.

by KiwiGav

A mixed flock came through the garden plus a rook.

August 23, 2014 in sightings

was up early due to pain and not being able to sleep, but I was very glad that I was!  A decent sized mixed flock of tits came through the garden, decent for my garden at least.  The very first bird of the day was a rook perched high on the telephone pole at the back of my garden.  It seems to be it’s favourite place, after that I was sitting reading White Beach Rain Forest as previously mentioned by Germaine Greer and occasionally staring out my front window when the plum tree came alive with 7 long-tailed tits and more to follow in the hedge trees between my house and the neighbours.  A count of 17 blue tits is I think the most I’ve ever seen in the garden at once.  Why can’t I get a good count like that for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?

  1. Blue Tit x 17
  2. Carrion crow x 1
  3. Coal Tit x 1 – not in the flock.
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. Great Tit x 2
  6. House Sparrow x 3
  7. Jackdaw x 1 – on the slopes up to Edinburgh castle.
  8. Long-tailed tit x 7
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Rook x 1
  11. Woodpigeon x 2

I was out the rest of the day for a friend stag do, meaning did get the Jackdaw to add to the list all others were in my garden.  Before the stag do I managed to get to this talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival:

Patrick Barkham & Laurie Campbell
Sat 23 Aug 11:00am – 12:00pm
Royal Bank of Scotland Garden Theatre

Dangerous or Endangered?

The badger and the otter: crucial to a diverse British fauna, or jointly responsible for the spread of bovine TB? Patrick Barkham, author of Badgerlands, and Laurie Campbell, whose photos feature in Otters: Return to the River, are firmly on the side of the animals. In their books they reveal and celebrate the magnificent contribution made by badgers and otters to our countryside.

by KiwiGav

The fog was thick, lost my list but 3 really stood out.

May 20, 2014 in sightings

Sadly I lost my list for today, but I do remember 3 of the species

  1. Blue Tits x 2 they were rushing into the nest box, pretty sure they’re feeding their young!
  2. Common Eider x 2 at Leith near the royal yacht britannia, 1 x m, 1 x f, the fog was so thick I couldn’t see anything else.
  3. Rook x 1 – from the bus on the way to Leith for a meeting with a graphic designer I’m hoping will do some work for me.

by KiwiGav

First Rook I’ve seen in the garden for a while

May 10, 2014 in sightings

The Scottish Birdfair is on at the moment, but sadly I can’t afford it this year, so didn’t get to go.  Even with RSPB & SOC membership it was a little too expensive for my wife and I.  I did however get to spend a bit of time in the garden and there was a rook being dive bombed by gulls, not sure what type of gulls it was quite bright and hard to make out and my gull ID needs work!

List for Edinburgh garden May 10th 2014:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. House Sparrow x 1
  6. Jackdaw x 4
  7. Magpie x 1
  8. Rook x 1 – being mobbed by gulls, not sure what type though.
  9. Starlings x 3 – flying together at dusk.
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

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

Trip to the hospital and best savings rates in Australia kept from birding.

January 23, 2014 in sightings

Trip to the hospital meant I didn’t have a lot of time for bird watching as Thursday is also the day I update the comparison charts for the highest interest rates for the Australian saver scene on: – however whilst my wife was parking at the hospital in the car park there was a rook.  Not a bad tick!

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. House Sparrow x 2
  4. Magpie x 4 – Drive to Livingston Hospital.
  5. Rook x 1 – Livingston Hospital.
  6. Woodpigeon x 2

by KiwiGav

Blustery weather here in Edinburgh, few birds braving it.

December 20, 2013 in sightings

Not a lot today, blustery weather kept the RSPB feeders full!

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. House Sparrow x 1
  5. Jackdaw x 2
  6. Rook x 1
  7. Woodpigeon x 2