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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

Song Thrush, Goldcrest and Great Spotted Woodpecker

December 26, 2015 in sightings

Merry Christmas everyone!  I had 3 great birds in my garden today on top of all the other fantastic birds that usually grace the garden.  Christmas day has often been a great time for birds in my garden as all the roads are quiet around here and more birds venture into the garden.  Over the last 4 Christmases in this house it’s been getting better and better.  no Blackcaps, redwings or fieldfares this year, but the 3 listed are pretty good in my opinion!

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by KiwiGav

Wren and Song Thrush

December 24, 2015 in sightings

As I get ready to go in for another operation to end the year I’ve been trying to do a small amount of birdwatching when I can, I finally managed to add Wren and Song Thrush to my garden bird list this year.

The last few days we’ve had a wren around a fair bit and then today the Song Thrush showed up, very very happy with this bird being in the garden as it was drinking from the pond and moving around under plants that I’ve been trying to grow to encourage wildlife.  The pond has been a great success for wildlife and draining parts of the garden, very happy after the dramas of making the pond.  I also hope that the pond has helped prevent lower ground being flooded!

Greenfinches are also becoming a more common in my garden.  After 3 and a half years in this spot in Edinburgh from having a few woodpigeons and the very occasional blackbird we now have blue, coal and great tits every day, a roost of house sparrows which get up to 30 in the garden at one time and woodpeckers and greenfinches at least weekly.  We are also attracting predatory birds, I’ve seen a sparrowhawk and a kestrel in the last week.

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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.

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by KiwiGav

Merry Christmas and 18 different species of birds on my list

December 25, 2013 in sightings

I had an amazing Christmas day for birds, the suburb in Edinburgh where I live was so quiet that the birds weren’t getting disturbed and I got to see a fair few!  Really happy to see so many great migrants to the garden.  I mentioned that I’d be setting up a facebook page and a few other pages for my photography the FB one is now up and running here: https://www.facebook.com/picturesqueedinburgh – If you’re on Facebook I’d really appreciate the like. Or on twitter or G+ https://twitter.com/picedinburgh – https://plus.google.com/+PicturesqueEdinburghUK/ – I hope the photos bring enjoyment to the internet.

  1. Blackbird x 6
  2. Blackcap x 1
  3. Blue Tit x 2
  4. Carrion crow x 1 – on drive
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 – on drive.
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Feral Pigeon x 4 – on drive.
  8. Fieldfare x 1
  9. Great Tit x 1
  10. Greenfinch x 1
  11. House Sparrow x 10+
  12. Jackdaw x 2
  13. Magpie x 1
  14. Redwing x 3 – first for year, first time I’ve seen in my garden
  15. Robin x 1
  16. Song Thrush x 1
  17. Stock Dove x 2
  18. Woodpigeon x 2
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by KiwiGav

A song thrush and a mistle thrush!

December 22, 2013 in sightings

Had a few interesting birds today, was quite excited to see a Mistle Thrush and a Song Thrush, pretty good spotting for my garden, it’s all the fallen apples!  We’ve got 2 apple trees and one’s okay for eating the other’s been decent for a few apple crumbles but should really be used for cider.   There’s still many apples below the cider tree.  The eating tree either got eaten by me or the fox, they loved it and there’s not one left on the ground!

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. House Sparrow x 2
  5. Mistle Thrush x 1 – back garden.
  6. Robin x 1
  7. Song Thrush x 1 front garden.
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

– The Mistle Thrush is the first I’ve seen since running the website, which is now over a year, making it the first this year.  It’s spending it’s time in the neighbours garden where there’s a holly bush and a few apple trees.  I’ve planted some holly and many other wildlife friendly plants in the garden in the hope to bring more birds in to photograph in the near future.

Whilst talking about photography, I am also in the process of getting a few things for Edinburgh photography, I used to work as a full time landscape photographer but it came to an end after a few accidents.  My business was called Picturesque Scotland, however I can’t get out and climb hills and mountains any more, or even drive without my ankle tendon popping out of place, so I’m now cutting my area down to Picturesque Edinburgh, I’ve set up a few new pages and once I get my photography computer set up again I’ll add a lot of photos.

Keep an eye on these pages, and I’ll mention them again when I get them running.

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/b/103806822461568966396/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/picturesqueedinburgh
Twitter: https://twitter.com/picedinburgh
Blog: http://www.picturesqueedinburgh.com/
Tumblr: http://www.picturesqueedinburgh.co.uk

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by KiwiGav

Tried for a second walk around Corstorphine Hill.

May 14, 2013 in sightings

I tried to push myself and go for a walk two days in a row, sadly my ankle rolled and I had to spend the rest of the day on the sofa with ice on the ankle.  It was nice to think I was able to get out for a walk two days!  Sadly I couldn’t, but it’s improvement to at least think I could, now my ankle is constantly clicking out of place again, but we’ll see what a few days off the feet does and hope it gets back to being able to get out for a walk or two next week.

In bird news, first time I’ve seen a Great Tit in the garden since: http://www.wbist.com/archives/772 St Patrick’s Day – fitting for my profile picture!

In the Garden:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal Tit x 2
  4. Dunnock x 3
  5. Great Tit x 2
  6. Magpie x 1
  7. Woodpigeon x 2 they were having a great slapping battle, wings at dawn! Actually quite amazing to watch!

Out on a walk:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blue Tit
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Chaffinch
  5. Dunnock
  6. Great Tit
  7. House Sparrow – got to see them today.
  8. Magpie
  9. Song Thrush
  10. Starlings
  11. Woodpigeon
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by KiwiGav

Managed a bird walk and work today! Birds of Corstorphine Woods Hill

May 13, 2013 in sightings

I managed to get out for about an hour of walking up around corstorphine hill woods, I even took my binoculars! On top of that I finished the updates to www.saverscene.co.uk – updating the ISAs, credit cards and savings, as well a lot of money saving updates on www.saverscene.com.au if anyone from the UK or Australia knows the answer to Cash savings in Australia when you live in the UK? I’d love to know the answer!  So much better interest rates in Australia than the UK!

Sadly the Corstorphine Woods didn’t bring up any of it’s gems that I’ve seen in the past, close-up sparrow hawks and common buzzards, or Jays and Nuthatches, green or greater spotted woodpeckers.  I was still happy with the list for a gentle stroll!

First up the garden list:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 3 – flyovers
  4. Coal Tit x 2
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Long-tailed tit x 1

And now the Corstorphine Hill Woods:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blue Tit, saw numerous ones mating!
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Chaffinch
  5. Coal Tit
  6. Great Tit
  7. Greenfinch – they were looking amazing today, so bright!
  8. House Sparrow, heard only
  9. Magpie
  10. Robin
  11. Song Thrush
  12. Swallow
  13. Woodpigeon

Oh and I was papped at the Scottish Birdfair waiting for the Opticron talk.

I'm the one on the very left stuffing his mouth full of chocolate!

I’m the one on the very left stuffing his mouth full of chocolate!

 

now back to work finding bargains for my Aussie mates back in Australia with more updates to SaverScene.com.au – Time’s wrong on the site so it’s actually 12.19 on Tuesday the 14th.

I forgot to say about this time of year I find myself saying: when does springwatch 2013 start? – I’ve put the information in this post here: Springwatch 2013 starting dates.

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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 www.saverscene.com.au late into the night the freebies section www.saverscene.com.au/freebies-no-spend-required/ 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