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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. Long-tailed tit – October 14th
  21. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  22. Oystercatcher – July 13th – FO
  23. Redwing – Jan 30th
  24. Robin – Jan 1st
  25. Rook – March 23rd
  26. Siskin – April 28th
  27. Song Thrush – Jan 4th
  28. Sparrowhawk – Jan 7th
  29. Starling – Jan 1st
  30. Stock Dove – Jan 5th
  31. Swift – June 18th – 3 days later than last year, I haven’t seen a single swallow this year.
  32. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  33. 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.

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

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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Over Garden Gulls, Wren & bird list, Edinburgh.

February 27, 2015 in sightings

I was outside in the garden today with my crutches, I must say thanks to my parents for putting in drainage and the pond as I can now move about my garden and not just sink into it. I’ve got off topic, the thing was there were a lot of gulls flying overhead, sadly I’m useless at gull ID, however I did notice there were at least 4 different types.  I’ve added black-headed gull to today’s list as that was a definite. The other 3 I’d have a guess were common gull, herring gull and lesser black-backed gull.

  1. Blackbird x 4 – 3m, 1f
  2. Black-headed Gull x 1
  3. Blue Tit x 1
  4. Carrion crow x 1
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. House Sparrow x 3
  8. Jackdaw x 4
  9. Magpie x 3
  10. Woodpigeon x 1
  11. Wren x 1 – it’s been ages since I’ve seen a wren, a real highlight to my day, it was bobbing about the crocuses that are on their way up and snow drops that are out (only 27 of the 100 I planted have shown.), absolutely beautiful sight!
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Not a great amount of birds about.

November 25, 2014 in sightings

Sorry my hands have been getting worse with carpal tunnel, I do watch the birds every day and if I could would add my list daily.  So far the highlight for my garden over the last month was:

  1. wren

The rest are my usual blue, coal and great tits, the occasional blackbird and a roost of house sparrows in the privet hedge.  My wildlife hedge still needs to fill out a lot, my soil is sadly horrible clay soil that has had more chemicals added to it than Katie Price!  When we moved in there was almost no life in the garden and the soil had nothing, now after 2 and a half years we’re starting to find worms and woodlice still a long way to go but hopefully my organic gardening approach will pay off over time and we’ll end up with a teeming wildlife garden!

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by KiwiGav

I know I said last post for a while yesterday.

February 5, 2014 in sightings

But just wanted to share I had 2 bullfinches and a wren, first wren of the year and only second time for the bullfinches!

Added a few other birds I’ve seen:

  1. Blackbird x 4
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Bullfinch x 2 – 1m, 1f
  4. Great Tit x 2
  5. Wren x 1
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by KiwiGav

First big frosts bringing a few birds out of hiding and looking for food.

November 19, 2013 in sightings

Managed another walk today with Chewie my dog, I was trying to reward myself, unlike a lot of people I love exercise, being outside and walking but with all my injuries it’s often very painful.  I hadn’t slept much in the past 24 hours as I was so hectic with the Click Frenzy sale on Australian time and really needed to get out.

Sadly the walk was marred by an unfortunate incident with a dog owner that couldn’t control his staffie.  I’ve got nothing against staffies and neither has my dog and has often played with them, however this one saw Chewie, who was at this point walking away from the dog, ran at Chewie grabbed him by the neck and started shaking violently; it was disturbing to see and the owner just said “that’s why I was trying to get her back on lead so this wouldn’t happen”. The owner went to grab the collar of his dog to try and drag the dog off, one of the worst possible things to do when teeth are locked on.  I grabbed the dogs tail and lifted it off the ground until it let go, this worked very quickly and I held it at arms length until the useless owner put the lead on it and Chewie was clear.  Some people just shouldn’t have dogs!

Chewie was shaken and rather frightened, but after a quick check, once a safe distance away, there was no broken skin or blood, but he was ready to go home and I put my ankle out in the incident, I’m now in loads of pain so no walks for a few days.

  1. Blackbird x 1 g & w
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x LOADS!
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. House Sparrow x 20+ & w
  6. Jackdaw x 2
  7. Magpie x 2 w
  8. Robin x 2 w – there were a lot more calling, but this was just after the staffie incident
  9. Starlings x 50+ – looked great flying over at dusk.  Very lucky to see!
  10. Woodpigeon x 2 g & 15+ w
  11. Wren x 2 w – not seen one since September 8th and today I get to see 2.
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by KiwiGav

A good day in the garden today with the first Wren in 5 months, September 8th 2013.

September 8, 2013 in sightings

After seeing a Robin yesterday there was one in my garden or singing from the neighbours all day today, it sounded amazing.  Today also saw the first wren I’ve seen in the garden since March 27th this year, and an oyster catcher fly over head, fantastic day for birds!

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Coal Tit x 1
  3. Common Buzzard x heard only
  4. Dunnock x 4
  5. Great Tit x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 6
  7. Jackdaw x 2
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Oyster Catcher x 1 – flying over and could make it out clearly.
  10. Woodpigeon x 3
  11. Wren x 1

there was also a flock of roughly 30 geese flying that were going South, then turned towards the east, however not sure what type they were.

For those from Australia that may know to check here for info when my other sites aren’t showing, Saver Scene Australia: is currently offline due to technical issues moving the server to an Australian company.

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Calthorpe Projects London, little bit of wildlife in the city, small bird list.

May 19, 2013 in sightings

In London for the Chelsea Flower Show and trying to get around London to see a few things, I can’t manage a lot of the wandering so a lot of sitting and eating, far too much!  I did get to to – Calthorpe Projects which has a small but decent nature garden right at the back including bees nests and a pond, for the first time ever I saw newts, who would have thought the first time I saw newts would be in the centre of London!  So impressed.  While there I also managed to see:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Magpie
  3. Starling
  4. Wren

There were a lot of butterflies as well, and a few moths, but didn’t pick up what types, think small white was pretty common, but can’t be sure.

Other birds from today, all over the place

  1. Dunnock
  2. Blue Tit
  3. Feral Pigeon
  4. Woodpigeon

Not a big list for today, but was very happy with the newt!

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Scottish Birdfair, Jo McIntyre, Bird Watching Magazine, Scotland Outdoors, Bird Lists!

May 12, 2013 in sightings

Wasn’t in the garden much today as was out at the Scottish Birdfair seeing about birds, I would have loved to be there both days but it wasn’t to be, maybe next year.  It was a good day spent talking birds and wildlife, I wish I had of got to more talks, one that was worth going to, especially for all the budding photographers out there was twitter – Jo McIntyre, website – Jo McIntyre Photography she takes things back to basics for those that aren’t up on fstops etc.  (generally no problems here, been doing it for 16 years now!) but also  talks more about hides and how to attract birds for different shots, this is very new to me as I’ve always been a landscape photographer, it was very helpful and gave me great ideas!  I’d be interested to know more about the tripod head that she mentioned too, I’ll try finding out as it should be better for bird photography than my 10 year old Manfrotto 3 way tripod head that’s great for landscapes, but terrible for following birds.

There’s so many different things to see and do and I ran into a few people I hadn’t seen for awhile and got chatting about birds and all too often why I hadn’t been to the usual birding sites, sadly due to injury, but I’ve mentioned that enough and I’m sick of it!  I’m now able to get out a bit more and stroll around so starting to get a few new birds in my local path as listed below.  Also picked up a new feeder, seed, a few copies of Bird Watching Magazine and a years subscription to Scotland Outdoors Magazine.  Sadly there was no garden shop there this year as I wanted to pick up a few items that Lyn has mentioned on her butterfly blog – Butterflies & Gardens and possibly a rowan tree and a honeysuckle to grow up one of the apples in the garden.

Finally onto What Birds I Saw Today: 

First up is the Garden bird list:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Collared Dove x 2
  5. Feral Pigeon x 7 – flyovers
  6. Long-tailed tit x 1 – been a while since I’ve seen one in my garden.
  7. Woodpigeon x 1

Birds while out to the Scottish Birdfair:

  1. Carrion Crow
  2. Goldfinch – ringing tent
  3. Pheasant – first for the year
  4. Starlings
  5. Swallow
  6. Wren – ringing tent

Birds while out for a brief stroll in Corstorphine:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion Crow
  3. House Sparrows
  4. Jackdaw