2019 Edinburgh, Scotland Garden Bird List

2018 was a very quiet year; Due to dystonia spasms which caused a few broken vertebrae, foot, ribs and torn oblique muscles sadly stopped me from changing my career from finance to horticulture / gardening as had been the plan for 2018.

I didn’t manage many trips to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and was mainly stuck within a 600 meter radius of my house located in Corstorphine, Edinburgh West. Sadly the local green space is just too far out of my reach and with how many potholes in Edinburgh roads I couldn’t travel in a car for pain in the vertebrae. Once again due to pain 2019 looks like it will be mainly garden only list.

Once again for 2019 I’ll be using bird food from RSPB.

2019 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st – first bird of the year
  2. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  3. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  4. Chaffinch – Jan 4th
  5. Coal Tit – Jan 2nd
  6. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  7. Feral Pigeon Jan 5th
  8. Great Tit – Jan 4th
  9. House Sparrow  – Jan 1st
  10. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 6th
  11. Magpie – Jan 1st
  12. Robin – Jan 1st
  13. Sparrowhawk – Jan 4th
  14. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  15. Wren – Jan 4th
  • 8 Species as of January 1st 2019.
  • 9 Species as of January 2nd 2019.
  • 13 Species as of January 4th 2019.
  • 14 Species as of January 5th 2019.
  • 15 Species as of January 6th 2019.

2018 Edinburgh, Scotland Garden Bird List

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, update August 2018 I was studying horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to learn more about making my garden wildlife friendly sadly I broke my ribs and tore my oblique muscles in February and then broke a couple of vertebrae in May it means my studies are on hold again.  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. ChiffChaff – edited from Willow Warbler – August 30th – due to: emargination on the sixth primary, thanks to all those that helped ID the bird on the twitter post ID help please
  9. Coal Tit – Jan 2nd
  10. Collared Dove – Jan 3rd
  11. Common Buzzard – March 7th – FO
  12. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  13. Feral Pigeon – Jan 25th
  14. Fieldfare – Jan 18th
  15. Goldcrest – Jan 13th
  16. Goldfinch – Jan 3rd
  17. Great Spotted Woodpecker – Sept 8th
  18. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  19. Grey Heron – March 2nd – FO, lots of snow.
  20. Greenfinch – Jan 16th
  21. House Sparrow  – Jan 1st
  22. Jackdaw – Jan – 8th
  23. Kestrel – Feb 22nd – FOx2, only second time I’ve seen Kestrels over the garden.
  24. Lesser black-backed gull – March 4th
  25. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 2nd
  26. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  27. Oystercatcher – Jan 19th – FO
  28. Redwing – March 3rd – snow on the ground.
  29. Robin – Jan 1st
  30. Rook – April 21st
  31. Song Thrush – March 4th – snow still on ground.
  32. Sparrowhawk – Jan 13th
  33. Starlings – Jan 7th
  34. Swift – June 12th
  35. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  36. Wren – Jan 10th

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.
34 Species as of June 12th 2018.
35 Species as of August 30th 2018.
36 Species as of September 8th 2018.

Green Woodpecker Edinburgh. 
Not in my garden but I had to mention a life first and that is seeing a European green woodpecker Picus viridis in Corstorphine Edinburgh, Lothians, Scotland on 28th of December 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

90% sure it's a Willow Warbler, friends on Social media say it is.

90% sure it's a Willow Warbler, friends on Social media say it is.
Chiffchaff due to being able to see emargination on the sixth primary

Plants for attracting wildlife, Butterfly Conservations top 100!

I know this site is dedicated to birds but one of the important things for birds is their food and a great way to increase birds in your garden is by increasing the number of insects, the people at Butterfly Conservation (savebutterflies on twitter) have put together a brilliant list of plants that are nectar rich and perfect for insects many not just for butterflies but bees, moths and some berry producing ones great for many birds.

I’ve searched the internet for places that sell plants or seeds recommended by Butterfly Conservation, for those that I couldn’t I’ve linked to suggested searches on ebay. I will be trying to grow many of these to attract as much wildlife to the garden as possible to help the wildlife and in the hope of being able to photograph birds, mammals and insects from home while I’m not able to walk very well.

Painted Lady on Sunflower Vanessa cardui on Helianthus
Painted Lady on Sunflower
Vanessa cardui on Helianthus

Sadly I lost all the links to where you could buy the plants, I hope to fix this once my new gardening website is up and running.

Mini Meadow
Mini wildflower meadow Empathy mini wildflower meadow – I’m going to be trying this one in my garden

Buddleia / Buddleja
butterfly bush Buddleja ‘Lochinch’
butterfly bush Buddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’
butterfly bush Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ – I really like this one
Butterfly Bush Buddleja davidii ‘Royal Red’ – RHS Perfect for Pollinators
Buddleia Nanho Purple 1 Plant 3 litre | Buy Plants, Shrubs and Trees Online | Shrubs

Ice Plant
ice plant Sedum spectabile ‘(Brilliant Group) Brilliant’

lavender Lavandula × intermedia ‘Grosso’
Scented Lavender Collection 6 plants | Perennial Plants
Lavender Angustifolia Vera 2L | Garden Bargains

Michaelmas daisy
michalmas daisy Aster × frikartii ‘Mönch’

marjoram Origanum laevigatum ‘Herrenhausen’
pot marjoram seeds Origanum vulgare – seeds

Red valerian
red valerian Centranthus ruber

aubretia F1 Aubretia ‘Purple Cascade (Cascade Series)’ – very nice purple!
Aubretia Royal Red 12 Plants | In the papers

Field scabious
field scabious Knautia arvensis
butterfly collection Butterfly ‘Seed collection’ – Butterfly Seed Collection

sweet scabious Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Fata Morgana’
Macedonian scabious Knautia macedonica
sweet scabious Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black Knight’

blackberry blackberry ‘Ouachita’
blackberry blackberry ‘Oregon Thornless’

French marigold
40 plus 20 FREE large plug plants Marigold ‘French Fancy’
Marigold Melody 50 Plants +20 FREE | Garden Ready Plants

veronica Hebe ‘Champagne’
hebe Hebe ‘Heartbreaker’
Hebe Collection 3 Plants 9cm Pot | Shrubs

candytuft Iberis ‘Masterpiece’

lobelia Lobelia × speciosa ‘Hadspen Purple (PBR)’
Lobelia Trail Away 100 Plug Plants + 60 FREE | Plug Plants

honesty Lunaria annua

alpine mint bush Prostanthera cuneata – alpine mint bush
peppermint seeds Mentha piperita – peppermint
herb collection – mint, rosemary, thyme, parsley & sage or lavender Herb Collection ‘(6 Mixed Herbs)’ – mixed herbs
Tasty Herb Collection 12 Jumbo Ready Plants | Garden Vegetables | Jersey Plants Direct – mixed herbs

Hemp agrimony
Eupatorium capillifolium AKA hemp agrimony

phlox Phlox divaricata ‘Clouds of Perfume’
Phlox Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Evening’
Perennial Phlox Collection 6 Jumbo Ready Plants | Perennials
Phlox Blue Paradise 1 Plant 2 Litre | Perennials

forget-me-not Myosotis sylvatica
Siberian bugloss Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost (PBR)’
wildflower plug plant collection Wildflowers for ‘attracting bumble bees’ – a great bumblebee collection!

aster Aster ‘Little Carlow (cordifolius hybrid)’
michalmas daisy Aster pyrenaeus ‘Lutetia’

Sweet rocket
sweet rocket Hesperis matronalis

Runner bean
runner bean
Runner Bean Scarlet Emperor | Vegetable Seeds

knapweed Centaurea ‘Jordy’
mountain knapweed Centaurea montana ‘Alba’
greater knapweed Centaurea scabiosa
butterfly collection Butterfly ‘Seed collection’

oval leaf privet Ligustrum ovalifolium
oval leaf privet – Hedging Range Ligustrum ovalifolium

Purple Loosestrife
loosestrife Lythrum virgatum ‘Dropmore Purple’
purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria ‘Blush’

verbena Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’
verbena Verbena bonariensis

Alysum Dilly Dilly 50 Plants + 20 FREE | Garden Ready Plants

Common fleabane
Pulicaria dysenterica ? Common Fleabane | Wild Flowers | Species | Emorsgate

Taraxacum officinale ? Dandelion | Wild Flowers | Species | Emorsgate Seeds ?

dahlia tuber Dahlia ‘Bishop of Auckland’
dahlia tuber Dahlia ‘Bishop of Dover’

wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

Bowles mauve wallflower
wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
wallflower Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

Persian ivy Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’

Cantabrian heath Daboecia cantabrica ‘Amelie (PBR)’
winter heath Erica carnea f. alba ‘Whitehall’
Heather Promotion – 6 pack Heather ‘6 Pack’

Shrubby cinquefoil
shrubby cinquefoil Potentilla fruticosa ‘Marian Red Robin = ‘Marrob’ (PBR)’

Western mugwort Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’

cranesbill Geranium ‘Melinda (PBR)’ – RHS Perfect for Pollinators
cranesbill Geranium × oxonianum ‘Wargrave Pink’

evening primrose Oenothera biennis

Tree mallow
tree mallow (syn. L. olbia ‘Rosea’) Lavatera × clementii ‘Rosea’
tree hollyhock Hibiscus syriacus ‘White Chiffon’

chives chives
Edible Flowers Plant Combination ‘Edible Flowers Plant Combination’ – Edible Flowers plant collection

thyme Thymus vulgaris ‘Silver Posie’
thyme Thymus ‘Doone Valley’
thyme – organic seeds Thymus vulgaris

mountain knapweed Centaurea montana ‘Alba’
catmint Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’
catmint Nepeta × faassenii
Chilean potato tree Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ African Marigold
Marigold African Sun Mix 50 Plants + 20 FREE | Garden Ready Plants

heartsease Viola tricolor

Black eyed Susan
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia ‘Little Gold Star’
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Early Bird Gold (PBR)’
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Early Bird Gold (PBR)’

hydrangea Hydrangea paniculata ‘Diamant Rouge = ‘Rendia’ (PBR)’
climbing hydrangea Hydrangea anomala subsp. ‘petiolaris Silver Lining’

Golden Rod
solidaster / golden rod Solidago × luteus ‘Lemore’

Ox-eye daisy
ox-eye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare

Sweet William
30 Sweet William Rouge Blush Plants + 15 FREE | Garden Ready Plants

Shasta daisy
shasta daisy Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Snowcap’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Phyllis Smith’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘Banana Cream’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘× superbum Sunny Side Up’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘Sante’

hyssop Agastache ‘Black Adder’

Rock rose
rock rose Cistus × purpureus

mandarine honeysuckle Lonicera ‘Mandarin’
early Dutch honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’
English wild honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum ‘Heaven Scent’

shasta daisy Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Snowcap’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Phyllis Smith’
fleabane Erigeron ‘Sommerneuschnee’
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia ‘Little Gold Star’
coneflower Echinacea purpurea ‘Kim’s Knee High (PBR)’
coneflower Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’
coneflower Echinacea purpurea
coneflower Echinacea purpurea ‘Vintage Wine (PBR)’
New England Aster Aster novae-angliae ‘Violetta’ – I really like this one.
coneflower Rudbeckia hirta ‘Autumn Shades’
pot marigold Calendula officinalis
feverfew – organic seeds Tanacetum parthenium
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘Banana Cream’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘× superbum Sunny Side Up’
shasta daisy Leucanthemum ‘Sante’

teasel Dipsacus fullonum – be very good to get goldfinches in the garden!
sea holly (syn. Blue Dwarf) Eryngium planum ‘Blauer Zwerg’
Nyjer / Thistle seed – Nyjer / Thistle seed

sneezewort Achillea ptarmica ‘(The Pearl Group) The Pearl (clonal)’

Chrysanthemum (single)
corn marigold (syn. Chrysanthemum segetum ) Glebionis segetum

Cosmos, Cosmea
cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Rubenza’
cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Sensation Picotee’
cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’
cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Dazzler’
40 plus 20 FREE large plug plants Cosmos ‘Sonata White’
RHS perfect for pollinating insects ‘RHS perfect for pollinating insects’ – perfect for pollinators mix

African daisy Osteospermum jucundum
African daisy Osteospermum ‘Snow Pixie’

white clover – green manure Trifolium repens Globe thistle
globe thistle Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’
globe thistle Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’

dyer’s chamomile Anthemis tinctoria ‘E.C. Buxton’

Pot marigold
pot marigold Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’
pot marigold Calendula officinalis

escallonia Escallonia ‘Iveyi’
escallonia Escallonia ‘Apple Blossom’

Everlasting flower – Helichrysum
Helichrysum Forever Mix Seeds – Suttons Seeds and Plants

lilac Syringa ‘Red Pixie’

cornflower Centaurea cyanus
cornflower Centaurea cyanus ‘Black Ball’
mountain knapweed Centaurea montana ‘Alba’

‘prepared’ hyacinth bulbs Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Pink Pearl’
garden hyacinth bulbs Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Miss Saigon’

Lychnis coronaria – Campion
Lychnis coronaria – Red Rose Campion, 200 Seeds

Red campion
red campion Silene dioica

nasturtium Tropaeolum ‘Alaska’

hardy plumbago Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

statice seeds

Cone flower / Coneflower
coneflower Echinacea purpurea ‘Vintage Wine (PBR)’ – very nice flower!

senecio Brachyglottis ‘(Dunedin Group) Sunshine’

Onions – I’ve chosen ornamental onions, but obviously there are great benefits from standard onions – like being able to eat them!
giant ornamental onion Allium giganteum
ornamental onion Allium schubertii

Virginia stock
virginia stock seeds

Petunia – make sure they’re single flowered as often the double aren’t great for wildlife.
40 plus 20 FREE large plug plants Petunia ‘Fantasia Mixed’
Petunia Surfina Classic (Trailing) Red 24 Jumbo Ready Plants | Ready Plants

Busy Lizzie
Impatiens Jigsaw 70 Plug Plants plus 35 FREE | Plug Plants

tickseed Coreopsis ‘Limerock Ruby’ – very nice!
tickseed Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’

bluebell bulbs Hyacinthoides non-scripta – try very hard to keep these away from Spanish bluebells.

yarrow Achillea ‘Credo’
yarrow Achillea filipendulina ‘Cloth of Gold’
yarrow Achillea ‘Moonshine’
yarrow Achillea ‘Wesersandstein’

bird’s foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus

Everlasting pea
spring vetchling Lathyrus vernus

Cardamine pratensis / lady’s smock / cuckoo flower
lady’s smock / cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis

feverfew – organic seeds Tanacetum parthenium

Inula seeds

pink Dianthus amurensis
pink Dianthus ‘Mrs Sinkins’

Sneezeweed, Helenium
sneezeweed Helenium ‘Biedermeier’
sneezeweed (syn Indian Summer) Helenium ‘Indianersommer’
sneezeweed Helenium ‘The Bishop’

Flos flower, Ageratum
Ageratum seeds

Corn marigold
corn marigold (syn. Chrysanthemum segetum ) Glebionis segetum

Sea holly
sea holly (syn. Blue Dwarf) Eryngium planum ‘Blauer Zwerg’
sea holly Eryngium bourgatii ‘Picos Amethyst’

Grape hyacinth
grape hyacinth bulbs Muscari latifolium
grape hyacinth bulbs Muscari armeniacum

Cotoneaster – these are great for birds too, I had a few small plants in my old garden and a fieldfare came and devoured all the fruit in one day. Was happy to see it!
cotoneaster Cotoneaster frigidus ‘Cornubia’
cotoneaster Cotoneaster dammeri

Buttercup – 4000 seeds can cost around £5:
buttercup seeds

heartsease Viola tricolor
violet (syn. Viola Boughton Blue) Viola ‘Belmont Blue’

Californian lilac Ceanothus ‘Burkwoodii’

Musk mallow
Musk mallow seeds

Heliotrope seeds

Eranthis hyemalis – winter aconite
winter aconite – In The Green Eranthis hyemalis Buddleia is by far the best nectar plant and is first favourite with 18 species: Brimstone, Comma, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Large Skipper, Large White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Speckled Wood and Wall Brown.


Check ebay for more great wild flower and meadow plants & seeds:

2017 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

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.

2016 EdinburghGarden Bird List

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!

Song Thrush, Goldcrest and Great Spotted Woodpecker

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!

Wren and Song Thrush

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.

Finches, green and bull in the garden today.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen either, as someone that regularly changes out feeders with clean ones; I have a numerous stock of feeders people have given me over the years so I change the ones in the garden at each fill, I have hoped to get flocks of healthy greenfinches in my garden, but sadly there’s not a lot of them around any more and to see one is a highlight of this winter… erm I mean summer (don’t think it got above 12C here in Edinburgh today!) then to get 2 bullfinches as well it was pretty special.

Today’s birds:

  1. Blackbird x 1 male
  2. Bullfinch x 2, m and f
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. Great Tit x 1 looked to be a chick
  5. Greenfinch x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 20+ including chicks very happy with that
  7. Jackdaw x 4
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

For those wondering about my dystonia I’ve been trying new medicines and looking at trying to relax more while thinking of work problems I find watching birds a great help as well as newts in the pond, fern leaves swaying in the wind and occasionally getting a loupe viewer out to view mosses, or just enjoy the carpets of moss that this cold summer has started to form, I never appreciated how much moss was a calming influence and great for people with brain issues like mine, it slows the twitching down.

Jay in an Edinburgh garden, swift and the sparrows are back.

Sorry it’s been so long things have gotten really bad with my dystonia and my hands have stopped working a lot, now managed to get tennis elbow from the shakes, it’s meant after work I can no longer garden, very frustrating as the weeds are getting a bit much.  But hey-ho on the plus side I sit a lot more in the garden as still as someone with a tremor can, which means more birds come out of the hedges and trees.

Lately we’ve been getting bullfinches they’ve even been using the pond to wash themselves, great to witness, the sparrows are back some with young I gather they must be a different group that were nesting elsewhere as 100% sure all the nests were abandoned when my neighbour cut the hedge back.

Love to be gardening but am taking to the smaller and macro worlds of mosses, ferns and terrariums things that I hope not to need to use my arms as much and not need to turn heavy amounts of clay.  Enough about that and onto the birds!

Bird list for 10th of July 2015:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – must have young as it’s back and forth with a beak full of RSPB Coconut shell suet treats still not managed to find a vegan alternative yet.
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – one looking a bit worse for wear after a heavy breeding season!
  3. Bullfinch x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 over garden and 1 over Livingston
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Great Spotted Woodpecker x
  9. House Sparrow x 10+
  10. Jackdaw x 3
  11. Robin x 1
  12. Swifts x 1
  13. Woodpigeon x 1

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Springwatch

Today we had a great spotted woodpecker been a while since I’ve seen one.  After my last operation my wife would set up a video camera watching the feeders so that I could see the birds whilst laid up in bed and she managed to get good footage of one.  very impressed!

Don’t forget springwatch is back as is unsprung.  You can see the live cams through here: BBC Springwatch very helpful for people laid up in bed!