2022 Garden birds of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Welcome to 2022! Hopefully this year will be a great year for birds! Once again injury and recovery from operations including an operation of the heart are taking their toll.

The House Sparrows have really taken up home in the garden, as the garden is transformed from a place where pesticides and weed killers were used for 40+ years into an organic garden and hopefully wildlife wonderland, the amount of insects and soil life has increased dramatically. I have been removing the showy plants that had no wildlife value and replacing with plants that benefit bees, butterflies and birds. There’s a list of plants I have put together over here: Plants to help bees, butterflies and birds.

Feijoas: I have had to scale my feijoa growing back from the farm we rented to a few surviving plants at a mates garden nursery and I now have over 250 small plants in pots in my own garden on the driveway. The House Sparrows, Wrens, Blackbirds and Robbins spend a lot of time amongst them. More about the feijoa farm closure here: Feijoa Farm Closed 😡😢 – Feijoas UK – hoping as my health improves I will start back up in the future and am gearing up to grow at least another 1,000 seedlings from Scottish grown feijoas this year.

Once again I am using Garden Birds* food due to the great price and excellent service, the most popular in my garden is now the Ultiva® Wheat Free Seed Mix* the basic: Ultiva® Everyday Seed Mix* is also popular with almost every bird that visits the garden especially the house sparrows.

Photo of a Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) on the back fence in Edinburgh garden.
Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) on the back fence.

*

2022 Edinburgh Garden Bird List:

  1. Black-headed gull – July 10th – FO
  2. Blackbird – Jan 1st
  3. Blackcap – Jan 7th
  4. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  5. Bullfinch – May 5th
  6. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  7. Chaffinch – Jan 4th
  8. Chiffchaff – March 3rd – in the wildlife hedge.
  9. Coal Tit – Jan 1st
  10. Collared Dove – Jan 1st
  11. Common Buzzard – Jan 11th – FO
  12. Dunnock – Jan 1st
    • Feral Pigeon
    • Fieldfare – November 12th – FO
    • Goldcrest – Jan 22nd
    • Goldfinch – April 21st
    • Great black-backed gull – July 10th
    • Great Tit – Jan 1st
    • Grey Herron – April 8th
    • Herring Gull – Jan 9th
    • House Sparrow – Jan 1st – First Bird of the Year.
    • Jackdaw – Jan 1st
    • Lesser black-backed gull – July 10th
    • Long-tailed Tit – Jan 9th
    • Magpie – Jan 1st
    • Mute Swan – November 21st – FO
    • Oystercatcher – May 12th – Heard at night – FO
    • Red Kite – July 10 – FO* – first time I’ve seen one, not common in Lothian region.
    • Robin – Jan 1st
    • Siskin – May 6th
    • Sparrowhawk – Jan 4th
    • Starling – April 14th
    • Swift – May 13th – FO
    • Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
    • Wren – Jan 1st
    • Yellowhammer – Feb 24th – This is the first Yellowhammer I’ve ever spotted in the garden, it was along the region we planted up called “the wildlife hedge”.

    * the Red Kite was flying amongst 100s of gulls and swifts as it was an ant day. I was shocked to see it and will admit, let out a yell “KITE” and pointed, such a stunning bird. A few friends have told me they are quite rare around Edinburgh and the Lothians. Sadly the sighting was short and didn’t have a chance to grab a camera.
    The Black-headed gulls never seem to land but the Lesser black-backed gull, Great black-backed gulls and herring gulls are regular visitors. The Lesser black-backed gulls are the most common in the garden and we have named one Steven Seagull.

    2022 Year total:

    • 13 Species as of January 1st.
    • 15 Species as of January 4th.
    • 16 Species as of January 7th.
    • 18 Species as of January 9th.
    • 19 Species as of January 11th.
    • 20 Species as of January 22nd.
    • 21 Species as of January 30th.
    • 22 Species as of February 24th
    • 23 Species as of March 3rd
    • 24 Species as of April 8th
    • 25 Species as of April 14th
    • 26 Species as of April 21st
    • 27 Species as of May 5th
    • 28 Species as of May 6th
    • 29 Species as of May 12th
    • 30 Species as of May 13th
    • 34 Species as of July 10th
    • 35 Species as of November 12th
    • 36 Species as of November 20th

    RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

    1. Blackbird – 7
    2. Blackcap – 2
    3. Blue Tit – 5 – Some were testing out nest boxes!
    4. Carrion Crow – 3
    5. Dunnock – 2
    6. House Sparrow – 50+
    7. Jackdaw – 20
    8. Long-tailed Tit – 1 – Oddly normally flocks of 5+
    9. Robin – 2
    10. Sparrowhawk – 1

    Oddly missing common birds

    1. Coal Tit
    2. Collared Dove
    3. Great Tit
    4. Magpie
    5. Woodpigeon

    2021 Garden birds of Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Welcome to 2021! After breaking my vertebrae and rupturing a few disks again in 2021 my list will once again be from my Edinburgh garden. The garden gets most of the common garden birds in Scotland and occasionally a great tick such as a Redpoll or a Redstart as in previous years. Winter brings in some great birds such as Redwing and Fieldfare – just had both of these in the garden at 1pm on New Years day, didn’t see either in 2020.

    This year I have started using Garden Birds* food due to the great price and excellent service, the most popular in my garden is the basic: Ultiva® Everyday Seed Mix*. It’s very popular with almost every bird that visits the garden especially the house sparrows.

    I am struggling to stand on most days due to nerves in my back stopping my legs from working due to Generalised Dystonia and the broken vertebrae. It looks like it will be a small list this year.

    *

    2021 Edinburgh Garden Bird List:

    1. Blackbird – Jan 1st
    2. Black-headed Gull – July 21st – FO – Flying ant day.
    3. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
    4. Bullfinch – Jan 9th
    5. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
    6. Chiffchaff – July 14th
    7. Coal Tit – Jan 5th
    8. Collared Dove – Unsure on date, honestly thought I’d added it before.
    9. Common Buzzard – March 1st – FO
    10. Dunnock – Jan 1st
    11. Fieldfare – Jan 1st
    12. Garden Warbler – April 4th
    13. Goldfinch – June 30th
    14. Great Tit – Jan 2nd
    15. Greenfich – July 2nd
    16. Grey Heron – Jan 15th – FO
    17. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
    18. Jackdaw – Jan 22nd
    19. Long-tailed Tits – March 5th
    20. Magpie – Jan 1st
    21. Oystercatcher – June 22nd – FO
    22. Redwing – Jan 1st
    23. Robin – Jan 2nd
    24. Rook – Feb 11th – FO
    25. Siskin – April 19th
    26. Song Thrush – Feb 13th
    27. Sparrowhawk – Unsure on date, honestly thought I’d added it before.
    28. Starling – May 29th – FO
    29. Stock Dove – Jan 2nd
    30. Swift – May 29th – FO
    31. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st – First bird of the year
    32. Wren – Feb 14th
    • 9 Species as of January 1st.
    • 12 Species as of January 2nd.
    • 13 Species as of January 5th.
    • 14 Species as of January 9th.
    • 15 Species as of January 15th.
    • 16 Species as of January 22nd.
    • 17 Species as of February 11th.
    • 18 Species as of February 13th.
    • 19 Species as of February 14th.
    • 20 Species as of March 1st
    • 21 Species as of March 5th
    • 22 Species as of April 4th
    • 23 Species as of April 18th
    • 25 Species as of May 29th
    • 26 Species as of June 22nd
    • 27 Species as of June 30th
    • 28 Species as of July 2nd
    • 29 Species as of July 14th
    • 30 Species as of July 21st
    • 32 Species as of end of year.

    2021 RSPB Garden Bird List:

    1. Blackbird – 3
    2. Blue Tit – 2
    3. Carrion Crow – 3
    4. Coal Tit – 1
    5. Dunnock – 4
    6. Fieldfare – 1
    7. House Sparrow – 50+
    8. Magpie – 3
    9. Robin – 1
    10. Woodpigeon – 3

    Edinburgh Garden Bird List for 2020

    Hope everyone had a wildlife filled 2019 and are ready for hopefully a great 2020! As with 2019 – 34 species, 2018 – 36 species, 2017 – 34 species and before I am using RSPB Bird food in my garden. The 2 main seed mixes I use are Table mix bird seed and Feeder mix extra bird seed as well as a lot help from natural resources, more about wildlife gardening and the great increase in bird numbers below the 2020 list.

    2020 Edinburgh Garden Bird List:

    1. Blackbird – Jan 1st
    2. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
    3. Bullfinch – Feb 24th
    4. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
    5. Coal Tit – Jan 1st
    6. Collared Dove – May 12th
    7. Common Buzzard – Apr 10th – FO
    8. Dunnock – Jan 1st
    9. Feral Pigeon – Jan 1st
    10. Goldcrest – 29th November
    11. Goldfinch – March 13th
    12. Great Tit – Jan 5th
    13. Grey Heron – Apr 10th – FO
    14. Herring Gull – Jan 1st – Flyover
    15. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
    16. Kestrel – May 18th
    17. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 31st
    18. Magpie – Jan 3rd
    19. Oystercatcher – Oct 11th – FO
    20. Redpoll^ – Dec 30th
    21. Rook – Sept 21st – FO
    22. Sparrowhawk – Jan 5th
    23. Starling – Feb 28th
    24. Stock Dove – June 16th
    25. Swallow – June 17th
    26. Swift – June 30th
    27. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
    28. Willow Warbler – July 31st
    29. Wren – Jan 1st – First bird of the year, very excited!
    • 10 Species as of January 1st.
    • 11 Species as of January 3rd.
    • 13 Species as of January 5th.
    • 14 Species as of January 31st.
    • 15 Species as of February 24th
    • 16 Species as of February 28th
    • 17 Species as of March 13th
    • 19 Species as of April 10th
    • 20 Species as of May 12th
    • 21 Species as of May 18th
    • 22 Species as of June 16th
    • 23 Species as of June 17th
    • 24 Species as of June 30th
    • 25 Species as of July 31st
    • 26 Species as of September 21st
    • 27 Species as of October 11th
    • 28 Species as of November 29th
    • 29 Species as of December 30th

    ^Not sure on the species of Redpoll, they were feeding upside down on Silver Birch Betula Pendula, which is listed as an ID tip on: Lesser Redpoll Bird Facts | Carduelis Cabaret – The RSPB.

    What a difference gardening for wildlife can make.

    I put this list up with a few photos on Instagram you can see the post here: 3 foxes and a robin or you can see my Instagram account @ApteryxGav, to show how wildlife gardening can change what shows up in the garden.

    Garden Bird List for October 22nd 2013:

    Roughly 1 year 4 months after moving in:

    • 1. Blackbird x 2
    • 2. House Sparrow x 1
    • 3. Robin x 1
    • 4. Woodpigeon x 1

    Total: 5 birds

    Species: 4

    After moving in I had noticed a few Robins that looked to have died from poisoning, possibly from the use of pesticides and herbicides by the previous owners.  I have a feeling their use was so high the amount had built up and in the few insects and worms left in the garden were full of pesticides, sadly the build up was too much for the birds that did try and feed in the garden.

    Garden Bird List for October 22nd 2019:

    Roughly 7 years 4 months after moving in:

    • 1. Blackbird x 1
    • 2. Blue Tit x 3
    • 3. Carrion Crow x 1
    • 4. Coal Tit x 2
    • 5. Dunnock x 3
    • 6. Great Tit x 1
    • 7. House Sparrows x 50+
    • 8. Jackdaw x 2
    • 9. Long-tailed Tit x 6
    • 10. Magpie x 3
    • 11. Robin x 3
    • 12. Woodpigeon x 3
    • 13. Wren x 1

    Total: 80+ birds

    Species: 13

    RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2020

    1. Blackbird x 11
    2. Blue tit x 2
    3. Carrion Crow x 1
    4. Coal tit x 2
    5. Dunnock x 3
    6. Great tit x 2
    7. House Sparrow 47 (probably more but best I could count)
    8. Robin x 3
    9. Woodpigeon x 3

    Feijoa growing in UK

    As everyone here knows I am an enthusiast of wildlife, gardening and photography, another big passion is feijoas and as I have a small amount of ground just near Edinburgh I decided to try and create the UKs first Feijoa farm, whilst helping wildlife.

    Feijoas, if you’ve not come across feijoas they’re a plant from Brazil and the name is Portuguese and is pronounced Fee Joe Ah and not as many people say Fee Ho Ah. Feijoas are very popular in New Zealand (I’m a kiwi and why I go by the name Apteryx Gav online – the birders will probably know Apteryx is the Latin name for Kiwi) as well as growing interest in Australia.

    The fruits and flowers both taste amazing and for the past 10 years I’ve been growing plants, cross pollinating the plants with the most flowers, largest and sweetest fruits and collecting seeds each year to try and create a plant that works well in the UK. It’s still early days and the fruit that was for sale on Feijoas.UK sold out in under a day. If you are interested keep an eye on the where to buy feijoas page to find out when they’re on sale.

    What is with the * on certain links? This * means there’s an affiliate link where I get a small portion of any sales from the website. More about affiliate content and ethical online selling on the website Ethi.net – Ethical Affiliate Marketing. The website as of 24/01/2020 is currently a work in progress to try and give internet users clarity and more information about how the affiliate advertising market.

    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 (started planning it in 2014!).

    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.

    Due to pain from Dystonia related injuries 2019 looks like it will be mainly garden only list.

    2019 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

    1. Blackbird – Jan 1st – first bird of the year
    2. Blackcap – Dec 20th
    3. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
    4. Bullfinch – Feb 28th
    5. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
    6. Chaffinch – Jan 4th
    7. Chiffchaff – Aug 9th
    8. Coal Tit – Jan 2nd
    9. Collared dove – May 16th
    10. Common Buzzards – Feb 21st – FO
    11. Dunnock – Jan 1st
    12. Feral Pigeon – Jan 5th
    13. Fieldfare – Jan 31st
    14. Goldfinch – April 12th
    15. Great Tit – Jan 4th
    16. Greenfinch – Jan 18th
    17. Grey Heron – Feb 11th – FO
    18. Herring Gull – May 12th
    19. House Sparrow  – Jan 1st
    20. Jackdaw – Jan 21st
    21. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 6th
    22. Magpie – Jan 1st
    23. Redpoll – Feb 16th – first time ever, around 50 of them.
    24. Redwing – Jan 23rd
    25. Robin – Jan 1st
    26. Rook – Sept 16th – FO
    27. Siskin – May 12th
    28. Song Thrush – Dec 9th
    29. Sparrowhawk – Jan 4th
    30. Starling – Feb 3rd
    31. Swallow – July 31st – FO
    32. Swift – June 27th – FO
    33. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
    34. 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.
    • 16 Species as of January 18th 2019.
    • 17 Species as of January 21st 2019.
    • 18 Species as of January 23rd 2019.
    • 19 Species as of January 31st 2019.
    • 20 Species as of February 3rd 2019.
    • 21 Species as of February 11th 2019.
    • 22 Species as of February 16th 2019.
    • 23 Species as of February 21st 2019.
    • 24 Species as of February 28th 2019.
    • 25 Species as of April 12th 2019.
    • 27 Species as of May 12th 2019.
    • 28 Species as of May 16th 2019.
    • 29 Species as of June 27th 2019.
    • 30 Species as of July 31st 2019.
    • 31 Species as of August 9th 2019.
    • 32 Species as of September 16th 2019.
    • 33 Species as of December 9th 2019.
    • 34 Species as of December 20th 2019.

    RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2019 results:

    1. Blackbird x 3
    2. Blue Tit x 3
    3. Coal tit x 1
    4. Collared Doves x
    5. Dunnock x 1
    6. Great tit x 1
    7. House Sparrow x 47
    8. Magpie x 2
    9. Robin x 1
    10. Woodpigeon x 7

    Leith Meadow Pipits and Sand Martins.

    Just wanted to mention 2 birds I’d never seen before, managed to see Meadow Pipit and Sand Martins on a walk between Ocean Terminal and Water of Leith just north of Edinburgh.


    Someone or the council look to be planting a few of the grass verges with meadow seeds along the roads near Ocean Terminal and that’s where the meadow pipit was. The Sand Martins were flying over the water and the small meadows, I gather collecting insects which were in decent numbers for the very small bank of flowers.

    2019 UK Feijoa Farm

    This year I managed to start a very small UK Feijoa farm, as far as I know it’s the first of its kind in the UK. The plants have been very popular with birds especially, robins, dunnocks, blue, coal, great and long-tailed tits hopping through the plants.

    Feijoas the tastiest fruit in the world.
    If you are a fan of the feijoa fruit that have been described by Gardeners’ Question Time presenter Bob Flowerdew as “The tastiest fruit in the world” head over to Feijoas UK where you can buy feijoas when in season. They taste a lot better if you get them in season than the imported fruits. The imported fruits are picked too early so they don’t get damaged whilst being transported. When in season the feijoa fruit is amazing!

    There are plans to increase the feijoa farm size and try and create a lot more wildlife friendly places as feijoas and wildlife are my passions.

    Robin on Feijoa Branch
    Robin on Feijoa Branch

    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

    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.
    Chiffchaff

    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 help wildlife and hopefully attract more birds in to your garden is by increasing the number of insects. The fantastic 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.

    Plants for attracting butterflies, bees and 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
    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
    marjoram Origanum laevigatum ‘Herrenhausen’
    pot marjoram seeds Origanum vulgare – seeds

    Red valerian
    red valerian Centranthus ruber

    Aubretia
    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

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

    Bramble
    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

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

    Candytuft
    candytuft Iberis ‘Masterpiece’

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

    Honesty
    honesty Lunaria annua

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

    Privet
    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 Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’
    verbena Verbena bonariensis

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

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

    Dandelion
    Taraxacum officinale – Dandelion | Wild Flowers | Species | Emorsgate Seeds.

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

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

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

    Ivy
    Persian ivy Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’

    Heather
    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)’

    Ragwort
    Western mugwort Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’

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

    Primrose
    evening primrose Oenothera biennis

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

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

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

    Catmint
    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

    Pansy
    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 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
    hyssop Agastache ‘Black Adder’

    Rock rose
    rock rose Cistus × purpureus

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

    Daisy
    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
    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
    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

    Osteospermum
    African daisy Osteospermum jucundum
    African daisy Osteospermum ‘Snow Pixie’

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

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

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

    Escallonia
    escallonia Escallonia ‘Iveyi’
    escallonia Escallonia ‘Apple Blossom’

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

    Lilac
    lilac Syringa ‘Red Pixie’

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

    Hyacinth
    ‘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
    nasturtium Tropaeolum ‘Alaska’

    Ceratostigma
    hardy plumbago Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

    Statice
    statice seeds

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

    More Plants for attracting butterflies below, here’s a photo from my garden of a Red Admiral Vanessa Atalanta on Echinacea.  For more wildlife photos from my garden please check Instagram: @ApteryxGav

    Red Admiral Vanessa Atalanta on Echinacea

    Senecio
    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

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

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

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

    Birds-foot-trefoil
    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
    feverfew – organic seeds Tanacetum parthenium

    Inula
    Inula seeds

    Pinks
    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

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

    Ceanothus
    Californian lilac Ceanothus ‘Burkwoodii’

    Musk mallow
    Musk mallow seeds

    Heliotrope
    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:
    wildflower

    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.