Long-tailed Tit & a mixed flock of tits in the garden today.

Thought it was going to be incredibly quiet in the garden today as there’d been very little and then a mixed flock of tits came through including 3 of my favourites the Long-tailed Tit – Know Your Tits – Long-tailed Tits – something I wrote last year as I was trying to get my hands working again and get myself excited about photography & birding – okay never lost either passion just hadn’t been doing it.  I would get a bit down when I heard of a great bird sighting or seeing a fantastic photo as I knew I couldn’t get out and see the bird or take photos!  I’ve added a photo of a Long-tailed Tit that was shot out of the bedroom window while I was recovering from my first ankle surgery.   The flock included the 3 long-tailed tits, 3 coal tits, 2 blue tits and a great tit:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Coal Tit x 3
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. Great Tit x 1
  6. Herring Gull x 1 – I think it looked to be a juvenile
  7. House Sparrow x 2
  8. Long-tailed Tit x 3
  9. Magpie x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 3

Long Tail Tit - Aegithalos caudatus - Scotland UK

Long-tailed tit in the rain.

My location as ever at my house, I hope this changes soon!

Very few birds today, getting ready for the RSPB hedge.

There were very few birds in the garden today, but it maybe due to activity as my wife was helping, okay doing most of the work due to my injuries, digging over the area that the hedge is to go into, hope to take some photos of the rest of the project, forgot today.  It’s only about half done as she has to work Saturdays but it’s a start and it should be a few more days before the plants come.  If you are after a good mix for a hedge the RSPB have a good page: RSPB – Homes for Wildlife – Hedge of Glory it takes you to the Ashridge Trees website for their package of a bird friendly hedge: Ashbridge Bird Friendly Hedge you can watch their video on how to plant a hedge:

1 – How to Plant a Country Hedge – Ashridge Trees

Hedge planting youtube video

Here’s my bird list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 1 (fly over)
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 2
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Herring Gull x 2 (fly over)
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

Plants in the hedge:

  • 10 x Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna – frothy white, may flowers in spring and bright red haws in autumn
  • 5 x Wild Privet – Ligustrum vulgare – white flowers, black berries
  • 5 x Hazel – Corylus avellana – catkins in February, fresh green leaves, nuts in autumn
  • 5 x Wild Damson – Prunus domestica – white blossom on black twigs
  • 5 x Guelder Rose – Viburnum opulus – lacecap flowers, redcurrant looking berries
  • 5 x Blackthorn – Prunus spinosa – fluffy white blossom, black autumn berries
  • 5 x Dog Rose – Rosa canina – single white roses, red rose hips in autumn
  • 5 x Elderflower – Sambucus nigra – lacy white flowers, maroon berries
  • 5 x Crabapple – Malus sylvestris – stunning pink blossom, crabapples in autumn

Sparrowhawk in the garden a new bird for the year list.

Another new bird for the year list, a Sparrowhawk almost hit me in the face, okay it was about 60 centimetres away, but for something moving at such speed it seemed very close.

How I got to the point of having a sparrowhawk 2 feet away from me; there were few birds in the garden, just 1 blackbird so I thought better take the dog out and check if there’s a cat lurking in the back undergrowth as there often is.  The dog went crazy sniffing the ground and it was obvious to him that a cat had just been there, but I didn’t see it, about half a minute passed and the tinkle of the cat’s bell over a neighbours fence gave it away (good on the owner for putting a bell on it) and the dog went into a quick barking fit, then all fell very silent, still no birds and the cat was away.  I bent over to pick-up some litter that had blown into the garden and as I stood up there in my face was a sparrowhawk coming straight at me, it changed just before collision.  Well what seemed like a collision point to me, to it I’m sure it felt it had hours to divert it’s course.

This is only the second time I’ve seen a sparrowhawk in the garden, first for this year, last time it was hunting and not in a way I’d seen sparrowhawks hunt before it was actually going to ground then entering the dogwood shrub that is next to one of the feeders and flushing birds out that way, instead of circling the shrub or hedge and getting the birds to fly out.  I was surprised at how well it went into the hedge, I got some video footage but it was on a small digital camera and rather rubbish as due to my cerebral palsy I shake so much.  The other thing I noticed that day was how different the small birds alarm call was to when they see a cat, they obviously have a different call for sparrowhawk than they do cat predators.

Here’s a list of the 9 different species I’ve seen today, the Magpies are back in decent numbers, not as many as on Christmas day but they’re being just as noisy:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 1 (male)
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 2
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Herring Gull x 1 (flying over)
  8. Magpie x 11
  9. Sparrowhawk x 1

Get ready for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is on again, I think this it’s 34th year, this will be the 7th year I’ve participated and the first at my new house.  There’s none of the Starlings, Goldfinches or the Nuthatches I’ve seen in previous gardens but still a nice range of birds and I hope to get a good list!

The Big Garden Birdwatch is over the weekend of 26th & 27th of January, I’ll probably do my count on 26th as that’s Australia Day and we’ve got a few mates dropping in for a few snags & beers that night, so may not have the earliest start on the 27th when most of the birds in my garden are active.

For more information and to register to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch head over to: The RSPB: Big Garden Birdwatch and register to make things easier for entering the details on the weekend, you have until the 15th of February to add your sightings.

Hope you all join in the fun of birdwatching and helping the RSPB with their garden birdwatch studies.

12 different species of birds in my garden today, plus a photo of a Coal Tit.

I was hoping to get out and see the waxwings that were near Murrayfield today, however due to the tyre blowout on Christmas Eve and not been able to get it repaired during the last week over Christmas/New Years as everything is closed, my wife can’t drive me anywhere (I can’t drive at the moment due to my ankle tendons popping out when I press the accelerator) so once again my what birds I’ve seen today comes from the garden, I’ve added a photo of a coal tit I shot a while back, hope you like it. This maybe the longest list of species for one record so far:

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Bullfinch x 1 (female)
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 3
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Greenfinch x 5
  9. Herring Gull x 1
  10. House Sparrow x 3
  11. Magpie x 4
  12. Woodpigeon x 4

The photo of the coal tit on a bird seed feeder:

Coal tit

Coal tit on Garden bird feeder.

Seed and feeder supplied by the RSPB.

Added Carrion Crow to the year list, and a great new blog!

Hi all, hope the new year has been treating you well.  Ian from Riding the Waves to Eternity has joined in the fun of bird watching and is very close by to me, so be interesting to see what he sees in his garden, not just birds he’s listing he’s putting all his wildlife on a new blog called In a Corstorphine Garden – a great list of wildlife especially for a suburban area very cool!  You can also follow Ian on twitter: Cosmic_Serf.

This morning started off very windy but has calmed down, the herring gulls that were flying over were really enjoying the gusts as were the 3 Carrion Crow that hovered by, a new addition to my year species list, once again from my garden (or flying over):

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Carrion crow x 3 fly over
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 3
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Herring Gull x 3 fly over
  8. Magpie x 2
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 3

Happy New Year! Birds enjoying the sunny weather.

Happy new year everyone, hope you had a great night last night, it’s wonderfully and sunny in Edinburgh today and the birds are busy on the feeders:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Bullfinch x 1
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 4
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Greenfinch x 4
  8. Woodpigeon x 1

I know I’ve already added an update today, but just went outside and noticed that the magpies are back making a lot of noise and as I watched them a flock of 50+ waxwings settled on the tree in the neighbours garden, rose once, settled again then flew off.

  1. Magpies x 12
  2. Waxwings x 50+

From the Lothians birders news on yahoo groups there’s been a sighting of 200+ at the Ice Rink, Murrayfield between the two bridges on Water of Leith.

Sadly the website was lost and this is the first record I’ve been able to find internet archives.

Very few Garden birds out today, a photo from Edinburgh’s Torchlight procession.

Another very quiet but very windy day in the garden! Mix of rain and I’m pretty sure sleet. Here’s my list as of 11.12am for Hogmanay:

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Coal Tit x 1
  3. Dunnock x 1
  4. Magpie x 2

I thought I’d do an afternoon count as this morning was so low, however the afternoon only added:

  1. Chaffinch x 3
  2. Robin x 1
  3. Woodpigeon x 2

It was nice to see a Robin first time in a few days.

I hope everyone has a great New Years Eve, here’s photo from the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay torchlight procession a few years ago, sadly wasn’t there last night due to my torn ankle tendons, hopefully next year! Hope this gets you in the mood for NYE:

Edinburgh's Hogmanay torchlight procession

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay torchlight procession

Birds singing by full moon light and another windy day!

Hi all a very quiet day in the garden, still very strong winds, however last night at 1am the full moon was so bright I could here a Robin singing, was rather surprised!  Here’s today’s list, only 7 species of birds and only 10 birds!

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Chaffinch x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Herring Gull x 3 fly overs
  6. Robin x 1
  7. Woodpigeon x 2

Very very windy here in Edinburgh

Looks like the wind has scared off a lot of the birds today, I waited and did a second count this afternoon and it was worse than this list from this morning, although was nice to see a Great Tit, they’re not a regular to my garden, the coal tits we can get up 10 at once and blue tits about 5, I think record for my garden for Long-tailed tits was 16!

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Chaffinch x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 2
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Great Tit x 1
  7. Greenfinch x 2
  8. Herring Gull x 2 fly overs
  9. House Sparrow x 3

Here’s one of my Coal tit photos:

Coal Tit launching into flight – Gavin Hamilton

Coal Tit launching into flight – Gavin Hamilton