Keukenhof gardens and the birds I spotted there.

Had a bumper day today and added a few life birds, Great Crested Grebe (bit slow on that one!), yellow and pied wagtails.  Once again internet has been down most of the evening so just a quick note of the birds in the hope the net stays up long enough.  Most from Keukenhof or on bus journey there.

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blackcap
  3. Carrion crow
  4. Chiffchaff – heard and seen
  5. Common Buzzard
  6. Coots
  7. Dunnock
  8. Feral Pigeon
  9. Great crested grebe
  10. Greylag goose
  11. Grey Heron
  12. House Sparrow
  13. Jackdaw
  14. Morehen
  15. Oystercatchers
  16. Pied Wagtail
  17. Lapwings
  18. Magpie
  19. Mallard Duck
  20. Moorhens
  21. Mute Swans
  22. Skylark – seen and heard
  23. Sparrowhawk
  24. Starlings
  25. Swallow
  26. Tufted duck
  27. Yellow wagtail

The Keukenhof gardens are great, but don’t go on parade day, it’s so busy!  I was hoping to go to Haarlem to see the parade at the end of the day but my ankles were worn out again and I couldn’t face another bus ride.  Hopefully one year I’ll get back over here to see the festival!  I also managed to update the best interest rates for instant access ISAs tonight as I was informed Coventry have changed their best interest rate to a 1 year and no longer instant access, you can see the best instant access ISA here: http://www.saverscene.co.uk/isa/highest-interest-rate-for-instant-access-isa.html (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) – Gardening, birds, saving money and pensions my friends call me middle aged Gav, I’m 34, I sure hope to live to over 68!!!  I’ve been interested in most of these things since my teen years, just I lived in Australia and haven’t seen a lot of European birds and there wasn’t wonderful tax free savings accounts like ISAs there!  Sorry rambling again, had pain killers and beer!  whoops!  – Gav out!

Update, thought I’d list this as a friend asked me what a lapwing looked like, there’s photos on here from when I lived at Musselburgh

Away for a few days. Not sure if I’ll have net access

I’m off for a few days, not sure if I’ll be getting my bird lists done, hopefully my family will keep a record for the garden while I’m away.

What birds I’ve seen today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – one going to the RSPB nest box
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Magpie x 1

So sore went back to bed! Very few birds.

I had a shocker today, after a tough night of pain I didn’t get enough sleep, so I went back to bed and all of a sudden it was dusk!

Birds I saw today:

  1. Blackbird – heard only
  2. Carrion Crow x 7 – flying over at dusk.

I did have dreams of starlings flocking to the garden, but that obviously doesn’t count!

Also for those interested there’s now a RSPB voucher code listed here: RSPB voucher code for free delivery, voucher expired, but check the latest RSPB Sales.

Bird List for Monday 15th of April 2013

Great news everyone!  The RSPB Sparrow Terrace Nest Box that I put up earlier in the year is now in use!  Not by sparrows, but a blue tit has started using the middle box, was a bit worried nothing was going to, but very excited to see a blue tit bringing nesting material into the box yesterday!

Sorry my bird list is a day late again, a lot happening with my parents being here!  I also was updating all the finance pages for www.SaverScene.co.uk yesterday, which during ISA season takes a bit longer due to a lot of changes. If you haven’t taken advantage of the tax free cash ISA you can find the best ISA rates here: SaverScene: Highest ISA interest rates (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession), obviously if you have any questions about that feel free to ask on the forums or drop me an email.

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1 – I only saw one going in and out of the nest box.
  3. Bullfinch x 1 – Male
  4. Carrion crow x 2
  5. Coal Tit x 1
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Greenfinch x 1
  8. Kestrel x 3 – 1 was chasing another one off, a couple seemed to be creating a territory.
  9. Magpie x 2
  10. Woodpigeon x 1

A bit of a better day for the birds.

My legs were really bad today so couldn’t do much walking but one brief trip into the garden showed up 3 wonderful Siskin they were incredibly flighty and didn’t stay around long, but lovely to see!

Here’s my garden bird list for April 13th 2013:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. Magpie x 2
  7. Siskin x 3
  8. Starlings x 1
  9. Woodpigeon x 2

Bird list for April 11th, do any other birders collect or take interest in interest rates?

I’ve been busy with my parents here again but have been trying to watch the garden as much as possible.  I’ve also been doing a lot of DIY and work on the websites I do for actual work, now ISA Season is behind us a few banks and building societies are finally increasing interest rates for cash savings, best interest rates for term deposits and instant access for the UK can now be seen here: saverscene.co.uk/savings/ (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) and for the highest interest rates in Australia: saverscene.com.au/finance/savings/ (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) I personally find the interest rate differences between the countries fascinating, I don’t know if it’s something with people interested in birds and collecting that find mathematical problems and things like interest rates interesting?  I know pretty much all birders I speak to collected stamps, cards or coins as a kid, many still collect things as adults, I’ve noticed Dr Who Figures, Star Wars Figures and other such things, or are obsessive list makers.  I don’t have the cash for collecting, but like to keep lists and updated pages for those sorts of things.  I like to see comparisons, graphs and charts, any other birds out there the same?

My garden bird list, and a few from just near Murrayfield, for April 11th 2013:

  1. Blackbird x 2 – males fighting for territory
  2. Carrion crow x 1 in garden, 3 mobbing the common buzzard.
  3. Common Buzzard x 1 – getting mobbed by a crow on the edge of the western approach near Murrayfield, Edinburgh
  4. Dunnock x 3
  5. Magpie x 2 – not sure if it was the nesting pair I’ve seen around a bit
  6. Starlings x 2 – and not the evening murmurations as usual.
  7. Woodpigeon x 5

Mating rituals of the Woodpigeon… Also very few birds again.

It’s been a slow few days, it’s got grey and cold again, the only highlight of bird watching today was getting to watch the mating behaviour of the woodpigeons, a fascinating dance that happens right under our noses and people don’t seem to even bother watching!  I added some notes as I watched the birds today.

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Carrion crow x 3 – one was bouncing up and down on twigs at the tops of small trees, it looked as it was trying to break off branches for nesting.
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Woodpigeon x 3 – the mating rituals were funny today, a male was displaying to a female on top of some metal chimneys and the sound they were making it reminded me of tap dancers, absolutely fantastic!

Talking of mating behaviour you have to see the video footage of a Peacock spider from Australia.

I was hoping to write up a bit about the Fly On the Wall Wildlife Cameras that I mentioned yesterday, but once again it’s after 23.00 and I’ve been exhausted by a long day and very sore ankles.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring more information about these camera setups and their voucher code. 

Cold day in Edinburgh, ISA updates for new season, more DIY, and a few extra birds!

It’s Monday so that means a very busy day updating the best interest rates for ISAs, Savings Accounts and deals on Credit Cards, ISA season has started for the tax year of 2013/14 and there’s a new allowance, so do try and make the most of your ISA by getting in early, you can find the best interest rates here: saverscene.com/isa-individual-savings-accounts/ (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) – hope that helps, if you do have any questions do feel free to ask!

Due to the changing of the tax year ISA season has been incredibly busy for me, very few birds were seen today, but I did notice that the female bullfinch was only around very briefly and that it was much skinnier (may have been a different bird) than the one I saw last week, the male continued to forage by itself.  Does anyone know; Do female’s loose a lot of body size after laying eggs?  I sure hope they’re nesting near by!

The Garden bird list was pretty much all the usual suspects, plus I saw a couple of Jackdaws from the car in Corstorphine Edinburgh, not far from the house, plus a pied wagtail when I was out at Hermiston Gait getting even more paint and other DIY tools, always feels odd when I don’t have the right tool as I had everything I needed back in Australia, but due to carpal tunnel I’ve not done as much mending as I would normally and my dad keeps asking where’s this or that and end up going to buy one, once again I’m rambling but here’s my garden bird list:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Bullfinch x 2 – the female looked a lot smaller than last week! Hope that means she’s laid some eggs somewhere.
  4. Carrion crow x 4 fly overs
  5. Coal Tit x 1
  6. Dunnock x 3 – really showing mating behaviour.
  7. Jackdaws x 2 – from car in Corstorphine
  8. Long-tailed tit x 2
  9. Magpie x 2
  10. Pied Wagtail x 1 – Car park Hermiston Gait – West Edinburgh, once again back at B&Q for more DIY gear!
  11. Woodpigeon x 1

Sunday 7th of April Garden Bird list, went to see Chris Addison last night.

Another very busy Sunday with DIY and out to comedy last night, saw Chris Addison a regular on Mock the Week, good fun!  Was exhausted when I got home so here’s yesterdays list of birds:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – singing from 5.30am today
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – getting very territorial
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 3 – also very territorial.
  6. Long-tailed tit x 2 – thought I was going to miss the charming couple that visit the garden, but they showed up about 5pm :D
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Woodpigeon x 3

Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Garden Bird list & night time visitor.

This first entry was from last night on the way to an Edinburgh to see a Science Festival show – we went to see Festival of the Spoken Nerd and on the way there I spotted a common buzzard just near Murrayfield Stadium.  The show was excellent full of fun science ideas and a good amount of comedy.

  1. Common Buzzard – seen on side of road.

Today wasn’t a great day for birdwatching instead a lot more DIY and when not doing that trying to stay off my feet as my ankle tendons are popping out a little too often, all very frustrating!  On arriving home last night I took chewie out for a final visit to the garden and heard the wonderful call of a tawny owl.  Here’s my garden bird list for today:

 

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 2 flying over
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Long-tailed tit x 2 – they were around almost every time I was outside today.
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Tawny Owl x 1 -heard only
  9. Woodpigeon x 4