Blue tit is back to the RSPB nest box, Common Buzzard high overhead.

The highlights of the day was seeing a Common Buzzard flying very high over head, seeing the blue tit return to the nest box and watching a woodpigeon eat part of an apple core I left out for the birds, if you are a heavy fruit eater like myself apple cores make great bird food!  Here’s my bird list for Saturday 27th:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – saw one going into the nest box.
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 1
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Long-tailed tit x 2
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Woodpigeon x 1

Last day in the Netherlands – Bird count was low.

Spent most of the last day resting either at the hotel or at the airport just to relax my feet, still managed a few birds:

  1. Common Buzzard
  2. Coots
  3. Cormorant
  4. House Sparrow
  5. Jackdaw
  6. Lapwings
  7. Magpie
  8. Pied Wagtail
  9. Starlings
  10. Woodpigeons

The gardens in the Netherlands were amazing, however we were a little too early for a lot of the Tulips this year, normally would have been the peak week but the cold weather was not great for them, I’d love to go back! I’ll try and get a few photos up in the next few days, I’ve got a lot of work to do on the money saving websites and a few smaller jobs I’ve got to send out photos for.  Hope there’ll still be time for bird watching, I hope to try and get to a few of the RSPB reserves in Scotland – find your closest ones: over the next few weeks, I think my feet are finally up to the challenge :D

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: (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

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: (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) and for the highest interest rates in Australia: (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

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

Garden Bird list for 4th of April 2013. RSPB £4 off Suet Cakes.

I’ve been incredibly busy, the Edinburgh Science festival is on and a few friends have been up from England for it and keeping me out late at night when I normally get my bird updates done.  I had great sightings of the Long-tailed tits, I’m pretty sure they’re nesting in the hedge, or in the neighbours garden, I saw them collecting nesting materials and were back and forth through the hedge very quickly!  If you do have Long-tailed tits visiting they love RSPB suet cakes, there’s currently £4 off them for the next few days, I’ve done a post about them here: RSPB £4 off Suet cakes – check the latest RSPB Sales they just love them!

Also had much better views of a Common Buzzard, one was much lower today, still getting mobbed by gulls, also pretty sure blackbirds are nesting in the garden!  Nothing’s taken up the nest box I’ve put up yet.

In sadder news I was getting the greenhouse ready for some plants, was left by previous owner of the house, very helpful for salad growth over the winter!  However as I was looking around I found a frog had baked in there from the heat, I have started checking it every time I’m outside and going to try and find a way to get a bit of regular water in there!

Now for the Garden bird list for the 4th of April – sorry it’s a bit late, again!

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 2 – flyovers.
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 1
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Long-tailed tit x 2
  8. Magpie x 2
  9. Woodpigeon x 3

Bird list for April 3rd 2013, and British Bees need help!

Sorry my bird list is a day late, been very hectic with my parents over from Australia, they’ve been wanting to see a fair few things, and  get a lot done around the house, also with UK ISA season happening at the moment I’ve been answering a lot of emails trying to help people save and make the most they can out of ISAs (it’s not great out there at the moment!), as well as keeping up to date with the Australian finance pages: Saver Scene Australia: Finance (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) so far just got the savings done for this week, but about to start on credit cards and best bank accounts.  These websites will hopefully only be something I run while I’m injured, as I really want  to  get back to photography, but had to do something to earn money as I couldn’t get into any jobs with my ankle tendons and the carpal tunnel strikes bad at times, I wouldn’t feel right asking an employer to pay me when I knew I couldn’t do the work at 100%!

My parents are enjoying the UK, have already ducked off to Paris where they said it was freezing cold, worse than Edinburgh! They’re looking forward to more travel and I’ve been trying to teach them the UK birds that visit my garden, thankfully a few of them have been very obliging and 2 long-tailed tits landed less than a foot away from my dad’s face while he was in the garden yesterday, they sang for a bit and then moved on quickly, as LTTs always do!

Garden Bird list for April 3rd:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Bullfinch x 1, 1xF
  4. Carrion crow x 2
  5. Coal Tit x 1
  6. Common Buzzard x 1 – very high overhead, once again gulls mobbing it
  7. Dunnock x 1
  8. Long-tailed tit x 2
  9. Magpie x 2, looks to be the same pair collecting twigs off the front trees for their nest, they’ve pretty much stripped the top of one tree of it’s leaves.
  10. Robin x 1 – great to see the robin back!
  11. Woodpigeon x 1

This was posting on the Lothian Birds News yahoo group:

British Bees need help:
“There’s mounting evidence that some pesticides are killing bees. But the UK Environment Minister recently refused to support a European vote to stop the pesticides being used” There is just a few weeks to change the Ministers mind before he votes again

85,000 people have already signed a petition to demand that he protects our bees. The target is to reach 100,000 signatories. You can get involved @

Bees and other insects pollinate about three quarters of our food so are incredibly important. Bees are dying in great numbers.

Been Hectic – very few birds been seen :(

Edinburgh Science festival is on and a couple of trips to Glasgow in the past 3 days have kept me busy, so the only birds I really got to see were

2 x long tailed tits – flying down the street where I live as I got into the car

on the M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow, there were other birds but I couldn’t get a great ID.

  1. 3 x common buzzards
  2. 2 x Magpies

Nice and sunny in Edinburgh today, birds were out enjoying it!

Had a good chance to be in the garden today, nice and sunny, although snow was on the ground to start it thawed very quickly and there was actually some warmth in the sun!  Flying high over head I could hear geese and got a short glimpse of 6, but not sure what type and once again a common buzzard being mobbed by gulls, I wish I could identify the gulls better as there’s been a few overhead of late, look like herring, common or lesser black backed, but not 100% sure, the black-headed ones are thankfully easy to identify!  Will get my bins out soon to get a better view, I’ve let my neighbours know that I’m a keen birder in case they wonder what I’m up to ;)

Here’s my garden bird list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Bullfinch x 1, male – hoping the female’s sitting on eggs somewhere!
  4. Carrion crow x 1 in garden – about 15 flying over.
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 – flying high!
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Long-tailed tit x 1 – pretty sure I could hear more flying past.
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Starlings x 6
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

2 Common Buzzards glide over head mobbed by gulls.

another busy day with DIY as finally had the carpet laid and that’s pretty much the room ready for my parents, they’re in London now after the flight from Australia and are going to bus it up to Edinburgh, not sure why they’ve decided to bus it but guess 10 hours on a bus is not a big deal for aussie travellers and is generally the cheapest and we Aussies love our (UPDATE: saverscene now CLOSED due to moving to carer in horticulture hope to have my gardening website up early 2019) when travelling!

Now onto my garden birds, not a great amount of time being outside today, but it was fantastic to see 2 buzzards gliding high in the sky, they were getting absolutely mobbed by gulls though, some of the gulls looked as big so probably less black backed gulls, not sure if greaters really come in as far as my place in west Edinburgh.

  1. Blackbird x 3 – males were fighting and 1 female going about her own thing.
  2. Carrion crow x 1 fly over
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Common Buzzard x 2 – getting mobbed by gulls, not sure which type though.
  5. Dunnock x 3 – very spring like behaviour from them today
  6. Long-tailed tit x 1
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Woodpigeon x 1

So who’s going to win the Rugby this weekend?  Wales at home or the impressive English defence?