RSPB Scottishbirdfair & The Scotsman 2 for 1 tickets, my bird list

I’ve added the information about the RSPB Scottishbirdfair & The Scotsman 2 for 1 tickets below my garden bird list, I hope many of you can make it!

Wow, what a crazy day weather wise, rain, sun, hail, sun, rain, sleet, hail and it’s still lying at 23.00!  I’ve just been outside burning garden waste for more carbon and I couldn’t believe how much was still on the ground!  The weather brought out a few extra birds on the feeders, here’s my garden list:

  1. Blackbird x 1 first time I’ve seen one in a few days.
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Lesser black-backed gull x 1
  7. Long-tailed tit x 2
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Robin x 1 first time in a while!
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

I hope to have a camera setup soon so people can watch my feeders, and I can see them when out and about too, I hope to grab one from  Fly On the Wall Wildlife Cameras you can find a voucher code for a discount on Fly on the Wall Wildlife cameras here:
Very small bird list, voucher code for Fly On The Wall wildlife cameras!

RSPB Scottishbirdfair & The Scotsman – 2 for 1 ticket offer

Get your copy of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday this weekend and enjoy an exclusive 2 for 1 ticket offer – treat yourself to a fun filled weekend! Simply insert the code on the ticket page at www.scottishbirdfair.org.uk, or cut out the voucher and bring it to the show.

Tickets

Adult £12 (concessions / RSPB members £10). 2-day ticket £20 (concessions / RSPB members £18) Children under 16 go free.

Opening times

Saturday 9.30am-5.30pm (food, bar & entertainment until 9pm). Sunday 9.30am-5.30pm (seabird cruise & BBQ 6pm-9pm).

Gardening, burning to get carbon and a very small bird list.

After being away and having internet problems in the hotel, I get home and I try to do a post and my net’s down.  A bit annoying, back now so I can get my very small garden bird list up for the day, I was outside a fair bit today trying to get rid of horsetail weed and due to the internet being down in the afternoon, managed a few updates on saverscene UK and the Australian version such as a very helpful one for people that travel: travel insurance check that your credit card doesn’t already offer it: You may already have travel insurance on your credit card, no point paying an insurance company (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) .  Also spent the evening trying to burn cuttings from the garden due to getting rid of a lot of old wood and the council missing my green waste bin twice in the past month.  I’d prefer to have the carbon back in the soil anyway, I would normally leave piles of branches to rot down naturally, however there were far too many due to the garden being neglected for years before we moved in.  We’ve also not set up a good open compost for garden waste and only have a closed one for food scraps, once I’ve got that setup I hope not to need the council green collection and to get all the goodness back into the garden without resorting to burning it.

Anyway. Here’s my bird list for the day, sadly a bit short, but great to see the LTTs and the Bullfinch back:

  1. Blue Tit x 1
  2. Bullfinch x 1 – Male
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 2
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Long-tailed tit x 2
  7. Magpie x 1
  8. Woodpigeon x 1

Back at home watching my garden birds.

It is nice to be back to see the changes that have occurred in just one week of being away, shocked by the amount of Daffodils in my garden, which can be great for attracting finches and I encourage to grow in the right spots in the garden.
This is the first spring I’ve been in the garden and I’m impressed by what’s coming up so far.  As for the birds, not a great deal around, I did see 2 Coal Tits mating, but not sure if the blue tit has continued with the nest at the end of the garden, didn’t see any activity about it at all today.  However that was the same last year in the previous garden, frantic activity for about 4 to 5 days, then nothing for almost 2 weeks, time to sit on eggs maybe?  Then frantic activity for about 16 days, and 4 young eventually fledged.

Here’s the list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – heard only
  2. Blue Tit x 1 – think it’s the one nesting in the nest box, but haven’t seen any birds in the box.
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 2 – saw them mating.
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Greenfinch x 2 – my mum who is visiting from Australia felt these looked like Budgies!  Guess she doesn’t notice the parrot beak to the finch beak, she was a little away from them, so I’ll forgive her.
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

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

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

Wow the wind in Edinburgh had the birds in hiding!

I couldn’t believe how windy it was here, I saw very few small birds at all today, and only heard a blue tit briefly, hope Spring starts properly soon!

My garden bird list for today, and I was outside a lot, although windy it was pretty sunny in the afternoon:

  1. Blue Tit x 1 – heard only
  2. Dunnock x 2
  3. Greenfinch x 1

Not in my garden, but on a walk around Corstorphine Edinburgh:

  1. Jackdaw x 6
  2. Magpie x 1 – collecting nesting material
  3. Rook x 1
  4. Starlings x 2
  5. Woodpigeon x 1

If you happen to be in Edinburgh over the next few days/week The Royal Yacht is celebrating her 60th birthday, even for non-royal fans it’s worth having a look, I wasn’t sure when I went, but the engine room is a great museum piece and the tearoom is lovely, also at this time of year there’s often Eiders off the side, as well as a few different divers, shags and cormorants. Find out more about the 60th birthday here: 60 years of Britannia.

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.