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 the 5th of April, noticed the LTTs were getting bossed by the BTs

Finally back on form and getting my bird list up earlier today, once again it’s from my garden, I really have to get out to a few places, my ankle’s are slowly improving, here’s my Garden Bird List for April 5th:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – was singing from 4am, but I was up anyway due to Chewie my dog being very ill. Poor guy!
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 3
  5. Long-tailed tit x 1, it was feeding on the RSPB Suet Cakes, I also noticed that the Blue Tits were chasing it off the fat.
  6. Woodpigeon x 3

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 @ https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-bees.

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

A good sighting of woodpigeons, and another new species for the year!

Another trip back and forth to Glasgow today, sadly not a lot seen on the road except for about 25 woodpigeons feeding on a roundabout just near the airport.  I did see a bird of prey briefly, it was resting on a tree on the side of the road, but it was soaking wet, looking the other way and I couldn’t identify it.

In the garden there was however some great news as a Curlew flew overhead, a first for the year:

  1. Blackbird x 2, 1xm, 1xf
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – not in my garden, but another garden in Corstorphine Edinburgh
  3. Carrion crow x 10 – fly overs
  4. Curlew x 1 – fly over, bit of a shock!
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. Magpie x 2 – had a great time watching them preen and share a bond, one was passing leaves to the other then grooming the one holding the leaf. Very Interesting!
  7. Woodpigeon x 2 x in Garden and 25+ – just outside Glasgow airport.  Glad to see so many, as the woodpigeon is this week’s species of the week for SpeciesofUK on twitter, a twitter account very worth checking out if you’ve got an interest in UK wildlife.

Garden Bird List, what do you do with your RSPB Coconut halves?

It was a lovely sunny day here in Edinburgh but I was inside most of the day doing updates for the finance site about ISA, Savings and Credit Cards over on www.saverscene.co.uk (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) I still managed to be out with Chewie (my dog) as 2 Long-tailed Tits flew into the garden, heard them a long time before we saw them, as always fantastic birds, happy to be very close to me as they fed on the coconut fat halves from RSPB – Box of ten Coconut halves.  The birds love them, when they’re finished and taken as much as they can I put them on the ground and the fox cleans them out.  I then face them down onto the ground under compost heaps and let them sit; the amount of wildlife that gets under them is amazing, worms, woodlice, slugs, and many other grubs – turn the soil into lovely fertile soil and help with the rest of the compost, you just have to remember where they are before putting a fork into the ground!

Here’s my diminutive bird list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – heard only
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 13+ flying over at dusk
  4. Dunnock x 2
  5. Long-tailed tit x 2
  6. Woodpigeon x 1

Edinburgh Garden bird list for 29th of March 2013

My list for my garden in Edinburgh for Friday 29th of March 2013:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 20+ flying over at dusk
  4. Dunnock x 2 – think there’s a fair few more as I can see movement in the hedge, hope they’re building nests.
  5. Feral Pigeon x 1
  6. Long-tailed tit x 2
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Woodpigeon x 3

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

Another new bird for the year! More snow!

Woohoo finally saw a wren, I’d been missing them for my year list and I know they visit my garden, but today finally in the snow I spotted one.  All my tits seem to have disappeared though, really do wonder where they’ve gone off to, that said I was working on the Saver Scene Australian finance (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) pages, although I’m KiwiGav I was brought up in Australia and that’s why I know more about Aussie deals, savings, bank accounts and credit cards than I do about NZ ones.  I’ve actually spent more time in the UK now than the country I was born in!  All 3 places have fantastic birds, you just have to pay a little more attention to the UK ones to see their beauty!

Here’s my garden bird list:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Bullfinch x 2, 1xm, 1xf they were eating the buds of new growth on the trees.
  3. Carrion crow x 4 – flyovers
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Magpie x 1
  6. Woodpigeon x 2
  7. Wren x 1

I should say I kept an eye out for the gold crest but sadly no show today, it was the weather I’d seen it in before, I’ll try and get my 1 and only photo I’ve ever managed to take of a goldcrest tomorrow.

Garden Birds, Walk in Corstorphine, Bus ride back from centre of Edinburgh

Not a great day today, a few different birds as I was out of the house again today, but my ankles are bad again and now will have to stay indoors for a few days.  Really enjoyed a few days of being able to walk!  Here’s my Bird lists:

Garden Birds:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Dunnock x 3
  3. Woodpigeon x 1

On a walk to St Margaret’s Park Corstorphine.

  1. Dunnock x 1
  2. Pied Wagtail x 1
  3. House Sparrows x 6

On the Bus from centre of Edinburgh

  1. Mallard Ducks x 4 – all males on water of Leith