Scotland Garden Birdwatch 2024

In big news we’re currently looking at moving somewhere a bit more wild, a bit further out in the Lothian region of Scotland. Hopefully on a block of land big enough to attract even more birds, butterflies, bees, badgers, foxes and all the wonderful insects, worms, small mammals as well as having space to grow Feijoas which blackbirds and robins love the plants, Blackbirds are a great pollinator.

Looking back over the garden list, our first year we were lucky to get 10 birds of 5 or 6 species on a daily basis, now there’s at least 50 house sparrows daily and possibly as many 100 birds in the garden most of the time. Although the Chaffinch and Greenfinch sightings are less frequent. I hope to be able to do something similar on a larger scale and help more wildlife in the future.

Jan 1st: I am dealing with a lot of pain and haven’t been able to be outside as much, probably a lot more birds that I didn’t manage to see.

2024 Garden bird watch for Edinburgh, Scotland, list:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st – First bird of the year
  2. Blackcap – Jan 16th
  3. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  4. Bullfinch – Feb 8th
  5. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  6. Coal Tit – Jan 2nd
  7. Collared Dove – Jan 2nd
  8. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  9. Feral Pigeon – I prefer Street Pigeon – Jan 1st
  10. Fieldfare – Jan 2nd
  11. Great Tit – Jan 2nd
  12. Grey heron – Jan 16th – FO
  13. Herring Gull – Jan 16th
  14. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  15. Jackdaw – Jan 1st
  16. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 8th
  17. Magpie – Jan 1st
  18. Robin – Jan 1st
  19. Rook – Feb 3rd
  20. Sparrowhawk – Jan 5th
  21. Starling – Jan 18th
  22. Stock Dove – Jan 1st
  23. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  24. Wren – Jan 23rd
  25. Yellowhamer – Jan 16th

2024 Garden Bird Watch Year Total:

  • 11 Species as of January 1st.
  • 15 Species as of January 2nd.
  • 16 Species as of January 5th.
  • 17 Species as of January 8th.
  • 21 Species as of January 16th.
  • 22 Species as of January 18th.
  • 23 Species as of January 23rd.
  • 24 Species as of February 3rd.
  • 25 Species as of February 8th.

Garden Bird behaviour

On 5th of January I was sitting on the couch when there was a sudden bang on the window, there were lots of kids playing around the street and I figured it’s just a stray ball or them throwing apples again, but no it was sadly a Fieldfare hitting the window. On further investigation I noticed a sparrowhawk sitting on one of the feijoa plants in the front garden. The moment it saw me it took off, I checked the fieldfare which was laying in the garden, sadly it was dead. I moved it to a spot where there’s a fox/badger desire line that way the death wouldn’t go to waste.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – sadly I thought I’d saved my list after submitting on the RSPB’s website, but I can’t find it. If I find it later in the year I will add it here.

2022 Garden birds of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Welcome to 2022! Hopefully this year will be a great year for birds! Once again injury and recovery from operations including an operation of the heart are taking their toll.

The House Sparrows have really taken up home in the garden, as the garden is transformed from a place where pesticides and weed killers were used for 40+ years into an organic garden and hopefully wildlife wonderland, the number of insects and soil life has increased dramatically. I have been removing the showy plants that had no wildlife value and replacing with plants that benefit bees, butterflies and birds. There’s a list of plants I have put together over here: Plants to help bees, butterflies and birds.

Once again I am using Garden Birds* food due to the great price and excellent service, the most popular in my garden is now the Ultiva® Wheat Free Seed Mix* the basic: Ultiva® Everyday Seed Mix* is also popular with almost every bird that visits the garden especially the house sparrows.

Photo of a Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) on the back fence in Edinburgh garden.
Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) on the back fence.

*

2022 Edinburgh Garden Bird List:

  1. Black-headed gull – July 10th – FO
  2. Blackbird – Jan 1st
  3. Blackcap – Jan 7th
  4. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  5. Bullfinch – May 5th
  6. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  7. Chaffinch – Jan 4th
  8. Chiffchaff – March 3rd – in the wildlife hedge.
  9. Coal Tit – Jan 1st
  10. Collared Dove – Jan 1st
  11. Common Buzzard – Jan 11th – FO
  12. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  13. Feral Pigeon
  14. Fieldfare – November 12th – FO – landed Dec 11th
  15. Goldcrest – Jan 22nd
  16. Goldfinch – April 21st
  17. Great black-backed gull – July 10th
  18. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  19. Grey Herron – April 8th
  20. Herring Gull – Jan 9th
  21. House Sparrow – Jan 1st – First Bird of the Year.
  22. Jackdaw – Jan 1st
  23. Lesser black-backed gull – July 10th
  24. Lesser Redpolls – December 23rd
  25. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 9th
  26. Magpie – Jan 1st
  27. Mute Swan – November 21st – FO
  28. Oystercatcher – May 12th – Heard at night – FO
  29. Red Kite – July 10 – FO* – first time I’ve seen one, not common in Lothian region.
  30. Redwing – December 22nd.
  31. Robin – Jan 1st
  32. Siskin – May 6th
  33. Sparrowhawk – Jan 4th
  34. Starling – April 14th
  35. Swift – May 13th – FO
  36. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  37. Wren – Jan 1st
  38. Yellowhammer – Feb 24th – This is the first Yellowhammer I’ve ever spotted in the garden; it was along the region we planted up called “the wildlife hedge”. December 18th – Also had a flock of yellowhammer in the garden, the weather has been bad, and they must have been able to find food in the garden easier.

* the Red Kite was flying amongst 100s of gulls and swifts as it was an ant day. I was shocked to see it and will admit, let out a yell “KITE” and pointed, such a stunning bird. A few friends have told me they are quite rare around Edinburgh and the Lothians. Sadly the sighting was short and didn’t have a chance to grab a camera.
The Black-headed gulls never seem to land but the Lesser black-backed gull, Great black-backed gulls and herring gulls are regular visitors. The Lesser black-backed gulls are the most common in the garden and we have named one Steven Seagull.

2022 Year total:

  • 13 Species as of January 1st.
  • 15 Species as of January 4th.
  • 16 Species as of January 7th.
  • 18 Species as of January 9th.
  • 19 Species as of January 11th.
  • 20 Species as of January 22nd.
  • 21 Species as of January 30th.
  • 22 Species as of February 24th
  • 23 Species as of March 3rd
  • 24 Species as of April 8th
  • 25 Species as of April 14th
  • 26 Species as of April 21st
  • 27 Species as of May 5th
  • 28 Species as of May 6th
  • 29 Species as of May 12th
  • 30 Species as of May 13th
  • 34 Species as of July 10th
  • 35 Species as of November 12th
  • 36 Species as of November 20th
  • 37 Species as of December 22nd
  • 38 Species as of December 23rd

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

  1. Blackbird – 7
  2. Blackcap – 2
  3. Blue Tit – 5 – Some were testing out nest boxes!
  4. Carrion Crow – 3
  5. Dunnock – 2
  6. House Sparrow – 50+
  7. Jackdaw – 20
  8. Long-tailed Tit – 1 – Oddly normally flocks of 5+
  9. Robin – 2
  10. Sparrowhawk – 1

Oddly missing common birds

  1. Coal Tit
  2. Collared Dove
  3. Great Tit
  4. Magpie
  5. Woodpigeon

2021 Garden birds of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Welcome to 2021! After breaking my vertebrae and rupturing a few disks again in 2021 my list will once again be from my Edinburgh garden. The garden gets most of the common garden birds in Scotland and occasionally a great tick such as a Redpoll or a Redstart as in previous years. Winter brings in some fantastic birds to watch and listen to, such as Redwing and Fieldfare – just had both of these in the garden at 1pm on New Years day, didn’t see either in 2020.

This year I have started using Garden Birds* food due to the great price and excellent service, the most popular in my garden is the basic: Ultiva® Everyday Seed Mix*. It’s very popular with almost every bird that visits the garden especially the house sparrows.

I am struggling to stand on most days due to nerves in my back stopping my legs from working due to Generalised Dystonia and the broken vertebrae. It looks like it will be a small list this year.

*

2021 Edinburgh Garden Bird List:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st
  2. Black-headed Gull – July 21st – FO – Flying ant day.
  3. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  4. Bullfinch – Jan 9th
  5. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  6. Chiffchaff – July 14th
  7. Coal Tit – Jan 5th
  8. Collared Dove – Unsure on date, honestly thought I’d added it before.
  9. Common Buzzard – March 1st – FO
  10. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  11. Fieldfare – Jan 1st
  12. Garden Warbler – April 4th
  13. Goldfinch – June 30th
  14. Great Tit – Jan 2nd
  15. Greenfich – July 2nd
  16. Grey Heron – Jan 15th – FO
  17. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  18. Jackdaw – Jan 22nd
  19. Long-tailed Tits – March 5th
  20. Magpie – Jan 1st
  21. Oystercatcher – June 22nd – FO
  22. Redwing – Jan 1st
  23. Robin – Jan 2nd
  24. Rook – Feb 11th – FO
  25. Siskin – April 19th
  26. Song Thrush – Feb 13th
  27. Sparrowhawk – Unsure on date, honestly thought I’d added it before.
  28. Starling – May 29th – FO
  29. Stock Dove – Jan 2nd
  30. Swift – May 29th – FO
  31. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st – First bird of the year
  32. Wren – Feb 14th
  • 9 Species as of January 1st.
  • 12 Species as of January 2nd.
  • 13 Species as of January 5th.
  • 14 Species as of January 9th.
  • 15 Species as of January 15th.
  • 16 Species as of January 22nd.
  • 17 Species as of February 11th.
  • 18 Species as of February 13th.
  • 19 Species as of February 14th.
  • 20 Species as of March 1st
  • 21 Species as of March 5th
  • 22 Species as of April 4th
  • 23 Species as of April 18th
  • 25 Species as of May 29th
  • 26 Species as of June 22nd
  • 27 Species as of June 30th
  • 28 Species as of July 2nd
  • 29 Species as of July 14th
  • 30 Species as of July 21st
  • 32 Species as of end of year.

2021 RSPB Garden Bird List:

  1. Blackbird – 3
  2. Blue Tit – 2
  3. Carrion Crow – 3
  4. Coal Tit – 1
  5. Dunnock – 4
  6. Fieldfare – 1
  7. House Sparrow – 50+
  8. Magpie – 3
  9. Robin – 1
  10. Woodpigeon – 3

Edinburgh Garden Bird List for 2020

Hope everyone had a wildlife filled 2019 and are ready for hopefully a great 2020! As with 2019 – 34 species, 2018 – 36 species, 2017 – 34 species and before I am using RSPB Bird food in my garden. The 2 main seed mixes I use are Table mix bird seed and Feeder mix extra bird seed as well as a lot help from natural resources, more about wildlife gardening and the great increase in bird numbers below the 2020 list.

2020 Edinburgh Garden Bird List:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st
  2. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  3. Bullfinch – Feb 24th
  4. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  5. Coal Tit – Jan 1st
  6. Collared Dove – May 12th
  7. Common Buzzard – Apr 10th – FO
  8. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  9. Feral Pigeon – Jan 1st
  10. Goldcrest – 29th November
  11. Goldfinch – March 13th
  12. Great Tit – Jan 5th
  13. Grey Heron – Apr 10th – FO
  14. Herring Gull – Jan 1st – Flyover
  15. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  16. Kestrel – May 18th
  17. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 31st
  18. Magpie – Jan 3rd
  19. Oystercatcher – Oct 11th – FO
  20. Redpoll^ – Dec 30th
  21. Rook – Sept 21st – FO
  22. Sparrowhawk – Jan 5th
  23. Starling – Feb 28th
  24. Stock Dove – June 16th
  25. Swallow – June 17th
  26. Swift – June 30th
  27. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  28. Willow Warbler – July 31st
  29. Wren – Jan 1st – First bird of the year, very excited!
  • 10 Species as of January 1st.
  • 11 Species as of January 3rd.
  • 13 Species as of January 5th.
  • 14 Species as of January 31st.
  • 15 Species as of February 24th
  • 16 Species as of February 28th
  • 17 Species as of March 13th
  • 19 Species as of April 10th
  • 20 Species as of May 12th
  • 21 Species as of May 18th
  • 22 Species as of June 16th
  • 23 Species as of June 17th
  • 24 Species as of June 30th
  • 25 Species as of July 31st
  • 26 Species as of September 21st
  • 27 Species as of October 11th
  • 28 Species as of November 29th
  • 29 Species as of December 30th

^Not sure on the species of Redpoll, they were feeding upside down on Silver Birch Betula Pendula, which is listed as an ID tip on: Lesser Redpoll Bird Facts | Carduelis Cabaret – The RSPB.

What a difference gardening for wildlife can make.

I put this list up with a few photos on Instagram you can see the post here: 3 foxes and a robin or you can see my Instagram account @ApteryxGav, to show how wildlife gardening can change what shows up in the garden.

Garden Bird List for October 22nd 2013:

Roughly 1 year 4 months after moving in:

  • 1. Blackbird x 2
  • 2. House Sparrow x 1
  • 3. Robin x 1
  • 4. Woodpigeon x 1

Total: 5 birds

Species: 4

After moving in I had noticed a few Robins that looked to have died from poisoning, possibly from the use of pesticides and herbicides by the previous owners.  I have a feeling their use was so high the amount had built up and in the few insects and worms left in the garden were full of pesticides, sadly the build up was too much for the birds that did try and feed in the garden.

Garden Bird List for October 22nd 2019:

Roughly 7 years 4 months after moving in:

  • 1. Blackbird x 1
  • 2. Blue Tit x 3
  • 3. Carrion Crow x 1
  • 4. Coal Tit x 2
  • 5. Dunnock x 3
  • 6. Great Tit x 1
  • 7. House Sparrows x 50+
  • 8. Jackdaw x 2
  • 9. Long-tailed Tit x 6
  • 10. Magpie x 3
  • 11. Robin x 3
  • 12. Woodpigeon x 3
  • 13. Wren x 1

Total: 80+ birds

Species: 13

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2020

  1. Blackbird x 11
  2. Blue tit x 2
  3. Carrion Crow x 1
  4. Coal tit x 2
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Great tit x 2
  7. House Sparrow 47 (probably more but best I could count)
  8. Robin x 3
  9. Woodpigeon x 3

Feijoa growing in UK

As everyone here knows I am an enthusiast of wildlife, gardening and photography, another big passion is feijoas and as I have a small amount of ground just near Edinburgh I decided to try and create the UKs first Feijoa farm, whilst helping wildlife.

Feijoas, if you’ve not come across feijoas they’re a plant from Brazil and the name is Portuguese and is pronounced Fee Joe Ah and not as many people say Fee Ho Ah. Feijoas are very popular in New Zealand (I’m a kiwi and why I go by the name Apteryx Gav online – the birders will probably know Apteryx is the Latin name for Kiwi) as well as growing interest in Australia.

The fruits and flowers both taste amazing and for the past 10 years I’ve been growing plants, cross pollinating the plants with the most flowers, largest and sweetest fruits and collecting seeds each year to try and create a plant that works well in the UK. It’s still early days and the fruit that was for sale on Feijoas.UK sold out in under a day. If you are interested keep an eye on the where to buy feijoas page to find out when they’re on sale.

What is with the * on certain links? This * means there’s an affiliate link where I get a small portion of any sales from the website. More about affiliate content and ethical online selling on the website Ethi.net – Ethical Affiliate Marketing. The website as of 24/01/2020 is currently a work in progress to try and give internet users clarity and more information about how the affiliate advertising market.

2019 Edinburgh, Scotland Garden Bird List

2018 was a very quiet year; Due to dystonia spasms which caused a few broken vertebrae, foot, ribs and torn oblique muscles sadly stopped me from changing my career from finance to horticulture / gardening as had been the plan for 2018 (started planning it in 2014!).

I didn’t manage many trips to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and was mainly stuck within a 600 meter radius of my house located in Corstorphine, Edinburgh West. Sadly the local green space is just too far out of my reach and with how many potholes in Edinburgh roads I couldn’t travel in a car for pain in the vertebrae.

Due to pain from Dystonia related injuries 2019 looks like it will be mainly garden only list.

2019 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st – first bird of the year
  2. Blackcap – Dec 20th
  3. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  4. Bullfinch – Feb 28th
  5. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  6. Chaffinch – Jan 4th
  7. Chiffchaff – Aug 9th
  8. Coal Tit – Jan 2nd
  9. Collared dove – May 16th
  10. Common Buzzards – Feb 21st – FO
  11. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  12. Feral Pigeon – Jan 5th
  13. Fieldfare – Jan 31st
  14. Goldfinch – April 12th
  15. Great Tit – Jan 4th
  16. Greenfinch – Jan 18th
  17. Grey Heron – Feb 11th – FO
  18. Herring Gull – May 12th
  19. House Sparrow  – Jan 1st
  20. Jackdaw – Jan 21st
  21. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 6th
  22. Magpie – Jan 1st
  23. Redpoll – Feb 16th – first time ever, around 50 of them.
  24. Redwing – Jan 23rd
  25. Robin – Jan 1st
  26. Rook – Sept 16th – FO
  27. Siskin – May 12th
  28. Song Thrush – Dec 9th
  29. Sparrowhawk – Jan 4th
  30. Starling – Feb 3rd
  31. Swallow – July 31st – FO
  32. Swift – June 27th – FO
  33. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  34. Wren – Jan 4th
  • 8 Species as of January 1st 2019.
  • 9 Species as of January 2nd 2019.
  • 13 Species as of January 4th 2019.
  • 14 Species as of January 5th 2019.
  • 15 Species as of January 6th 2019.
  • 16 Species as of January 18th 2019.
  • 17 Species as of January 21st 2019.
  • 18 Species as of January 23rd 2019.
  • 19 Species as of January 31st 2019.
  • 20 Species as of February 3rd 2019.
  • 21 Species as of February 11th 2019.
  • 22 Species as of February 16th 2019.
  • 23 Species as of February 21st 2019.
  • 24 Species as of February 28th 2019.
  • 25 Species as of April 12th 2019.
  • 27 Species as of May 12th 2019.
  • 28 Species as of May 16th 2019.
  • 29 Species as of June 27th 2019.
  • 30 Species as of July 31st 2019.
  • 31 Species as of August 9th 2019.
  • 32 Species as of September 16th 2019.
  • 33 Species as of December 9th 2019.
  • 34 Species as of December 20th 2019.

RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2019 results:

  1. Blackbird x 3
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Coal tit x 1
  4. Collared Doves x
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Great tit x 1
  7. House Sparrow x 47
  8. Magpie x 2
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 7

Leith Meadow Pipits and Sand Martins.

Just wanted to mention 2 birds I’d never seen before, managed to see Meadow Pipit and Sand Martins on a walk between Ocean Terminal and Water of Leith just north of Edinburgh.


Someone or the council look to be planting a few of the grass verges with meadow seeds along the roads near Ocean Terminal and that’s where the meadow pipit was. The Sand Martins were flying over the water and the small meadows, I gather collecting insects which were in decent numbers for the very small bank of flowers.

2019 UK Feijoa Farm

This year I managed to start a very small UK Feijoa farm, as far as I know it’s the first of its kind in the UK. The plants have been very popular with birds especially, robins, dunnocks, blue, coal, great and long-tailed tits hopping through the plants.

Feijoas the tastiest fruit in the world.
If you are a fan of the feijoa fruit that have been described by Gardeners’ Question Time presenter Bob Flowerdew as “The tastiest fruit in the world” head over to Feijoas UK where you can buy feijoas when in season. They taste a lot better if you get them in season than the imported fruits. The imported fruits are picked too early so they don’t get damaged whilst being transported. When in season the feijoa fruit is amazing!

There are plans to increase the feijoa farm size and try and create a lot more wildlife friendly places as feijoas and wildlife are my passions.

Robin on Feijoa Branch
Robin on Feijoa Branch

2018 Edinburgh, Scotland Garden Bird List

It’s time now for the start of my 2018 Garden bird list 2017 showed most of the common British garden birds with a total of 34 birds, unlike 2016 where I had a few more unusual birds for a city garden and a total of 40.

Sadly Dystonia will mainly have me stuck at home again, update August 2018 I was studying horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to learn more about making my garden wildlife friendly sadly I broke my ribs and tore my oblique muscles in February and then broke a couple of vertebrae in May it means my studies are on hold again.  I may try and do a separate RBGE bird list as the gardens have a great diversity of bird species there and are fantastic to watch.

Previous year lists for my Edinburgh Garden
2017 Edinburgh Garden Bird List
2016 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

The 2018 Edinburgh, Scotland garden bird list:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st – first bird of the year
  2. Black-headed gull – March 4th – FO
  3. Blackcap – Jan 2nd
  4. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  5. Bullfinch – Feb 3rd
  6. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  7. Chaffinch – March 3rd
  8. ChiffChaff – edited from Willow Warbler – August 30th – due to: emargination on the sixth primary, thanks to all those that helped ID the bird on the twitter post ID help please
  9. Coal Tit – Jan 2nd
  10. Collared Dove – Jan 3rd
  11. Common Buzzard – March 7th – FO
  12. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  13. Feral Pigeon – Jan 25th
  14. Fieldfare – Jan 18th
  15. Goldcrest – Jan 13th
  16. Goldfinch – Jan 3rd
  17. Great Spotted Woodpecker – Sept 8th
  18. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  19. Grey Heron – March 2nd – FO, lots of snow.
  20. Greenfinch – Jan 16th
  21. House Sparrow  – Jan 1st
  22. Jackdaw – Jan – 8th
  23. Kestrel – Feb 22nd – FOx2, only second time I’ve seen Kestrels over the garden.
  24. Lesser black-backed gull – March 4th
  25. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 2nd
  26. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  27. Oystercatcher – Jan 19th – FO
  28. Redwing – March 3rd – snow on the ground.
  29. Robin – Jan 1st
  30. Rook – April 21st
  31. Song Thrush – March 4th – snow still on ground.
  32. Sparrowhawk – Jan 13th
  33. Starlings – Jan 7th
  34. Swift – June 12th
  35. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  36. Wren – Jan 10th

8 Species as of January 1st 2018.
12 Species as of January 2nd 2018.
14 Species as of January 3rd 2018.
15 Species as of January 7th 2018.
16 Species as of January 8th 2018.
17 Species as of January 10th 2018.
19 Species as of January 13th 2018.
20 Species as of January 16th 2018.
21 Species as of January 18th 2018.
22 Species as of January 19th 2018.
23 Species as of January 25th 2018.
24 Species as of February 3rd 2018.
25 Species as of February 22nd 2018.
26 Species as of March 2nd 2018.
28 Species as of March 3rd 2018.
31 Species as of March 4th 2018.
32 Species as of March 7th 2018.
33 Species as of April 21st 2018.
34 Species as of June 12th 2018.
35 Species as of August 30th 2018.
36 Species as of September 8th 2018.

Green Woodpecker Edinburgh. 
Not in my garden but I had to mention a life first and that is seeing a European green woodpecker Picus viridis in Corstorphine Edinburgh, Lothians, Scotland on 28th of December 2018.  

If you’re on Twitter my user name is: @ApteryxGav – a great hashtag to follow is #my200birdyear thanks to BirdWatchingMag.
Or instagram: @ApteryxGav – It’s mainly plant photos with a few birds.

I’m currently working on a gardening website that will hopefully be up and running later in 2018, it will obviously have a fair bit about wildlife, and the book Sammy The Shrew for sale which is raising money for charities.

2018 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results, Saturday 27th of January.
A very windy day, grey and over cast, yet warm. The first crocus of the year started showing today.

  1. Blackbird x 7
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal tit x 2
  4. Collared Doves x 2
  5. Dunnock x 1
  6. Great tit x 3
  7. House Sparrow x 17
  8. Woodpigeon x 1
90% sure it's a Willow Warbler, friends on Social media say it is.
Chiffchaff

90% sure it's a Willow Warbler, friends on Social media say it is.
Chiffchaff due to being able to see emargination on the sixth primary

2017 Edinburgh Garden Bird List

Like 2016 I sadly won’t be getting to do a lot of walking and birding away from my house, as I’m stuck at home most days I’ve been increasing the amount of wildlife friendly plants (I’d do this anyway even if I wasn’t housebound) in the garden and hoping that over time this will attract and help more birds.

I had a good garden bird list for 2016 – 2016 Edinburgh Garden Bird List –  with the addition of the first Redstart I’ve ever seen, great to have a lifer in my garden! All up for 2016 there were 40 bird species I managed to identify.  There were geese that flew over that I didn’t manage to ID and a few warblers in the garden very briefly that I also couldn’t ID, I will be training up on warblers to see if I can get them for 2017.

To attract birds to my garden, as well as gardening for wildlife when I can, I use RSPB food and feeders, find great products at their website, also great for gifts for nature lovers.  I am a member of the RSPB and SOC as they do great work for UK and World birds.

2017 Garden Bird List, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st
  2. Black-headed gull – Jan 1st
  3. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  4. Bullfinch – Jan 4th
  5. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  6. Chaffinch – July 25th
  7. Chiffchaff – August 13th
  8. Coal Tit – Jan 1st
  9. Collared Dove – Jan 13th
  10. Common Buzzard – Feb 19th
  11. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  12. Fieldfare – Dec 29th
  13. Goldcrest – Jan 7th
  14. Goldfinch – February 19th
  15. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  16. Greenfinch – Jan 1st
  17. Grey Heron – April 13th – FO
  18. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  19. Jackdaw – Jan 3rd
  20. Kestrel – May 31st – FO – think this is the first I’ve seen over my garden.
  21. Long-tailed tit – October 14th
  22. Magpie – Jan 2nd
  23. Oystercatcher – July 13th – FO
  24. Redwing – Jan 30th
  25. Robin – Jan 1st
  26. Rook – March 23rd
  27. Siskin – April 28th
  28. Song Thrush – Jan 4th
  29. Sparrowhawk – Jan 7th
  30. Starling – Jan 1st
  31. Stock Dove – Jan 5th
  32. Swift – June 18th – 3 days later than last year, I haven’t seen a single swallow this year.
  33. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  34. Wren – Jan 24th

12 Species as of January 1st 2017.
13 Species as of January 2nd 2017.
14 Species as of January 3rd 2017.
16 Species as of January 4th 2017.
17 Species as of January 5th 2017.
19 Species as of January 7th 2017.
20 Species as of January 13th 2017.
21 Species as of January 24th 2017.
22 Species as of January 30th 2017.
24 Species as of February 19th 2017.
25 Species as of March 23rd 2017.
26 Species as of April 13th 2017.
27 Species as of April 28th 2017.
28 Species as of May 31st 2017.
29 Species as of June 18th 2017.
30 Species as of July 13th 2017.
31 Species as of July 25th 2017.
32 Species as of August 13th 2017.
33 Species as of October 14th 2017.
34 Species as of December 29th 2017.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 30th of January 2017:

This year a few of the sparrows showed up, unlike in 2016: 2016 bird list and RSPB Big garden bird watch but of course more showed up just after I finished my hour.  The highlight was the Redwing and the 17 Magpies.  First Redwing of the year.

  1. Blackbird x 4
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Dunnock x 3
  4. Great Tit x 2
  5. Greenfinch x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 3
  7. Magpie x 17
  8. Redwing x 1
  9. Robin x 2
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

Frost on the ground, count done between 10.20am and 11.20am.

2016 EdinburghGarden Bird List

I was in for an operation on 30th of December 2015 and I probably won’t get to leave my house much again during 2016 (except doctor appointments).  My generalised dystonia is getting worse and causing many more injuries.  This year I figure I’ll just have a garden bird list, birds in the garden & above and only update this one post.

To attract birds to my garden, as well as gardening for wildlife when I can, I use RSPB food and feeders, find great products at their website, also great for gifts for nature lovers.

2016 Garden Bird List, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blackcap
  3. Black-headed gull – first 100% ID February 18th – was mobbing a sparrowhawk.
  4. Blue Tit
  5. Bullfinch
  6. Carrion crow
  7. Chaffinch – first sighting 28th of January – haven’t seen one in the garden since 2014.
  8. Chiffchaff – 14th of August 2016.
  9. Coal Tit
  10. Collared Dove
  11. Common Buzzard – FO March 7th.
  12. Cormorant – FO June 19th.
  13. Dunnock
  14. Feral Pigeon
  15. Fieldfare
  16. Goldcrest
  17. Goldfinch
  18. Great Tit
  19. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  20. Greenfinch
  21. Grey Heron – Flying over February 19th.
  22. Herring Gull – managed ID April 29th, landed to get the food waste bin opened by council workers.
  23. House Sparrow
  24. Jackdaw
  25. Lesser black-backed gull – managed ID April 29th, landed to get the food waste bin opened by council workers.
  26. Long-tailed Tits
  27. Magpie
  28. Oystercatcher – FO February 23rd.
  29. Redstart – 1 male – first I’ve ever seen – April 20th.
  30. Redwing – 24th of December – what a great bird for Christmas Eve!
  31. Robin
  32. Rook – April 30th.
  33. Siskin – 2 females on feeders, first time I’ve seen them in the garden for 3 years, March 21st.
  34. Song Thrush
  35. Sparrowhawk
  36. Starling
  37. Swallow – FO – 15th of May.
  38. Swift – FO – 15th of June.
  39. Woodpigeon
  40. Wren

22 (2 little ducks) bird species by the 18th of January.
23 birds as 28/01/16
24 birds as 30/01/16
26 birds as 08/02/16
27 birds as 18/02/16
28 birds as 19/02/16
29 birds as 23/02/16 – there have also been flocks of geese flying over at night and during the day, very high, not sure what type.
30 birds as 07/03/16
31 birds as 21/03/16
32 birds as 20/04/16
34 birds as 29/04/16
35 birds as 30/04/16
36 birds as 15/05/16
37 birds as 15/06/16
38 birds as 19/06/16
39 birds as 14/08/16
40 birds as 24/12/16

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 30th of January 2016:

  1. Blackbird x 9
  2. Blue Tit x 3
  3. Bullfinch x 1
  4. Carrion crow x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 2
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Greenfinch x 6
  8. Robin x 1
  9. Song Thrush x 1
  10. Sparrowhawk x1
  11. Woodpigeon x 1

Snow on the ground and occasional showers of snow.  10.20am until 11.20am.

Odd that the usual flock of house sparrows wasn’t to be seen, there’s normally up to 30 most days, any time of day.
The Sparrowhawk was after the song thrush!

Wildfowl & Wetland Trust London Wetland Centre Bird list for 22nd of May 2013.

I was hoping to have this list up a lot earlier today as it’s from 22nd of May however I was so busy doing the http://www.saverscene.com.au/finance/  (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) updates for Australian best savings, credit cards and due to the fact many Aussies have to pay for bank accounts the best free bank account offers it took longer than expected as their saving interest rates are going the same way as the UK ones.

Now to birds thanks to the suggestion of Wes and the ease of getting to the WWT – Wildfowl & Wetland Trust in London Wetland Centre – see their twitter account here:  @WWTLondon I managed my best bird list for the UK this year, sadly I didn’t have my camera and my legs didn’t hold out for a long time, it was still great getting 28 different species at the WWT London and finishing it off with a kestrel at Luton airport for the longest list of the year so far!

2 new birds were on my list for life, and they were both cracking views, there was a pair of reed warblers nesting almost directly outside the Observatory which gave amazing views, they came right up to the reeds in front of the windows.  The other new bird was the Little Greeb I had amazing views of it feeding in clear water under the bridge just before you get to the Wildside hide,  Fantastic to see!

The bird list for May 22nd from WWT London Wetland Centre:

  1. Feral Pigeon
  2. Reed Warbler
  3. Mallard Duck – with young
  4. Moorhen
  5. Coot – with chicks
  6. Woodpigeon
  7. Starlings
  8. Carrion Crow
  9. Jackdaw
  10. Egyptian Geese
  11. Mute Swans
  12. Cormorant
  13. Grey Heron
  14. Blackbird
  15. Pied Wagtail
  16. Common Tern – new for the year
  17. Tufted Duck
  18. Lapwing
  19. Swallows
  20. Magpie
  21. Robin
  22. Black-headed Gull
  23. Great Tit
  24. Little Grebe
  25. Canada Geese – new for the year
  26. House Martin – new for the year
  27. Swift – new for the year
  28. Greylag Geese

1 more bird seen at Luton airport, hovering over the grass:

  1. Kestrel

Fantastic day of birding, can’t wait until I can walk for longer times and see more, I would often get 40 to 50 species at Musselburgh east of Edinburgh.

Whilst looking for bird sightings as I’d thought I’d seen something that I’m used to up in Scotland but wasn’t sure, I came across this Open University site: http://www.ispot.org.uk/ fantastic service and great for finding if a bird has been seen in the area!

 

Below are comments that got lost when the website went down. 

2 responses to Wildfowl & Wetland Trust London Wetland Centre Bird list for 22nd of May 2013.

  1. Wes Donze said on May 24, 2013

    Excellent list – glad you managed to get there and have some good sightings including the 2 new ones for you

    • KiwiGav said on May 25, 2013

      Wes, I really appreciate the suggestion, was great, wish I could have made it to a few more of the areas, next time! I’m sure my feet have to get better soon, looking at two more operations, hopefully after that I’ll be out and seeing loads of birds.

      The ridiculous thing is Little Grebe is so easy to see around my area in Lothians, if you go to the right place, I’ve just not been able to drive so haven’t got there yet. Going to try and get a lift from a fellow birder and watch them more intensely, the view through the water was great, but after that it was gone.

      sorry if I’m rambling a bit just back from a wedding at Edinburgh Zoo, great fun!

Another great day out at Keukenhof gardens, decent bird list.

Even though I was out doing my real work, photography, I managed to update the savings, ISAs and credit cards over on www.saverscene.co.uk (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) then a few of the banks went and changed their rates and I had to do it again tonight!!!  How inconsiderate of them!  I did get out to Keukenhof today and got to see some great birds as well as a few 100 very nice flower photos.  I sadly missed by just a few minutes the mating dance of the Great Crested Grebe, a few other birders seemed to take real pleasure in telling me!  I didn’t see as many bird species today as I did the other day, here’s my list today:

  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion crow
  3. Chaffinch
  4. Chiffchaff
  5. Coots
  6. Egyptian Goose
  7. Great crested grebe
  8. Great tits
  9. Greylag goose
  10. Grey Heron
  11. House Sparrow
  12. Jackdaw
  13. Lapwings
  14. Long-tailed tits
  15. Magpie
  16. Mallard Duck
  17. Moorhens
  18. Mute Swans
  19. Oystercatcher
  20. Pied Wagtail
  21. Starlings
  22. Tufted duck
  23. Woodpigeons

The Comments that were below this post before the server move:

  1. Wes Donze said on April 24, 2013

    thats a good list – hope to see something similar this weekend as i am heading there myself – also heading to a spot where there should be a number of birds near where i am staying in Weesp.

    Apologies for not yet posting my bird list from Sweden – i seem to have been so busy this last week or so – am taking the laptop this weekend so might get a chance when i am in Holland

    I have seen the mating dance of the Grebes twice before – once in Holland too – and just caught the very end of it in Sweden a few days ago

    • KiwiGav said on April 24, 2013

      Weesp does look like a great place for seeing birds! Lots of water around there. I hope you had a great time in Sweden and have a wonderful time in Holland. I’d never seen a Grebe before, so was very happy to see them, when at Keukenhof they’re just round from the Wilhelmina pavilion, after the bridge near the white horse statue, where the river bows a bit, Keukenhof map here:
      http://www.keukenhof.nl/uploads/2013/Plattegrond/2223_kh_plattegrond_2013_v6_lr_def.pdf

      You’ll be going at a great time, the flowers are a lot later this year, a lot still weren’t out when I was were there! First time I’d been back in 10 years, last time I was 23 and with a heap of Aussie backpackers, good fun, but probably didn’t take as much in as I could have.

      Totally understand being busy! If I didn’t have to take every second day out for putting my feet up I’d probably not have been able to do updates, but I would have got out a bit more to see the birds. I’ve just gone back to bed at 10.20 am to write this! Feels odd and terrible to be spending so much time off my feet!

      I’ll try and get a few photos up before you go, ran out of room on my computer, but will move things about tonight.

  2. Wes Donze said on May 2, 2013

    Yes I saw the Great Crested Grebe on a nest there. As you say the flowers are later this year – 1 to 2 weeks i’d say – also the birds – I have seen a Grebe with young there, also Mallard and Mute Swan with young but they were all late this year

    KiwiGav said on May 2, 2013

    Glad to hear you got to see a good range there. I really have to sort my photos out, I just don’t have any room on my computer, it’s ridiculous! My photography computer is still packed in storage.