Edinburgh Garden Birdwatch 2023

Like the last few years, I’m pretty much stuck at home. Thankfully the Edinburgh Garden is getting better and better for watching birds, as I plant more and more wildlife friendly plants and gardening organically the soil has started to come to life after 40+ years of the previous owner using weedkillers and pesticides. As the garden gets more wildlife friendly, many birds are visiting, which now include a flock of Yellowhammers almost daily and Lesser Redpolls being at least weekly on top of the 50+ house sparrows that live in the garden.

01/01/2023 – Today has been one of the best starts of the year to the garden bird watch with 20 species. I did miss a few Gulls that were Fly Overs (FO) hopefully spot them in the near future.

2023 Garden bird watch for Edinburgh, Scotland, list:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st
  2. Blackcap – Jan 1st
  3. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  4. Bullfinch – Feb 24th
  5. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  6. Chaffinch – Jan 1st
  7. Chiffchaff – March 26th
  8. Coal Tit – Jan 1st
  9. Collared Dove – Jan 1st
  10. Common Buzzard – Jan 2nd – FO
  11. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  12. Feral Pigeon – I prefer Street Pigeon – Jan 1st
  13. Fieldfare – Jan 16th – snow on ground, flock of 50+
  14. Great Tit – Jan 1st
  15. Greenfinch – August 6th
  16. Goldcrest – March 26th
  17. Goldfinch – April 30th – the Goldfinch love the Dandelion seeds as do the sparrows. More on plants for Birds, Bees and Butterflies on here: Plants for attracting wildlife.
  18. Herring Gull – Jan 5th
  19. House Sparrow – Jan 1st – First Bird of the Year.
  20. Jackdaw – Jan 1st
  21. Kestrel – Feb 9th
  22. Lesser Redpolls – Jan 1st
  23. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 2nd
  24. Magpie – Jan 1st
  25. Mute Swan – Oct 14th – FO
  26. Robin – Jan 1st
  27. Song Thrush – Nov 25th
  28. Sparrowhawk – Jan 11th
  29. Starling – Jan 1st
  30. Stock Dove – Jan 1st
  31. Swift – July 7th
  32. Tawny Owl – Feb 11th
  33. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  34. Wren – Jan 1st
  35. Yellowhammer – Jan 1st – left end of January and started coming back 26/11/2023.

2023 Garden Bird Watch Year Total:

  • 20 Species as of January 1st.
  • 22 Species as of January 2nd.
  • 23 Species as of January 5th.
  • 24 Species as of January 11th.
  • 25 Species as of January 16th.
  • 26 Species as of February 9th.
  • 27 Species as of February 11th.
  • 28 Species as of February 24th.
  • 30 Species as of March 26th.
  • 31 Species as of April 30th.
  • 32 Species as of July 7th.
  • 33 Species as of August 6th.
  • 34 Species as of October 14th.
  • 35 Species as of November 25th.

Yellowhammer in Edinburgh Garden:

Since mid December 2022 the Yellowhammers have been a daily visitor, what’s the bet they don’t show during the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch? They started out with 5 on the 18/12/22 and now have spotted as many as 8 Yellowhammers at one time. One of the better photos I’ve managed to capture so far:

Photo of a male Yellowhammer on a Viburnum x Bodnantense "Dawn".
Male Yellowhammer in the garden.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2023:

As with every year I look forward to doing the big garden birdwatch. This year it runs from 27th to 29th of January, find out more on: Big Garden Birdwatch | The RSPB.

See the 2022 list here: 2022 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2023 results:

Between the hours of 11.30 and 13.00 on Saturday 28th of January 2023, the reason the count is listed over a period of 90 minutes: I did 30 minutes out the kitchen window, then went and sat at the back of the garden for 30 minutes to let the birds settle and then started counting again for another 30 minutes to total 1 hour of counting time.

  1. Blackbird – 5
  2. Blackcap – 1
  3. Blue Tit – 2
  4. Carrion Crow – 5
  5. Coal Tit – 2
  6. Collared Dove – 1
  7. Dunnock – 1
  8. Feral Pigeon – 2
  9. Great Tit – 1
  10. Herring Gull – 1
  11. House Sparrow – 50+ (couldn’t get an accurate count)
  12. Jackdaw – 5
  13. Magpie – 7
  14. Robin – 3
  15. Stock Dove – 4
  16. Woodpigeon – 3
  17. Wren – 1
  18. Yellowhammer – 30

What a day! Total of 18 species and 120 birds, the most Yellowhammers I’ve seen in the garden, often getting 20+ most days now.

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.

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.

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!

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

Been away for a few days & indoors so haven’t seen a lot.

Hi all, sorry for the slow updates, I’ve been away for the past few days and haven’t really had a chance to see many birds, here’s my list:

Sunday morning, my garden:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Dunnock x 1
  3. Magpie x 1

Sunday Birmingham airport:

  1. Kestrel x 1 – first for the year.
  2. Starlings x 2

Monday was indoors all day and saw nothing

Tuesday managed to see about 20 pigeons flying past hotel window before heading to the Focus On Imaging halls at the NEC Birmingham, but after that nothing for the rest of the day.  Tomorrow should get back to normal with hopefully a good list of garden birds.