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:
Blackbird – Jan 1st
Blackcap – Jan 1st
Blue Tit – Jan 1st
Bullfinch – Feb 24th
Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
Chaffinch – Jan 1st
Chiffchaff – March 26th
Coal Tit – Jan 1st
Collared Dove – Jan 1st
Common Buzzard – Jan 2nd – FO
Dunnock – Jan 1st
Feral Pigeon – I prefer Street Pigeon – Jan 1st
Fieldfare – Jan 16th – snow on ground, flock of 50+
Great Tit – Jan 1st
Greenfinch – August 6th
Goldcrest – March 26th
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.
Herring Gull – Jan 5th
House Sparrow – Jan 1st – First Bird of the Year.
Jackdaw – Jan 1st
Kestrel – Feb 9th
Lesser Redpolls – Jan 1st
Long-tailed Tit – Jan 2nd
Magpie – Jan 1st
Mute Swan – Oct 14th – FO
Robin – Jan 1st
Song Thrush – Nov 25th
Sparrowhawk – Jan 11th
Starling – Jan 1st
Stock Dove – Jan 1st
Swift – July 7th
Tawny Owl – Feb 11th
Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
Wren – Jan 1st
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:
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.
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.
Blackbird – 5
Blackcap – 1
Blue Tit – 2
Carrion Crow – 5
Coal Tit – 2
Collared Dove – 1
Dunnock – 1
Feral Pigeon – 2
Great Tit – 1
Herring Gull – 1
House Sparrow – 50+ (couldn’t get an accurate count)
Jackdaw – 5
Magpie – 7
Robin – 3
Stock Dove – 4
Woodpigeon – 3
Wren – 1
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.
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.
Red Kite – July 10 – FO* – first time I’ve seen one, not common in Lothian region.
Redwing – December 22nd.
Robin – Jan 1st
Siskin – May 6th
Sparrowhawk – Jan 4th
Starling – April 14th
Swift – May 13th – FO
Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
Wren – Jan 1st
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.
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:
Mallard Duck – with young
Coot – with chicks
Common Tern – new for the year
Canada Geese – new for the year
House Martin – new for the year
Swift – new for the year
1 more bird seen at Luton airport, hovering over the grass:
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.
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:
Great crested grebe
The Comments that were below this post before the server move:
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.
Chiffchaff – heard and seen
Great crested grebe
Skylark – seen and heard
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
After saying how great it was to have free internet the hotel’s internet has been down all evening this will just be a quick one, with my bird list, pretty short today:
* new for this year
I’ll hopefully be back out at the gardens for the tulip festivals tomorrow, my ankles couldn’t handle the pace of the city and getting bumped a lot at the central train station, I’ve decided to try and get more good photos from the tulip gardens.
Hope others are getting to see a lot of great birds!
Cookies for birds? Are they made of peanuts?