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 amount 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.

Feijoas: I have had to scale my feijoa growing back from the farm we rented to a few surviving plants at a mates garden nursery and I now have over 250 small plants in pots in my own garden on the driveway. The House Sparrows, Wrens, Blackbirds and Robbins spend a lot of time amongst them. More about the feijoa farm closure here: Feijoa Farm Closed 😡😢 – Feijoas UK – hoping as my health improves I will start back up in the future and am gearing up to grow at least another 1,000 seedlings from Scottish grown feijoas this year.

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
    • Feral Pigeon
    • Fieldfare – November 12th – FO
    • Goldcrest – Jan 22nd
    • Goldfinch – April 21st
    • Great black-backed gull – July 10th
    • Great Tit – Jan 1st
    • Grey Herron – April 8th
    • Herring Gull – Jan 9th
    • House Sparrow – Jan 1st – First Bird of the Year.
    • Jackdaw – Jan 1st
    • Lesser black-backed gull – July 10th
    • Long-tailed Tit – Jan 9th
    • Magpie – Jan 1st
    • Mute Swan – November 21st – FO
    • Oystercatcher – May 12th – Heard at night – FO
    • Red Kite – July 10 – FO* – first time I’ve seen one, not common in Lothian region.
    • 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”.

    * 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

    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

    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:

        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.

    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

    A day in Amsterdam, a few birds.

    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:

    1. Coot
    2. Cormorant*
    3. Greylag geese
    4. Jackdaw
    5. Magpie
    6. Mallard Duck
    7. Mute Swan

    * 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!