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.

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

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!

Jay in an Edinburgh garden, swift and the sparrows are back.

Sorry it’s been so long things have gotten really bad with my dystonia and my hands have stopped working a lot, now managed to get tennis elbow from the shakes, it’s meant after work I can no longer garden, very frustrating as the weeds are getting a bit much.  But hey-ho on the plus side I sit a lot more in the garden as still as someone with a tremor can, which means more birds come out of the hedges and trees.

Lately we’ve been getting bullfinches they’ve even been using the pond to wash themselves, great to witness, the sparrows are back some with young I gather they must be a different group that were nesting elsewhere as 100% sure all the nests were abandoned when my neighbour cut the hedge back.

Love to be gardening but am taking to the smaller and macro worlds of mosses, ferns and terrariums things that I hope not to need to use my arms as much and not need to turn heavy amounts of clay.  Enough about that and onto the birds!

Bird list for 10th of July 2015:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – must have young as it’s back and forth with a beak full of RSPB Coconut shell suet treats still not managed to find a vegan alternative yet.
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – one looking a bit worse for wear after a heavy breeding season!
  3. Bullfinch x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 over garden and 1 over Livingston
  6. Dunnock x 1
  7. Great Tit x 1
  8. Great Spotted Woodpecker x
  9. House Sparrow x 10+
  10. Jackdaw x 3
  11. Robin x 1
  12. Swifts x 1
  13. Woodpigeon x 1

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!

Birds of Chelsea Flower Show

Managed a good day at Chelsea, ankle only went out twice and added 1 new species to year and life list (although I think I have seen one silhouetted on the sky last time I was in London.

  1. Blackbird
  2. Blue Tit
  3. Feral Pigeon – probably a few 100 today
  4. Great Tit
  5. Jackdaw
  6. Magpie
  7. Robin – a few of these in the were in the Grand Pavilion.
  8. Rose-ringed Parakeet – new to life list.
  9. Woodpigeon

If I do go next year I’ll be catching the train, my preferred means of transport when I can afford it, even booking 6 weeks in advance East Coast Railways wanted £240 per person return – Edinburgh to Kings Cross, I booked flights for £45 return, then 2 days later ECR wrote saying they had £28 tickets each way!  Still more expensive but I was rather frustrated as I knew  the train would have got me into the centre instead of Gatwick on the way in and Luton on the way out and I could bring back plants if I purchased any, instead I flew and couldn’t buy anything at Chelsea!

There were even a few places giving out free plants and I had to say no!  Terrible, they had a nice Rowan which would have been perfect for my garden, and hopefully attracting waxwings for years got come.  Wish I had of been able to, next year!  Now ECR need to get their cheap tickets up 6 weeks in advance like they used to!

 

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

2 responses to Birds of Chelsea Flower Show

  1. Wes Donze said on May 22, 2013

    i am thinking of planting a couple of Rowan.
    I was there yesterday too – didn’t see a magpie though.
    Saw the Robins in the main Pavilion.
    There was also a Blackbird in there for a while – it looked a bit agitated as one stand was playing birdsong that happened to be a blackbird song so the real one was wondering where it was as it could not see it
    Hope you get to come along another year – or maybe check out the Hampton Court show – it is on a bit later in the year

    http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Hampton-Court-Palace-Flower-Show/2013

    • KiwiGav said on May 22, 2013

      Thanks Wes, hope you had a great time and I really want to do it again. Also the WWT was a great suggestion, managed 2 new species for my life list. Will get the list up tomorrow, about midnight here and exhausted.

      Love to go to Hampton Court! Will see how I’m placed, I’ll be trying to be in Heidelberg Germany on the 13th or 14th for catching up with a friend that’s doing a talk there on I think the elemental make-up of distant galaxies, it’s been a while since I’ve seen her work and she’s now back in Oz, so not 100% sure what she’s working on… It all depends on cash, I haven’t travelled since October 2011 and then this year it’s finally been a bit busier! I’ve missed it.

      As for the Magpie it was down towards the band stage when I first got there at about 9.30am.

      Didn’t notice the stand playing the blackbird or see it in the Pavilion, so many things to see and do, missed a few I’m sure!

      Can’t wait to see if I can get there next year!