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.

RSPB Scottishbirdfair & The Scotsman 2 for 1 tickets, my bird list

I’ve added the information about the RSPB Scottishbirdfair & The Scotsman 2 for 1 tickets below my garden bird list, I hope many of you can make it!

Wow, what a crazy day weather wise, rain, sun, hail, sun, rain, sleet, hail and it’s still lying at 23.00!  I’ve just been outside burning garden waste for more carbon and I couldn’t believe how much was still on the ground!  The weather brought out a few extra birds on the feeders, here’s my garden list:

  1. Blackbird x 1 first time I’ve seen one in a few days.
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Lesser black-backed gull x 1
  7. Long-tailed tit x 2
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Robin x 1 first time in a while!
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

I hope to have a camera setup soon so people can watch my feeders, and I can see them when out and about too, I hope to grab one from  Fly On the Wall Wildlife Cameras you can find a voucher code for a discount on Fly on the Wall Wildlife cameras here:
Very small bird list, voucher code for Fly On The Wall wildlife cameras!

RSPB Scottishbirdfair & The Scotsman – 2 for 1 ticket offer

Get your copy of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday this weekend and enjoy an exclusive 2 for 1 ticket offer – treat yourself to a fun filled weekend! Simply insert the code on the ticket page at www.scottishbirdfair.org.uk, or cut out the voucher and bring it to the show.

Tickets

Adult £12 (concessions / RSPB members £10). 2-day ticket £20 (concessions / RSPB members £18) Children under 16 go free.

Opening times

Saturday 9.30am-5.30pm (food, bar & entertainment until 9pm). Sunday 9.30am-5.30pm (seabird cruise & BBQ 6pm-9pm).

So sore went back to bed! Very few birds.

I had a shocker today, after a tough night of pain I didn’t get enough sleep, so I went back to bed and all of a sudden it was dusk!

Birds I saw today:

  1. Blackbird – heard only
  2. Carrion Crow x 7 – flying over at dusk.

I did have dreams of starlings flocking to the garden, but that obviously doesn’t count!

Also for those interested there’s now a RSPB voucher code listed here: RSPB voucher code for free delivery, voucher expired, but check the latest RSPB Sales.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – Day 1.

Hi all, I’ve been busy getting ready for Australia day celebrations and I only got an hour of straight birdwatching for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, normally I look out the window when getting lunch, breakfast etc.  I hope to get a better count tomorrow for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, today’s list wasn’t as full as my usual list of garden birds:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Coal Tit x 2
  4. Fieldfare x 1 – this one was later than the hour I did, once again my dog alerted me to the fact there was a different bird that he doesn’t recognise the call.
  5. Greenfinch x 1
  6. House Sparrow x 2
  7. Magpie x 9
  8. Robin x 1

Very few birds today, getting ready for the RSPB hedge.

There were very few birds in the garden today, but it maybe due to activity as my wife was helping, okay doing most of the work due to my injuries, digging over the area that the hedge is to go into, hope to take some photos of the rest of the project, forgot today.  It’s only about half done as she has to work Saturdays but it’s a start and it should be a few more days before the plants come.  If you are after a good mix for a hedge the RSPB have a good page: RSPB – Homes for Wildlife – Hedge of Glory it takes you to the Ashridge Trees website for their package of a bird friendly hedge: Ashbridge Bird Friendly Hedge you can watch their video on how to plant a hedge:

1 – How to Plant a Country Hedge – Ashridge Trees

Hedge planting youtube video

Here’s my bird list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 2
  3. Carrion crow x 1 (fly over)
  4. Chaffinch x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 2
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Herring Gull x 2 (fly over)
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Robin x 1
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

Plants in the hedge:

  • 10 x Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna – frothy white, may flowers in spring and bright red haws in autumn
  • 5 x Wild Privet – Ligustrum vulgare – white flowers, black berries
  • 5 x Hazel – Corylus avellana – catkins in February, fresh green leaves, nuts in autumn
  • 5 x Wild Damson – Prunus domestica – white blossom on black twigs
  • 5 x Guelder Rose – Viburnum opulus – lacecap flowers, redcurrant looking berries
  • 5 x Blackthorn – Prunus spinosa – fluffy white blossom, black autumn berries
  • 5 x Dog Rose – Rosa canina – single white roses, red rose hips in autumn
  • 5 x Elderflower – Sambucus nigra – lacy white flowers, maroon berries
  • 5 x Crabapple – Malus sylvestris – stunning pink blossom, crabapples in autumn