Wow the wind in Edinburgh had the birds in hiding!

I couldn’t believe how windy it was here, I saw very few small birds at all today, and only heard a blue tit briefly, hope Spring starts properly soon!

My garden bird list for today, and I was outside a lot, although windy it was pretty sunny in the afternoon:

  1. Blue Tit x 1 – heard only
  2. Dunnock x 2
  3. Greenfinch x 1

Not in my garden, but on a walk around Corstorphine Edinburgh:

  1. Jackdaw x 6
  2. Magpie x 1 – collecting nesting material
  3. Rook x 1
  4. Starlings x 2
  5. Woodpigeon x 1

If you happen to be in Edinburgh over the next few days/week The Royal Yacht is celebrating her 60th birthday, even for non-royal fans it’s worth having a look, I wasn’t sure when I went, but the engine room is a great museum piece and the tearoom is lovely, also at this time of year there’s often Eiders off the side, as well as a few different divers, shags and cormorants. Find out more about the 60th birthday here: 60 years of Britannia.

A bit of a better day for the birds.

My legs were really bad today so couldn’t do much walking but one brief trip into the garden showed up 3 wonderful Siskin they were incredibly flighty and didn’t stay around long, but lovely to see!

Here’s my garden bird list for April 13th 2013:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 2
  6. Magpie x 2
  7. Siskin x 3
  8. Starlings x 1
  9. Woodpigeon x 2

Bird list for April 11th, do any other birders collect or take interest in interest rates?

I’ve been busy with my parents here again but have been trying to watch the garden as much as possible.  I’ve also been doing a lot of DIY and work on the websites I do for actual work, now ISA Season is behind us a few banks and building societies are finally increasing interest rates for cash savings, best interest rates for term deposits and instant access for the UK can now be seen here: saverscene.co.uk/savings/ (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) and for the highest interest rates in Australia: saverscene.com.au/finance/savings/ (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) I personally find the interest rate differences between the countries fascinating, I don’t know if it’s something with people interested in birds and collecting that find mathematical problems and things like interest rates interesting?  I know pretty much all birders I speak to collected stamps, cards or coins as a kid, many still collect things as adults, I’ve noticed Dr Who Figures, Star Wars Figures and other such things, or are obsessive list makers.  I don’t have the cash for collecting, but like to keep lists and updated pages for those sorts of things.  I like to see comparisons, graphs and charts, any other birds out there the same?

My garden bird list, and a few from just near Murrayfield, for April 11th 2013:

  1. Blackbird x 2 – males fighting for territory
  2. Carrion crow x 1 in garden, 3 mobbing the common buzzard.
  3. Common Buzzard x 1 – getting mobbed by a crow on the edge of the western approach near Murrayfield, Edinburgh
  4. Dunnock x 3
  5. Magpie x 2 – not sure if it was the nesting pair I’ve seen around a bit
  6. Starlings x 2 – and not the evening murmurations as usual.
  7. Woodpigeon x 5

Nice and sunny in Edinburgh today, birds were out enjoying it!

Had a good chance to be in the garden today, nice and sunny, although snow was on the ground to start it thawed very quickly and there was actually some warmth in the sun!  Flying high over head I could hear geese and got a short glimpse of 6, but not sure what type and once again a common buzzard being mobbed by gulls, I wish I could identify the gulls better as there’s been a few overhead of late, look like herring, common or lesser black backed, but not 100% sure, the black-headed ones are thankfully easy to identify!  Will get my bins out soon to get a better view, I’ve let my neighbours know that I’m a keen birder in case they wonder what I’m up to ;)

Here’s my garden bird list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Bullfinch x 1, male – hoping the female’s sitting on eggs somewhere!
  4. Carrion crow x 1 in garden – about 15 flying over.
  5. Common Buzzard x 1 – flying high!
  6. Dunnock x 2
  7. Long-tailed tit x 1 – pretty sure I could hear more flying past.
  8. Magpie x 1
  9. Starlings x 6
  10. Woodpigeon x 2

Spring finally on the way in Edinburgh?

The Long-tailed tits were so close to me today, it was fantastic!  Maybe less than a foot away, great views for a few seconds, then they were on their way again.  The Magpie I did see was once again collecting nesting material, this time it looked like moss so maybe close to finishing their nest.  2 of the woodpigeons were mating, another great sign of spring, we’ve missed most of the snow, hope for a few fine days soon!  My garden bird list and 1 feral pigeon that I spotted from the car:

  1. Black-headed Gull x 3 – flyovers.
  2. Bullfinch x 2, 1xm, 1xf
  3. Dunnock x 2
  4. Feral Pigeon x 1 – not in my garden, on Ballgreen Road.
  5. Long-tailed tit x 2
  6. Magpie x 1
  7. Starlings x 9
  8. Woodpigeon x 3

Sunny with a few snow flakes in Edinburgh today. Garden Bird List.

Had another busy day getting the finance pages updated for the Australian website, Aussies often have to pay for standard bank accounts but they can get a bank account for free (I did the whole time I was living there) if they just look around such as: best Australian bank accounts, no fees (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession).  The reason I mention this is because I was so busy doing that and the savings account updates I didn’t get a great bird list today, not even coal tits!  However here is the list from the garden and skies above during a pretty clear and sunny day in Edinburgh:

  1. Blackbird x 2
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Carrion crow x 20+ fly over
  4. Collared Dove x 2
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Magpie x 2 – my parents were surprised by the colours and striking look of magpies in the UK, and were also pleasantly surprised to hear they don’t swoop you during breeding season, I’ve had my ear lobe ripped open by an Aussie one – Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) Not a Corvid like European Magpies.  My hand has been hit pretty hard by a Tern here in the UK, but nothing like the Aussie magpies!
  7. Starlings x 15 fly over
  8. Woodpigeon x 3

More snow, magpies really getting their nests ready.

More snow in Edinburgh today, not as much as yesterday and didn’t seem to force the birds into the garden, the starlings are start to gather in a slightly bigger group of over 30 today, was great to see, also watched as Magpies broke twigs off the trees in the front garden to build their nest in the monkey puzzle tree (this link may take you to the archive.org website due to change of host) that I photographed a few weeks back.  It was a day of a fair bit of work, finally starting to get the finance section for Australia together the credit cards section done, which can be seen here: best credit card deals in Australia (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession), not a big list, but great to see the birds flying across the sky:

  1. Blackbird x 2, 1xm, 1xf
  2. Carrion crow x 50+ fly overs
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Collared Dove x 1
  5. Magpie x 2 – they’re making their nest in the monkey puzzle tree
  6. Starlings x 30+
  7. Woodpigeon x 2 – my parents are shocked at the size of these pigeons in the UK

Snow, Snow and more Snow, the Goldcrest was back.

First time I’ve seen the goldcrest since the last big hit of snow on January 13th: Goldcrest Tag it was once again in the front garden, I’ve been watching that more as my parents are now staying in the room that gave me the view out into the back garden, sadly means less sightings generally.  Here’s the front garden list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Goldcrest x 1
  4. Starlings x 30+ – the were doing a very nice, but small murmuration for about half an hour, was so great to see!
  5. Woodpigeon x 20+ – a big flyover of these birds today, not sure where they were all off to, but their big bulky silhouettes were nice to see across a snow falling sky.

Another new species for the year, not in the garden though.

Monday’s are always busy as I do the finance updates on the best ISAs, Savings & Credit cards on www.saverscene.co.uk (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) and everything in the Individual Savings Accounts have pretty much changed as we come to the end of the financial year.  But today I had a appointment for my carpal tunnel, then I got home to find that my mum just over from Australia had a freezing cold shower, she thought she’d done something wrong but it seems that the new boiler installed a week and a bit ago had stopped working…  My Dad an electrician decided to have a look and found one of our fuses (probably from the 1950s) had burnt out, but that wasn’t affecting the boiler.

Deciding to try and find the old style gear to fix it; we wandered into a industrial estate near The Gyle Edinburgh and saw my first Rook of the year!  We managed to find a few parts and then bodge some of the older ones together, he looked at the state of the rest of the fuse box and said it’d last another 50 years compared to the new ones in the electronic stores which he gave maybe 10.   So it’s almost all working and the boiler’s back up and going, after all this we get a letter  saying the plumbers want an extra £720 for the work took longer than they estimated, when I got the estimate I was told 5 days, it took 5 days… So hmmm not happy!  Anyway I got a good look at a rook digging around in the ground, fantastic looking birds, I guess most people probably don’t feel that way about Rooks, but I like them.

Sorry to go on, just like to keep people up to date on how much time I have to watch birds, today was very little but I still got a decent list:

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1
  3. Bullfinch x 2, 1xm, 1xf
  4. Carrion crow x 1
  5. Coal Tit x 1
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Magpie x 1
  8. Rook x 1 – not in my garden, between The Gyle Edinburgh and Corstorphine.
  9. Starlings x 11
  10. Woodpigeon x 2