Edinburgh Garden Bird List for 2020

Hope everyone had a wildlife filled 2019 and are ready for hopefully a great 2020! As with 2019 – 34 species, 2018 – 36 species, 2017 – 34 species and before I am using RSPB Bird food in my garden. The 2 main seed mixes I use are Table mix bird seed and Feeder mix extra bird seed as well as a lot help from natural resources, more about wildlife gardening and the great increase in bird numbers below the 2020 list.

2020 Edinburgh Garden Bird List:

  1. Blackbird – Jan 1st
  2. Blue Tit – Jan 1st
  3. Bullfinch – Feb 24th
  4. Carrion Crow – Jan 1st
  5. Coal Tit – Jan 1st
  6. Collared Dove – May 12th
  7. Common Buzzard – Apr 10th – FO
  8. Dunnock – Jan 1st
  9. Feral Pigeon – Jan 1st
  10. Goldcrest – 29th November
  11. Goldfinch – March 13th
  12. Great Tit – Jan 5th
  13. Grey Heron – Apr 10th – FO
  14. Herring Gull – Jan 1st – Flyover
  15. House Sparrow – Jan 1st
  16. Kestrel – May 18th
  17. Long-tailed Tit – Jan 31st
  18. Magpie – Jan 3rd
  19. Oystercatcher – Oct 11th – FO
  20. Redpoll^ – Dec 30th
  21. Rook – Sept 21st – FO
  22. Sparrowhawk – Jan 5th
  23. Starling – Feb 28th
  24. Stock Dove – June 16th
  25. Swallow – June 17th
  26. Swift – June 30th
  27. Woodpigeon – Jan 1st
  28. Willow Warbler – July 31st
  29. Wren – Jan 1st – First bird of the year, very excited!
  • 10 Species as of January 1st.
  • 11 Species as of January 3rd.
  • 13 Species as of January 5th.
  • 14 Species as of January 31st.
  • 15 Species as of February 24th
  • 16 Species as of February 28th
  • 17 Species as of March 13th
  • 19 Species as of April 10th
  • 20 Species as of May 12th
  • 21 Species as of May 18th
  • 22 Species as of June 16th
  • 23 Species as of June 17th
  • 24 Species as of June 30th
  • 25 Species as of July 31st
  • 26 Species as of September 21st
  • 27 Species as of October 11th
  • 28 Species as of November 29th
  • 29 Species as of December 30th

^Not sure on the species of Redpoll, they were feeding upside down on Silver Birch Betula Pendula, which is listed as an ID tip on: Lesser Redpoll Bird Facts | Carduelis Cabaret – The RSPB.

What a difference gardening for wildlife can make.

I put this list up with a few photos on Instagram you can see the post here: 3 foxes and a robin or you can see my Instagram account @ApteryxGav, to show how wildlife gardening can change what shows up in the garden.

Garden Bird List for October 22nd 2013:

Roughly 1 year 4 months after moving in:

  • 1. Blackbird x 2
  • 2. House Sparrow x 1
  • 3. Robin x 1
  • 4. Woodpigeon x 1

Total: 5 birds

Species: 4

After moving in I had noticed a few Robins that looked to have died from poisoning, possibly from the use of pesticides and herbicides by the previous owners.  I have a feeling their use was so high the amount had built up and in the few insects and worms left in the garden were full of pesticides, sadly the build up was too much for the birds that did try and feed in the garden.

Garden Bird List for October 22nd 2019:

Roughly 7 years 4 months after moving in:

  • 1. Blackbird x 1
  • 2. Blue Tit x 3
  • 3. Carrion Crow x 1
  • 4. Coal Tit x 2
  • 5. Dunnock x 3
  • 6. Great Tit x 1
  • 7. House Sparrows x 50+
  • 8. Jackdaw x 2
  • 9. Long-tailed Tit x 6
  • 10. Magpie x 3
  • 11. Robin x 3
  • 12. Woodpigeon x 3
  • 13. Wren x 1

Total: 80+ birds

Species: 13

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2020

  1. Blackbird x 11
  2. Blue tit x 2
  3. Carrion Crow x 1
  4. Coal tit x 2
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Great tit x 2
  7. House Sparrow 47 (probably more but best I could count)
  8. Robin x 3
  9. Woodpigeon x 3

Feijoa growing in UK

As everyone here knows I am an enthusiast of wildlife, gardening and photography, another big passion is feijoas and as I have a small amount of ground just near Edinburgh I decided to try and create the UKs first Feijoa farm, whilst helping wildlife.

Feijoas, if you’ve not come across feijoas they’re a plant from Brazil and the name is Portuguese and is pronounced Fee Joe Ah and not as many people say Fee Ho Ah. Feijoas are very popular in New Zealand (I’m a kiwi and why I go by the name Apteryx Gav online – the birders will probably know Apteryx is the Latin name for Kiwi) as well as growing interest in Australia.

The fruits and flowers both taste amazing and for the past 10 years I’ve been growing plants, cross pollinating the plants with the most flowers, largest and sweetest fruits and collecting seeds each year to try and create a plant that works well in the UK. It’s still early days and the fruit that was for sale on Feijoas.UK sold out in under a day. If you are interested keep an eye on the where to buy feijoas page to find out when they’re on sale.

What is with the * on certain links? This * means there’s an affiliate link where I get a small portion of any sales from the website. More about affiliate content and ethical online selling on the website Ethi.net – Ethical Affiliate Marketing. The website as of 24/01/2020 is currently a work in progress to try and give internet users clarity and more information about how the affiliate advertising market.

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

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!

Garden bird list and birds of Gardening Scotland

earlier today I posted a few pictures from the Isle of May trip http://www.wbist.com/archives/2899, but a friend on twitter @RoseCottageFife wrote a much more in depth and informative piece about here trip to the Isle of May here: http://rosecottageeastneuk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-jewel-of-forth-nature-lover-day.html and there’s the Isle of May Blog from 15th of May announcing they do have puffins: http://isleofmaynnr.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/yes-we-do-have-puffins.html – I would love to spend time out there as a scientist or conservationist, only problem is I have no degree in either!!!  Silly me for pursuing computers and photography… Maybe they need a professional photographer!?  Would love that, I’ll bring my own food!

My bird list today, there’s 2 lists as I went to Gardening Scotland and managed a few sightings there:

Garden list:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – singing very very early! My wife has started putting earplugs next to the bed so that when they start at 3.30am she can dull the sound a bit.
  2. Blue Tit x 2 – going into nest box
  3. Carrion crow x 4
  4. Coal Tit x 1
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Jackdaw x 2
  7. Magpie x 1
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

At Gardening Scotland:

  1. Moorhens
  2. Oystercatcher
  3. Rook
  4. Starlings
  5. Swallows – a few nests around the buildings there.

These are the photos to go with the Isle of May post from the 29th of May: http://www.wbist.com/archives/2804 hope they give you a bit of an idea to what the trip was like:

 

Tern on Post

Guillemots

Puffins Isle of May

Razor Bill

Razor Bill Isle of May

Tern in flight

Female Eider on nest

Rock Pipit

Rock Pipit

Guillemot grooming

Razorbills

Puffins with the Bass Rock in background

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

2 responses to Photos from Isle of May, 29th of May 2013. Scotland UK.

  1. Wes Donze said on June 3, 2013

    excellent photos – very good selection

    • KiwiGav said on June 3, 2013

      Glad you liked them, I hope to get a few from last year up, I felt they were better, it was a brighter day and a lot more birds about, the storms and spills of whatever it was down south seem to have taken their toll on the birds up here.

At a wedding, not a lot of birds for May 25th 2013

I was at a wedding today and didn’t get to see a lot of birds.  The wedding was at Edinburgh Zoo and I did see a few birds from around the world, penguins, cassowary and a few other birds, but I don’t add birds that are in captivity obviously.

  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion Crow
  3. Magpie
  4. Swallow

If you’ve never seen a Cassowary before there was a great BBC Natural World show, you can see the whole episode on youtube.

BBC Natural World – Cassowaries

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!

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