Gardening, burning to get carbon and a very small bird list.

After being away and having internet problems in the hotel, I get home and I try to do a post and my net’s down.  A bit annoying, back now so I can get my very small garden bird list up for the day, I was outside a fair bit today trying to get rid of horsetail weed and due to the internet being down in the afternoon, managed a few updates on saverscene UK and the Australian version such as a very helpful one for people that travel: travel insurance check that your credit card doesn’t already offer it: You may already have travel insurance on your credit card, no point paying an insurance company (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession) .  Also spent the evening trying to burn cuttings from the garden due to getting rid of a lot of old wood and the council missing my green waste bin twice in the past month.  I’d prefer to have the carbon back in the soil anyway, I would normally leave piles of branches to rot down naturally, however there were far too many due to the garden being neglected for years before we moved in.  We’ve also not set up a good open compost for garden waste and only have a closed one for food scraps, once I’ve got that setup I hope not to need the council green collection and to get all the goodness back into the garden without resorting to burning it.

Anyway. Here’s my bird list for the day, sadly a bit short, but great to see the LTTs and the Bullfinch back:

  1. Blue Tit x 1
  2. Bullfinch x 1 – Male
  3. Carrion crow x 2
  4. Coal Tit x 2
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Long-tailed tit x 2
  7. Magpie x 1
  8. Woodpigeon x 1

Back at home watching my garden birds.

It is nice to be back to see the changes that have occurred in just one week of being away, shocked by the amount of Daffodils in my garden, which can be great for attracting finches and I encourage to grow in the right spots in the garden.
This is the first spring I’ve been in the garden and I’m impressed by what’s coming up so far.  As for the birds, not a great deal around, I did see 2 Coal Tits mating, but not sure if the blue tit has continued with the nest at the end of the garden, didn’t see any activity about it at all today.  However that was the same last year in the previous garden, frantic activity for about 4 to 5 days, then nothing for almost 2 weeks, time to sit on eggs maybe?  Then frantic activity for about 16 days, and 4 young eventually fledged.

Here’s the list for today:

  1. Blackbird x 1 – heard only
  2. Blue Tit x 1 – think it’s the one nesting in the nest box, but haven’t seen any birds in the box.
  3. Carrion crow x 1
  4. Coal Tit x 2 – saw them mating.
  5. Dunnock x 3
  6. Greenfinch x 2 – my mum who is visiting from Australia felt these looked like Budgies!  Guess she doesn’t notice the parrot beak to the finch beak, she was a little away from them, so I’ll forgive her.
  7. Magpie x 2
  8. Woodpigeon x 2

Last day in the Netherlands – Bird count was low.

Spent most of the last day resting either at the hotel or at the airport just to relax my feet, still managed a few birds:

  1. Common Buzzard
  2. Coots
  3. Cormorant
  4. House Sparrow
  5. Jackdaw
  6. Lapwings
  7. Magpie
  8. Pied Wagtail
  9. Starlings
  10. Woodpigeons

The gardens in the Netherlands were amazing, however we were a little too early for a lot of the Tulips this year, normally would have been the peak week but the cold weather was not great for them, I’d love to go back! I’ll try and get a few photos up in the next few days, I’ve got a lot of work to do on the money saving websites and a few smaller jobs I’ve got to send out photos for.  Hope there’ll still be time for bird watching, I hope to try and get to a few of the RSPB reserves in Scotland – find your closest ones: http://www.rspb.org.uk/scotland/ over the next few weeks, I think my feet are finally up to the challenge :D

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:
      http://www.keukenhof.nl/uploads/2013/Plattegrond/2223_kh_plattegrond_2013_v6_lr_def.pdf

      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.

Bird List for Monday 15th of April 2013

Great news everyone!  The RSPB Sparrow Terrace Nest Box that I put up earlier in the year is now in use!  Not by sparrows, but a blue tit has started using the middle box, was a bit worried nothing was going to, but very excited to see a blue tit bringing nesting material into the box yesterday!

Sorry my bird list is a day late again, a lot happening with my parents being here!  I also was updating all the finance pages for www.SaverScene.co.uk yesterday, which during ISA season takes a bit longer due to a lot of changes. If you haven’t taken advantage of the tax free cash ISA you can find the best ISA rates here: SaverScene: Highest ISA interest rates (now closed as I move into gardening as a profession), obviously if you have any questions about that feel free to ask on the forums or drop me an email.

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Blue Tit x 1 – I only saw one going in and out of the nest box.
  3. Bullfinch x 1 – Male
  4. Carrion crow x 2
  5. Coal Tit x 1
  6. Dunnock x 3
  7. Greenfinch x 1
  8. Kestrel x 3 – 1 was chasing another one off, a couple seemed to be creating a territory.
  9. Magpie x 2
  10. Woodpigeon x 1

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

Mating rituals of the Woodpigeon… Also very few birds again.

It’s been a slow few days, it’s got grey and cold again, the only highlight of bird watching today was getting to watch the mating behaviour of the woodpigeons, a fascinating dance that happens right under our noses and people don’t seem to even bother watching!  I added some notes as I watched the birds today.

  1. Blackbird x 1
  2. Carrion crow x 3 – one was bouncing up and down on twigs at the tops of small trees, it looked as it was trying to break off branches for nesting.
  3. Coal Tit x 1
  4. Dunnock x 1
  5. Woodpigeon x 3 – the mating rituals were funny today, a male was displaying to a female on top of some metal chimneys and the sound they were making it reminded me of tap dancers, absolutely fantastic!

Talking of mating behaviour you have to see the video footage of a Peacock spider from Australia.

I was hoping to write up a bit about the Fly On the Wall Wildlife Cameras that I mentioned yesterday, but once again it’s after 23.00 and I’ve been exhausted by a long day and very sore ankles.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring more information about these camera setups and their voucher code.