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Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary


Postby denfinella » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:55 pm

During lockdown I've been paying more attention to local birdlife on my local wanders. The variety of birds in south Edinburgh has far surpassed expectations, and I'm keeping a list here of all the species I've seen in the last few weeks.

I'll keep my list (which currently numbers 60 species) updated as the weeks progress, with photos where possible (there's a limit of 40 per post, so not all birds have photos). All the birds on the list have been spotted from my front door, except those with a * which have been on walks within 5-mile radius. If there are any errors, please comment! Some of the list is a bit non-specific (e.g. thrush) as I'm still getting up to speed on the differences between similar-looking birds.

1. Blue tit
Blue tit.JPG

2. Coal tit
Coal tit.JPG

3. Great tit
Great tit.JPG

4. Long tailed tit
Long tailed tit.JPG

5. Marsh tit (possibly willow tit)
Marsh tit.JPG

6. Chaffinch
Chaffinch.JPG

7. Goldfinch
Goldfinch.JPG

8. Bullfinch
Bullfinch.JPG

9. Greenfinch
10. Yellowhammer*
Yellowhammer.JPG

11. House sparrow
12. Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff - possibly.JPG

13. Willow warbler
Willow warbler.JPG

14. Blackcap
Blackcap.JPG

15. Redstart*
Redstart.JPG

16. Dipper
Dipper.JPG

17. Grey wagtail
Grey wagtail.JPG

18. Pied wagtail
Pied wagtail.JPG

19. Treecreeper*
Treecreeper.JPG

20. Robin
Robin.JPG

21. Dunnock
Dunnock.JPG

22. Wren
23. Goldcrest
Goldcrest.JPG

24. Starling
Starling.JPG

25. Song (?) thrush
Song thrush.JPG

26. Swallow*
27. Blackbird
Blackbird.JPG

28. Magpie
29. Lapwing*
Lapwing.JPG

30. Jackdaw
Jackdaw.JPG

31. Carrion crow
Carrion crow.JPG

32. Pheasant
33. Cuckoo*
34. Woodpigeon
Woodpigeon.JPG

35. Feral pigeon
Feral pigeon.JPG

36. Coot
Coot.JPG

37. Moorhen
38. Mallard
39. Tufted duck
Tufted duck.JPG

40. Goosander*
41. Teal*
42. Eider*
43. Shelduck*
Shelduck.JPG

44. Little grebe
Little grebe.JPG

45. Curlew*
46. Canada goose*
Canada goose.JPG

47. Greylag goose
Greylag goose.JPG

48. White goose*
49. Weird goose
Weird goose.JPG

50. Mute swan
Mute swan.JPG

51. Grey heron*
Grey heron.JPG

52. Oystercatcher*
53. Common tern*
54. Herring gull
55. Lesser black backed gull
56. Great black backed gull
57. Black headed gull
58. Buzzard*
Buzzard.JPG

59. Brown chicken
Chicken.jpg

60. Crested chicken*
Crested chicken.jpg
Last edited by denfinella on Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:25 pm, edited 31 times in total.
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby jmarkb » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:11 pm

Great! You are right about the Carrion Crow. Sparrows are most likely House Sparrows, but Tree Sparrow not impossible!

We're doing the same in south Edinburgh - our list so far is:

Robin, Blackbird, Dunnock, Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow x Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Buzzard, Kestrel, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Herring Gull, Lesser black-backed Gull, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Pheasant, Canada Goose, House Sparrow, Skylark, Chaffinch, Starling, Wren, Cormorant, Goldeneye, Grey Heron.
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby denfinella » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:25 pm

Thanks jmarkb! We are also in south Edinburgh, so perhaps unsurprisingly our lists look quite similar, though you've got a few gems...

Perhaps we have walked past you!
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby CharlesT » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:54 pm

On my walk today- Kestrel, pair of Red Kites and a Buzzard. I do live adjacent to farmland. :D
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby jmarkb » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:10 pm

denfinella wrote:Thanks jmarkb! We are also in south Edinburgh, so perhaps unsurprisingly our lists look quite similar, though you've got a few gems...

Perhaps we have walked past you!


Maybe we have!

On today's walk we added Little Grebe, Grey Wagtail and Chiffchaff/Willow Warbler (probably Chiffchaff, but it didn't make a sound, so hard to tell!).
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby RiverSong » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:32 pm

Nice to know there are so many small birds in your garden and i enjoyed looking at your photos of them. Twenty years ago i used to get almost the same variety in my garden but they have been gradually decimated by the magpies who have now taken over. I put food out every winter and the small birds have made a return of sorts, but now they are being edged out the way by the crows who have worked out a way of getting to the bird feeder, also the pigeons who have learned to sit underneath the feeder and wait for the seeds to fall down :?
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby denfinella » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:43 pm

CharlesT wrote:On my walk today- Kestrel, pair of Red Kites and a Buzzard. I do live adjacent to farmland. :D


Still no birds of prey for us yet.

RiverSong wrote:Nice to know there are so many small birds in your garden and i enjoyed looking at your photos of them. Twenty years ago i used to get almost the same variety in my garden but they have been gradually decimated by the magpies who have now taken over. I put food out every winter and the small birds have made a return of sorts, but now they are being edged out the way by the crows who have worked out a way of getting to the bird feeder, also the pigeons who have learned to sit underneath the feeder and wait for the seeds to fall down :?


The list above is from our exercise walks (we don't have a garden). I do remember the problem with pigeons waiting underneath bird feeders from when I was a child though!

jmarkb wrote:On today's walk we added Little Grebe, Grey Wagtail and Chiffchaff/Willow Warbler (probably Chiffchaff, but it didn't make a sound, so hard to tell!).


Yes, we're struggling with the chiffchaff ID too. What are people's thoughts on the below? I know the photo is pretty rubbish.

Chiffchaff - possibly.JPG


Aside from the possible chiffchaff, there were three further additions to the list today - blackcap, goldcrest and "weird goose" :lol: - which I've added to the list above along with photos.
Last edited by denfinella on Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby jmarkb » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:57 pm

denfinella wrote:Yes, we're struggling with the chiffchaff ID too. What are people's thoughts on the below?


The main (and not 100% reliable) visual distinction is leg colour (Chiffchaff dark, Willow Warbler light) - but I can't make out the legs in your shot!

denfinella wrote:there were two further additions to the list today - blackcap and goldcrest


Good spots!

denfinella wrote:Still no birds of prey for us yet.


Not sure exactly where you are, but Braid Hills/Blackford Hill is where we quite regularly see Buzzard and Kestrel.
Where was your Dipper?
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby denfinella » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:22 pm

jmarkb wrote:The main (and not 100% reliable) visual distinction is leg colour (Chiffchaff dark, Willow Warbler light) - but I can't make out the legs in your shot!


Thanks anyway! Hopefully we'll both be able to get better sightings in the days / weeks / months / years ahead :wink:

jmarkb wrote:Not sure exactly where you are, but Braid Hills/Blackford Hill is where we quite regularly see Buzzard and Kestrel. Where was your Dipper?


Yep, we've been up there a couple of times, but no luck yet. The dipper was by Burdiehouse Burn, but we've only seen it once - unlike the grey wagtail, which we've seen almost every time. I also think I've heard a woodpecker on a couple of occasions in the same area.
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby jmarkb » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:49 pm

denfinella wrote:I also think I've heard a woodpecker on a couple of occasions in the same area.


Sounds like a good place - a bit out of the way for us, but we might make it eventually! We've heard one in the woods behind Buckstone, but we didn't see it.
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby CharlesT » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:41 pm

Weeding my garden today with a very industrious male blackbird at my elbow. Many beakfuls gathered. This is a chiffchaff from my garden a while ago.
chiffchaff1.jpg
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby Avocetboy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:02 pm

We live in Lincolnshire, Boston, near the banks of the tidal River Witham and about 3 miles from where it exits into The Wash. Some great birds about at the moment and making the most of the opportunity and weather to walk / run, MTB all the local footpaths from my door. Current list includes a pair of Avocets (every day, in the same place and always together), Curlews, Egrets, Heron, Snipe, Redshanks and Oystercatchers. Kestrels, Buzzards and a Barn Owl. Kingfisher. Reed Buntings, Great Crested Grebe and Brent and Canada Geese.

Lucky to have so much on my doorstep
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby Avocetboy » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:43 am

Avocetboy wrote:We live in Lincolnshire, Boston, near the banks of the tidal River Witham and about 3 miles from where it exits into The Wash. Some great birds about at the moment and making the most of the opportunity and weather to walk / run, MTB all the local footpaths from my door. Current list includes a pair of Avocets (every day, in the same place and always together), Curlews, Egrets, Heron, Snipe, Redshanks and Oystercatchers. Kestrels, Buzzards and a Barn Owl. Kingfisher. Reed Buntings, Great Crested Grebe and Brent and Canada Geese.

Lucky to have so much on my doorstep


Edit 14th April

Black Headed Gull, Pheasant, Carrion Crow, Shell duck, Cormorant, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby Mal Grey » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:25 am

Impressive list! Some nice shots too.
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Re: Denfinella's lockdown birdlife diary

Postby denfinella » Tue Apr 21, 2020 3:34 pm

Thanks for the pics / lists everyone! I've a couple more (poor) shots from today's wander which hopefully you can help identify - probably nothing too exciting though.

1. One of those unidentifiable small brown birds...
IMG_6365.JPG

IMG_6366.JPG

IMG_6367.JPG


2. Possibly a greylag goose crossed with something else?
IMG_6425.JPG


Lovely sunny day (again!).
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