Tuesday, 28 May 2013


I just looked up from a mug of tea to see a great spotted woodpecker at a bird feeder. I tried for a grab shot but the woodpecker was chased off by starlings. Hopefully it will be back now that it knows food is here.

updated - some photos of the woodpecker added below

Sunday, 26 May 2013


I said that I had some snaps of the starlings at the bird feeder and a couple are below. They don't half make a mess but the fledglings are cute.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Buzzard again

Buzzard over Corstorphine Hill
OK, so it is at the far end of a zoom lens and magnified well beyond sharpness, however it is undoubtedly a buzzard soaring high over Corstorphine Hill this morning.

This time last year there were four or five of them displaying (and on one memorable occasion seven although a couple of those were visitors and only visible with binoculars looking high in the north east) but it is a start. 

I miss hearing their calls on the air, especially on days like today with blue skies and warm air.

I haven't seen any foxes around the garden recently but I know they are about because things move overnight. I replaced two coconut shells filled with fat and seeds yesterday and put the discarded ones on the ground for ground feeding birds to peck the remains from. This morning the one with most in had disappeared completely. Hopefully this warm weather will last and there'll be more visitors.

Friday, 24 May 2013


The birdfeeders were taken over by starlings today who made right gluttons of themselves. I'll put up some pics later but for now it is enough to say that I was quite pleased to see them. When I was growing up starlings were ubiquitous but of late their numbers have been dropping. Two of the starlings were fledglings so there was a lot of family squabbling going on.

I'm pretty sure that late this afternoon I spotted a buzzard quite high over Corstorphine Hill. I hpe so because I have neither seen nor heard them for several weeks and was fearing that they either hadn't survived the winter or had moved on or had been disturbed.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Rusty spring

The rain has rained relentlessly for the past few days and it is a pleasure to see the barometer, to my left as I write, slowly rising to the grand heights of "unsettled". Bird life in the garden remains at a consistent, if low, level with plenty of passing dunnock, house sparrows and tits. Blackbirds have been singing out too although at no time have I thought there to be an overabundance of bird life and I have seen no finches at all.

Sadly, I have not heard or seen the buzzards either even on the days when the sun has shone and the skies have been blue. Nor have I noticed any obvious signs of fox lately and usually they are as common as cats.

Anyway, here are four pictures of regular visitors in the last few days.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Swiftly now...

Not a great deal happening in the garden beyond the norm and the usual rapid emptying of the peanut feeder by the local jackdaws.

I did notice, though, that we have swallows and swifts overflying. Hoorah!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Spring at last

Something like warmth has returned to Edinburgh although even as I type this at 10.13 on a May morning I am wearing a fleece. There is blossom emerging on my Katy apple tree and beginning to show on its neighbouring Cox's Orange Red. The former should have fruit to eat in September and the latter in October. Our climbing hydrangea seems to have turned green overnight and the lawn has had its first cut.

Bird life remains disappointingly scant although as ever I can hear it around. A couple of substantial trees have been cut down in the gardens behind us and one of those trees used to hold a lot of nests. We do have a raven come round - one of the zoo colony I think and ringed. Also we have jackdaws and a magpie that have learned to use feeders designed for small birds.

More concerningly, I don't know what has happened to the Corstorphine Hill buzzards. Even when I cant see them I can usually hear them and I haven't heard them for 4 to 6 weeks now.