Blog – 2021

Birding Ecosse Blogspot

Welcome to the Birding Ecosse blog, if it is your first visit then thank you very much for dropping in!

This blog will follow all my trips and tours, so if you have been out with me recently the chances are very high you will make an appearance! Most of the pictures on the blog are my own, however if I do use third party  pictures I will have obtained their permission and will give them full credit.

It is designed to be a light hearted read to show how and where Birding Ecosse operates, so if you are thinking of booking a tour check out this Blog and my Blog Archives and then read through the Testimonials and you should get a flavour of what to expect! Great Birds, Great Scenery with Coffee and biscuits thrown in!  Please note: All  birds will have been viewed in a safe and environmentally accepted way, that is to say by using public access at all times or by the use of hides specifically erected for the observation of this species and by keeping at a  safe distance and viewing through telescopes. Remember you can keep in touch via Facebook at or twitter @birdingecosse

Did you know Birding Ecosse produces a newsletter?  Get up to date news and offers first if you subscribe, check out “latest news” page for the most current publication then just select subscribe.   The newsletter is a lighthearted look at what has happened the previous months, full of Pictures and information (many  that are not published on this blog page) of places we have visited, we also produce our mid month “Planned trips” mailing which gives an update of all remaining spaces available on tours.

So sit back and enjoy the read, any feedback is appreciated.

Keep safe and keep Birding


January 2021

Friday 01 January 2021

Always a great way to start the year, a lovely brisk walk, and this years walk took on more meaning as on 04 January Scotland was once again to be placed in full Covid 19 Lockdown, once again back to being restricted to House and Garden.

Looking out the kitchen window waiting for the kettle to boil, the first bird of 2021 was a female Great Tit (wearing a ring) closely followed by the male, usually my first birds are Herring Gulls or Feral Pigeons! But before long both Lucky Lynda and myself were togged up and standing in the car park at a local Lochan.

First thing that struck me was the amount of people there, usually fairly  quiet it looks like most of Forres had had the same though as us! (I’m not very good at space sharing 🙂 )

Walking down to the first bird hide there was quite a lot of movement in the beech and birch trees, a Common Redpoll was a very welcome bird to add so very early to the list, not a very common bird here. feeding alongside 3 Siskin, 1 Blue Tit and 4 Goldcrest, a nice little haul.  From the hide 2 Mute Swans ploughed through the thin film of ice and a Little Grebe and Male and Female Goldeneye flew in and started feeding on the open water created by the swans.

Male and Female Goldeneye

Walking around our usual loop netted a lower bird count than usual, probably owing to the amount of people, but Jay, Pheasant, Herring and Black Headed Gull all counted to the days tally, nice way to start the year.

Sunday 03 January 2021

15:30 – Driving home from Inverness big gaggle of 600+ Pink Footed Geese going into roost in fields across form the “Norbord” factory on the A96.

Tuesday 05 January 2021

Woodland “loop” walk up near to Fairyhill quarry (Covid 19 friendly walk) 09:30 +0.3  Bright, sunny Calm.

Blackbird, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Carrion Crown, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Buzzard, Jay (calling) Coal Tit

Wednesday 06 January 2021

Dava way loop walk 09:20 -2.7

0937, Redwing near to bridge steps down to Dava way, 1x Redpoll on Birch scrub. Wren, Herring Gull, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, 18 Fieldfare.

10:00 Approaching Dallas Dhu Distillery – 15 Fieldfare 2 Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Rook, 14 Goldfinch feeding in alder tree.

Lovely place to have on my daily walk – The Historic Dallas-Dhu Distillery.

Dallas-Dhu car park: Robin, Dunnock, Coal Tit, Woodpigeon, Goldcrest

Thursday 14 January 2021

Kensal Green: 14:00 Overcast, Heavy Drizzle.

Blue Tit 1, Feral Pigeon 4, Goldfinch 1, Chaffinch 2M 1F, Robin 2 (1 ringed) Blackbird 1 M (Unringed)

Friday 15 January 2021

Kensal Green: 10:00 Frosty.

Good start to the day in the Garden with a Wren feeding through Lyndas plant pots on the patio.


Also present Collard Dove 1, Blue Tit 1, Goldfinch 3, House Sparrow 2, Siskin 1F, Chaffinch, Feral Pigeon 1, Robin 1 (unringed)

Saturday 30 January 2021

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

A genuine highpoint of the Birding year, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, where you count the maximum group size of a species in any one hour (ie not the total amount of a species seen) it is a real jump off the world hour where Lucky Lynda and myself settle down with a cuppy, binos and cameras and just enjoy our merry bunch of regulars in the garden.

Calm, Bright Temp  +0.3 Ground still snow covered.

This years total: Greenfinch 4, Robin 1, Goldfinch 6, Blackbird 3, Chaffinch 3, Wren 1, Woodpigeon 1, House Sparrow 1, Starling 2, Feral Pigeon 7, Jackdaw 2, Herring Gull 2, Blue Tit 1, Siskin 2.

A great way to start the day – The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Sunday 07 February 2021

A pair of Blue Tits checking out wooden nest box nearest to the shed. Would be great if they nested 🙂

Possible new neighbors this year?

Monday 08 February 2021

Spurred on by the enjoyment on the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, I have decided to carry it on throughout lockdown, gives me something to do and will be interesting to get a good insight to the daily comings and goings in the garden.

1000 – 1100 hrs, Bright, -2.5 calm, snow flurries, 1020 Mb

Siskin 2 (1 m 1f), Goldfinch 7, Chaffinch 2 (1m 1f), Blackbird 1f,  Coal Tit 1, Greenfinch 1, House Sparrow 3 (1m 2f)      Robin 1 

Tuesday 09 February 2021

0850-0950,  -5.6 , fresh covering of snow, calm, 1019mb, 70% cloud cover.

Goldfinch 7, House Sparrow 3 (all F) Feral Pigeon 4,  Blackbird 1F, Chaffinch 2 1F 1M, Siskin 1M 1F, Greenfinch 2.

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Brrrr KGBO in the snow!

0830-0930, -5.6, 7cm fresh snow, calm, 1024 mb 76% cloud, cold!

Chaffinch 3M 1F, Robin 1, Feral Pigeon 3, House Sparrow 3, Goldfinch 3,  Blackbird 1,  Jackdaw 1.

Thursday 11 February 2021

0826-0926 No new snow, -11.4!!, clear, 1030mb, Sky clear.

Goldfinch 13, Feral Pigeon 6, Woodpigeon 1, Blue Tit 1, House Sparrow 2f, Starling 2 (both unringed!) Coal Tit 1, Robin 1, Greenfinch 1f, Herring Gull 4 (3 ad 1st winter) Siskin 1m 1f, Chaffinch 2M

1100 – Fieldfare in Garden, new Garden Species! Feeding on Berries next to feeders, Showing beautifully. Even when flushed returned quickly,

1250 temp -1,4.

The garden is coming up trumps today! 1M Lesser Redpoll on the Nyger and Sunflower feeders, not a common bird in the garden at all!  Red letter day for KGBO!

Male Lesser Redpoll

Friday 12 February 2021

0825-0925, -1.3, No new snow overnight bur ground still covered, Cold S/E wind 17-31. Sky Clear 1034mb

Siskin 4 2m 2f, Goldfinch 8, Blackbird 1f, Great Tit 1m, Feral Pigeon 4, Starling 1, Robin 1, Chaffinch 1m1f, Fieldfare 1, Blue Tit 2, Mistle Thrush 1, House Sparrow 2 1m1f, Starling 2, Greenfinch 2 1m 1f, Woodpigeon 1, 

Blue Tit male really aggressive towards Siskin and Goldfinch. Goldfinches in full display, must be the sunshine!

Mistle Thrush

Saturday 13 February 2021

Pied Wagtail Male brief visit to Garden.

Sunday 14 February 2021

0825 – 0925, Thaw is on!  3,6, Overcast,  8mph ESE, 1013MB, Dull.

Goldfinch 8, Siskin 4 2m2f, Chaffinch 2 2f, Robin 1, Starling 3 (all ringed), Feral Pigeon 8, House Sparrow 2

Tuesday 23 February 2021

0830-0930, 8.1, Dull and windy, 13-30mph, 100% cloud, 1004mb.

Lots of birds on the feeders prior to count starting, typical! at least 7 Goldfinches!

Straling 2, Goldfinch 14, Feral Pigeon 6, Siskin 6 2m4f, Greenfinch 2 1m1f, Chaffinch 2m House Sparrow 2m2f, Blackbird 1m1f, Woodpigeon 1, 

Very good numbers of birds in the garden today 14 Goldfinch and 6 Siskin, not bad!

13:00 The Beast of Kensal Green is back! The Goldfinch/Greenfinch hybrid first ringed back on 20 October 2020. First picked up by Lucky Lynda as she gazed out the window, based purely on its massive size!

13:40, The beast back and showing well, beginning to get a green blush on the breast.


The Beast (Right hand bird)

The beast of Kensal Green

Wednesday 24 February 2021

0900-1000, 9.5, Sunny but breezy, 17-39 SSW, 98% Cloud, 1004mb

Late start today as I had a big trip out to the chemist to get my prescription!  Very quiet in the garden.

Siskin 2 1m1f, Goldfinch 4, Feral Pigeon 4. Chaffinch 1f, House Sparrow 3 1m2f, Greenfinch 2 1m1f

House Sparrows collecting fronds off the pampass grass.  Check nest box (stone) and looks like a Blue Tit has been roosting, feathers and pooh present, great news!