The figures are at last all in and 62 bird species were recorded in the Botanics in Edinburgh during 2013. This is one fewer than 2012 when 63 were recorded. The two most frequently recorded species were Chaffinch and Magpie (each recorded on 235 recording days out of a possible 243).
Completing the top ten most frequently recorded birds were:
Mallard (231 days out of 243)
Wood Pigeon (230)
Carrion Crow (229)
Bullfinch (215) and
Feral Pigeon (192).
You can expect to see all of these on any visit to the Garden.
Seven species were only recorded once in the year: Fieldfare, Garden Warbler, Greylag Goose, House Sparrow, Lesser Redpoll, Raven and Whooper Swan. Highlights of the year included a Dabchick (= Little Grebe) intermittently on the Pond during the spring – I never managed to see it myself but several horticultural staff did); regular visits by Tawny Owl (perhaps becoming resident again?) and Collared Dove; an invasion of Starlings from mid-May to early June, mostly between the Azalea Lawn and the Pond and coinciding with a period of grass mowing; Goosanders on the Pond in October and November; and a Pheasant for several days in November.
Species that are being seen more often are:
Song Thrush (up from 59 recording days in 2011 to 92 in 2013) – bucking the national trend of a decline)
Chiffchaff (up from 59 to 73)
Oystercatcher (up from 8 to 59!)
Collared Dove (up from 0 in 2011, 1 in 2012 to 40 in 2013),
Tawny Owl (4 in 2011, 0 in 2012, 22 in 2013) and
Buzzard (up from 5 in 2011 to 14).
Species being seen less often are
Long-tailed Tit (down from 138 recording days in 2011 to 75 in 2013)
Mistle Thrush (down from 54 to 24)
Kingfisher (down from 27 to 14)
Stock Dove (down from 30 to 11)
Swift (down from 18 to 9 despite a much better summer)
House Martin (down from 13 to 7), and
House Sparrow (down from 5 to only 1).
Unlike last year, no species were added to the Garden’s list which remains at 87 species. The full list of species recorded in 2013, in alphabetical order, is:
Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose (including a hybrid Canada x Greylag), Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Common Gull, Cormorant, Curlew, Dabchick, Dunnock, Feral Pigeon, Fieldfare, Garden Warbler, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, House Martin, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Kingfisher, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lesser Redpoll, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pink-footed Goose, Raven, Redwing, Robin, Siskin, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Swallow, Swift, Tawny Owl, Tree Creeper, Whooper Swan, Willow Warbler, Wood Pigeon, Wren.
Thanks to all the staff that send me in records to augment my own daily observations and help to make the data more complete!