Well here we are the last month of 2021. It’s hard to believe that we are still suffering from COVID 19 but this year has been slightly better. I certainly have enjoyed this year, just can’t believe it’s gone in so fast. I’ve had a good year Birding and this blog is going to be a 2021 highlights blog I hope you enjoy it.
We started 2021 with heavy snow so I didn’t really go out in it Birding but there was lots to see in the garden. Just after New Years Day it was a lovely sunny morning and I spotted a Redwing on the tree and I took a photo of it and it has become one of my favourite photos.
Whilst filling up the feeders I gave the birds a helping hand by scattering seeds on the snow and it attracted birds such as Robin, Woodpigeon & Stock Doves. The snow finally melted after a few days but during that time I had two very exciting visitors to the garden. First was a male Blackcap at the feeder who became quite a regular now and then along with the female & at the end of the month a Heron turned up at my neighbours garden by landing on their shed & their chimney. The Heron turned up quite a lot and typically it turned up right after I finished my Big Garden Birdwatch.
At the beginning of the month saw my first glimpse of The Great Spotted Woodpecker at her favourite feeder. She was joined by Goldfinches, Greenfinch, Blackcap & House Sparrow.
It was this month a Siskin also turned up in my garden and it turned up again whilst I was celebrating my Birding anniversary. Due to COVID I was unable to visit my first ever local patch The Botanic Gardens but I had good morning celebrating and managed to get a lovely photo of two Goldfinches against blue sky.
During March I saw lot of Siskins at the feeders they were a joy to see it would be both male & female that will turn up.
The highlight of March was one day a Sparrowhawk turned up at the garden. It had been a long time since I last had one in the garden, it was trying to capture a Dunnock but it did not succeed so it sat at the tree for a few minutes before flying off.
April was both a good and sad month. I will start with the sad news, The female Great Spotted Woodpecker made her last ever appearance in the garden. She turned up on the 1st, 4th, 8th & finally 11th April. She never turned up again this year which made me think that something had happened to her. It did make me sad because she was my favourite visitor to my garden she had been a regular to my garden from 2011-2021. Here are my last pictures I took of her during her visit on these days.
I will now tell of the good news I got Bullfinches arriving at my feeders which was amazing to see especially on dull and sunny days their colours brighten up a day.
At the beginning of the month a male Great Spotted Woodpecker turned up at the feeders. It had been a long time since I last had a male visit so it was a good start of the month.
Few days later I saw my first Swallow of the year flying above my house.
During May a Bullfinch and Siskin turned up at the feeders and at the end of May had a nice holiday in Skye were I heard a Cuckoo calling.
During this month I was enjoying watching Swallows flying around the garden. One morning whilst I was filling up the feeders I managed to get close up photos of them as they swooped around the place.
I enjoyed close encounters with Bullfinches too. One day I was filling the feeders and noticed a Bullfinch on the feeder so crept ever so slowly not to disturb the bird, I did succeed and took a photo before it finished off and flew away.
On the morning before I left to go to The Outer Hebrides the male Great Spotted Woodpecker turned up, this was my last sighting of the male this year, fingers crossed he returns next year.
I had a great time in The Hebrides throughout June & early July. I did hear a Corncrake but sadly didn’t see it but had great encounters with Deer,Golden Eagle & Starlings.
After I got back from The Hebrides I spotted my first ever juvenile Woodpigeon that was sitting on the hedge and didn’t seemed bothered I was standing at the window.
It was during this month I noticed flying ants about and thought it must be Flying Ants Day and just as I expected the sky was covered with thousands of Gulls. They came back
The highlight of the month a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker turned up which was exciting. It was on its own but was enjoying a good feed.
Birding took a back seat because it was the return of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but during that time I did look out my window and saw a lot of Greenfinches & Bullfinches.
I enjoyed a few days up in Fife and of course had to bring my binoculars and did see Cormorants, Redshanks, Heron, Sandpipers & Seals.
During a walk had lovely encounters with a Robin & Long Tailed Tits.
We are now bang slapped into autumn now which is my favourite month and the month started out great as I was taking part in The Global Bird Weekend when flocks of Pink Footed Geese flew over. Like seeing the first Swallow in Spring, seeing the first flock of Geese is the first sign of autumn to me.
I was back up in The Hebrides for a family wedding, sadly weather wasn’t great so didn’t get to go Birding much but I did see my first Redwing of the year, still not seen them in Edinburgh yet.
I did visit The Botanics (first local patch) a lot this month. I enjoyed watching Woodpigeon, Robin, Heron, Mallard & Moorhen. I also enjoyed admiring the beautiful scenery as well.
As you can see it’s been a great year and I hope next year will be better. In 2022 it’s going to be a big year for me as I celebrate my 20th anniversary as a Birder in February but I will be celebrating my 20th anniversary all throughout next year. I am hoping to go Birding before Christmas so fingers crossed I see Redwing & Waxwing. All will be told next year. Have a Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year for 2022.