Today for the 30 Days Wild Challenge I decided to look at the wildlife from my window. This is something I always do, particularly at the time of the year when the swifts dance endlessly in the skies above our flat.
This is the view from our living room window
We live in the centre of Edinburgh, but there are quite a lot of trees and green spaces about, particularly hidden away behind the buildings in the backgreens.
So what wildlife is there?
At this time of year, as I said at the start of this post, there are swifts! My favourite birds, they're declining in the UK (though not so much in Scotland). There seem to be fewer flying round over our flat this year, but I've seen more in some places nearby where normally there aren't so many.
I've noticed three male blackbirds chasing each other this year. Normally there are only two around here. This year one pair of blackbirds are nesting in the tree in the photo. Another pair are nesting in clematis that is growing on a nearby building. The third pair I think are nesting somewhere behind the lower building in the photo. The male blackbirds start singing early in the morning and often sing throughout the day too.
The blackbirds don't sing as much as the chaffinch though. I have no idea where this chaffinch nests, I sometimes wonder whether it ever has time to do anything but sing. During May the male seemed to sing non-stop, though it's singing less now.
I also sometimes hear a dunnock singing.
Goldfinches became much more common in our street last year. At first I thought this meant the local population was booming, but then I realised that the goldfinches had been driven from their favourite feeding grounds in the wasteland by the side of the carpark up the road. The carpark is now been developed (into offices and retail units I think) and the scrubby weeds where the goldfinches fed has mostly disappeared. They do seem to be settling into the local gardens though and it's lovely to see them flying around, twittering as they go.
House sparrows have become marginally more common in our street recently too. They've been declining in the UK for a while now, but where they still live, they seem to do pretty well. There's always been good numbers of house sparrows at two sites quite close to where we live and now they seem to be expanding their range and I've started to see them more often in our street.
Starlings occasionally gather in small numbers here too, though more often in winter.
Woodpigeons live in the area, and often sit on chimney pots cooing loudly.
Collared doves too live hearby. At this time of year they perform a fluttering courtship dance which is lovely to watch.
There are lots of feral pigeons too. Many of the feral pigeons in our area have a lot of white in their plumage. This is because they interbreed with the beautiful whote fan tailed pigeons at nearby Gorgie Farm.
Lesser black backed gulls are very common here at this time of year. They spend huge amounts of time sitting on chimney pots or flying around, often with good in their bills.
We occasionally also see jackdaws here. They're becoming more common in the built up areas of Edinburgh, though they've always been common in the open green areas of the city.
Occasionally we get unexpected special visits from unusual birds. Several years ago, a large flock of fieldfares appeared on Boxing Day and had disappeared by the next day. It really was a special treat to see these winter thrushes so close to home.
I've twice seen white tailed sea eagles fly over the roofs. These are enormous birds and on both occasions i didn't quite beleive what I was seeing. But if white tailed sea eagles are commonly found in a supermarket carpark in Dunfermline then this part of Edinburgh could quite easily be on their flight path.