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Big Garden Birdwatch January 2019

In between dodging the raindrops, you may have seen some well wrapped up folk wandering around Saughton Park on Saturday afternoon with pens, notebooks and binoculars at the ready!

That hardy bunch was the Friends Wildlife Group carrying out our first ever birdwatching event as part of the RSPB’s yearly Big Garden Birdwatch event! Taking one hour between 2pm and 3pm, we positioned ourselves in different locations around the Park and following guidance from the RSPB, we only counted birds that landed within the Park.

The usual suspects were present, such as wood pigeons, magpies and the carrion crow and we also had some great spots including male and female bullfinches, a dunnock and a couple of song thrush! The song thrush is especially heartening to see in the Park as according to the RSPB, the numbers of this particular bird has seen a sharp decline since the 1970’s.

Not surprisingly, with the Water of Leith carving the south and south east boundary of Saughton Park, there were some water birds spotted, including mallard ducks, moorhens and the lovely goosanders.

Despite the decidedly dreich weather we saw 20 different species all together, a great result!

Cold fingers were warmed afterwards with some teas, coffees and a tasty chocolate cake baked by our very own Corinna was the reward for braving the rain!

We will be repeating the event throughout the year and beyond as we look to build a bigger picture of the birds that use the park for nesting, foraging and feeding. We will be monitoring to see if the activities carried out in the Park such as tree planting and wildflower planting encourage even more of the feathered variety of the Friends of Saughton Park!

If you would like to get involved and help us carry out our birdwatch activities or with the Friends Wildlife group, contact us at

Information on future events will be posted here on our blog, on our Facebook and Twitter pages and look out for posters at the gates to the Walled Garden also.



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