Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Social > Jet Blast
Reload this Page >

Sparrows making a comeback...

Jet Blast Topics that don't fit the other forums. Rules of Engagement apply.

Sparrows making a comeback...

Old 7th Jun 2019, 16:08
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Newark'ish
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
We're "up north" and no great shortage of house sparrows now, but still in far smaller numbers than were in my youth. Just watching one or two on the bird feeder as I write.

All the starlings seem to have moved up here, they are the "chavs" of the bird world in my opinion and I often shoo them away from the bird feeder by my window.

I've been told that Swallows have been deliberately trapped in huge numbers before they reach UK.

House Martins have taken up residence on the new houses in our village - some houses are three storeys and no predator can reach them up under the gable ends.

We have seen only a handful of Swifts this year - we have had a colony nesting under the eaves of half a dozen older houses down our road for the last thirty years that we know of, but unfortunately all but one have recently had UPVC soffits and barge boards fitted, denying them access. A huge shame as the birds return to the same nest sites year after year and they've come all the way from Africa without landing since they nested last year - only to find they've shut the airport! I would fit nest boxes to our house, but unfortunately we live in a bungalow, it's too low for them to use.

We too have noticed a big increase in Goldfinch numbers this year, there have been at least two nests in or around our garden - I put a Nijer seed feeder out for them. A Goldie fledgling overshot into the house a few days ago through the patio door opening - I managed to catch and release it before the Jack Russell Terrorist got it.

We've also had a family of Blue Tits in the nest box with the camera - I've spent quite a few quid supplying them with live mealworms - the ones that the "chav" Starlings didn't get to first, that is.

Also had Great Tits, Coal Tits, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Collared Dove and Wood Pigeon on the feeder and I've just noticed there's a Robin fledgling out there pecking around below it. We often have had Buzzard overhead (now relatively common up here) and usually heard being mobbed by the local crow population, and low flying Canada and Greylag geese, which haunt the local lakes.

Talking of ponds - I have a problem Heron...lost hundreds of pounds worth of fish to the damned thing.
However - we have also lost a few birds to the dreaded Sparrow Hawks, which fly in like stealth bombers. Magnificent birds but I hate to see then ripping live birds apart, which is what they sometimes do on our back lawn.

Anyone else completed the "SpringWatch" Garden watch survey, btw? Did mine earlier.

Been in our house 30 + years and it is interesting how the bird population changes.

We always had House Martins in the eves till a couple of years ago when they suddenly stopped returning in the spring, although their numbers had gradually dwindled over the previous 2-3 years.
I did think about the possible reason, and my simple logic came up with that the whole (small) migrating colony had probably come to grief (lost or storms).
Do they migrate as a colony?

What we have got lots more of this year is Long Tailed Tits (hope this gets past the profanity checker and I don't get registered as a perv!).

Cannot think of a direct link between these changes though?

Thinking about it we have also seen a sharp rise in Jackdaws.
mikemmb is offline  
Old 7th Jun 2019, 16:38
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Southwater
Age: 68
Posts: 509
Originally Posted by TWT View Post
Not parakeets.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/20...pecies/7819394

P.S. Apologies for the thread drift....
Apologeticals. I hadn't realised that you live in Oz.
RedhillPhil is offline  
Old 7th Jun 2019, 18:35
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Somewhere flat
Posts: 104
I disagree re "no reason to cull magpies". When other birds are struggling a rise in magpies numbers does not help. I have numerous bird boxes and 2 hog boxes so most wildlife is welcome, but not them, nor grey squirrels. How often do you see a thrush about now? A very rare bird around here. A naturalist stated that with a mud lined nest and blue eggs they are easy prey for them. Game keepers would quite often have them on their "larders", the best place for them.
goofer3 is offline  
Old 7th Jun 2019, 19:11
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Currently within the EU
Posts: 315
Magpies have been around to thousands of years, as have their prey. If magpies were a serious threat, there would be no small birds left. By the natural order of things, when a prey species reduces too far the predator species falls back due to lack of food and the predated recover.

We do not know better than nature. Even putting out food for wild birds - which I do in generous quantities - is interfering with the natural order of things, but I justify that because it compensates for the loss of natural food and habitat due to human intervention.

​​​​​As for game 'keepers' they are breeding unnatural quantities of birds just to killed. To kill another species simply to protect the intended victims of human predation is just plain wrong.
Sallyann1234 is offline  
Old 7th Jun 2019, 21:00
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Here
Posts: 287
Housemartins. We live on a fairly new estate which was very poor flat pasture land before the estate was built. As part of the infrastructure we have 3 settlement ponds to deal with the surface water etc. Over the last 4-5 years we have become the regular destination for thousands - yes I do mean thousands - of housemartins each year. These birds love to go to the pond margins, pick up the mud and build their nests all over the gable ends of the houses. It is such a pleasure to see them flying, ducking and diving over the entire estate chattering to each other over the next few months. I have a confession to make though, one set kept nesting in the eaves above our back door and it became simply too much to deal with so we have installed a deterrent which works fine. There are hundreds of houses round locally so I do not feel guilty.

We also have a nature reserve very nearby and we often go down there towards twilight in early spring to see thousands of starlings link up night after night to form murmerations. Unbelievable sight.

Last edited by yellowtriumph; 7th Jun 2019 at 21:26.
yellowtriumph is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2019, 14:05
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 1998
Location: Mesopotamos
Posts: 1,221
In summer at my holiday house, the swallows like to perch themselves on the power line at the front and take it in turns doing circuits through my side verandah coming out the back and completing the orbit - even while I'm sitting there - which is a novel thing to watch. Also amongst the sparrows and wild pigeons I see hawks, teals, kites, eagles and the occasional owl at night.
cattletruck is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2019, 19:26
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 3
Heartening to read this thread
Hyperdark is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2019, 19:33
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: yes
Posts: 155
I don't know about where you live but no shortage here. I put out food for them and get plenty of sparrows, Blue tits, Coal tits, Starlings, a ring neck dove couple and of course Robins who think nothing of coming into the house and sitting beside me on the couch.
Brilliant.
Steepclimb is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2019, 06:34
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Scotland
Posts: 142
I've certainly seen a lot more sparrows this year.
The other thing I've heard of is 3 friends have had their bird boxes invaded by bees.
cdtaylor_nats is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2019, 07:44
  #30 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,570
We bought a smart bird feeder designed for ground feeders, waste of money, good just seems to pour out of it. Seemed to have fewer sparrows this year from last ( new home) but a surprise yesterday.

We had sparrows inside the squirrel cage of a peanut feeder. Lots of them and also a slightly larger bird, smaller than a blackbird, fly catcher?
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2019, 09:52
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 1,659
Just happened to be walking through a deserted industrial estate yesterday evening and lo and behold there ware several 'gangs' of sparrows hopping and tumbling around, doing their thing. It brought a smile to my face, you can't be mad at Sparrows, can you ???
SpringHeeledJack is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2019, 12:07
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1
No shortage of sparrows where we are! However, if they have been deciding against residence in London, I can't blame them!
NoelEvans is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2019, 14:01
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: U.K.
Age: 42
Posts: 158
We are lucky in having a large garden with lots of bushes and flowers and the neighbourís garden is full of trees. So we have lots of birds. There is a a couple of nests in the bush near the house so we can see the families of blackbirds and sparrows from the dining room. The house was bought from Mrs JCís parents. My late father-in-laws favourite was Robins. Mrs JC is convinced the Robins that visit are the spirit of her father. Certainly they seem to take a close interest whenever Iím working the garden or the shed. One mid-week afternoon, when Mrs JC was at work, I was lazing in the garden when I became aware of a Robin perched on the Rose arbour, staring at me. He swooped off and over my head so close I felt the wash of his wings! Perhaps my late Father in law was indeed telling me to get on with it!
Jump Complete is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2019, 14:59
  #34 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 55
Posts: 5,631
Well, just seen a pair of sparrows in my garden! Hope they are sufficiently impressed with the locale to move in permanently...
treadigraph is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2019, 15:00
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: ILS 110.75
Posts: 413
Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Well, just seen a pair of sparrows in my garden! Hope they are sufficiently impressed with the locale to move in permanently...
Bung some sunflower seeds or some hulled millet at them and they'll move in permanently.
Auxtank is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2019, 17:22
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: England
Posts: 241
Originally Posted by Sallyann1234 View Post
Magpies have been around to thousands of years, as have their prey. If magpies were a serious threat, there would be no small birds left. By the natural order of things, when a prey species reduces too far the predator species falls back due to lack of food and the predated recover.

We do not know better than nature. Even putting out food for wild birds - which I do in generous quantities - is interfering with the natural order of things, but I justify that because it compensates for the loss of natural food and habitat due to human intervention.

​​​​​As for game 'keepers' they are breeding unnatural quantities of birds just to killed. To kill another species simply to protect the intended victims of human predation is just plain wrong.
fair enough, Chris. Genuine question, what predates on Magpies?
Echo Romeo is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2019, 17:25
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Coasting South
Age: 64
Posts: 47
Saw first swallows of the year here today.
hiflymk3 is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2019, 21:32
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Darkest Surrey
Posts: 5,803
Was somewhere by the sea last week where Sand Terns have been using to breed for 30 years among the shingle. Last year was most succesful even in that 14 chicks left the beach heading for Africa. Most up to that was 1 a year. Chatted to a volunteer who watches over them and learned a huge amount.

They fierce little buggers who will attack a Kestel and by size and speed the Kestrel gets driven off.

Hooded Crows (or the Boot Boys) of the crow world sit and watched and then worked out that flying over they get attacked. So they landed 20 metres away and walk in, no defence against that so this year they put up nets and kept the buggers out but a Fox destroyed 22 nests and ony 15 have renested.

Wild.life books said parents keep coming back, I suggested like Magaluf for birds to go on holiday and get laid, but chicks never do until they took the photos of a chick back with parents (goosberry), all ringed which blew that theory out of the water.

Last edited by racedo; 18th Jun 2019 at 21:45.
racedo is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2019, 21:53
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Darkest Surrey
Posts: 5,803
Garden at home is unlike rest of the manicured and well kept ones elsewhere, zero solar lights and borders just grass cut every week or two..

Old guy next door cuts every 2 weeks or so but its full of daisies and other flowers at the moment with Bees, lots of birds and other things coming and going.

He always making suggestions but sitting on his porch one day i just said look as more birds arrived to dig around and feed. "You daft bugger" was all he said follwed by " I put feeders out and other stuff but you let it be partially wild and let them come and feed".

He then asked why no Solar lights and I just said, let the nocturnal animals do whatever they do, why disturb them.
racedo is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2019, 22:06
  #40 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 55
Posts: 5,631
Walking back from the pub on Friday, friend pointed out a bank that had been left uncut by the council; I noticed today that they have razored a nearby bank that drops around 15 to twenty feet to the road (at the top of Sanderstead Hill for any locals) almost back to bare earth - I would have thought it's proximity to trees and the lack of any need for it to be cut that I can think of would have made it an ideal natural space for encouraging winged wildlife...
treadigraph is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.