house sparrows

ohanzee

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One of my earliest memories is the sound of house sparrows, they were possibly the most common thing around, millions of them, then at some point, not sure when, they vanished and became a pretty rare sight.

Yesterday I woke to the racket of a colony of them that descended on the garden, the noise woke me up, never seen so many, has the population returned?
 

diawl bach

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Plenty of sparrows here, at the feeder every day as a rule, we normally have 15-20 of them hanging around.
 

Mrtrout

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Loads here as well, in the morning the hedge around our garden is absolutely full of them waiting for us to feed them.
I once got up to 70 as a quick count before they all took off.
S.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Couple of links...

https://www.bto.org/about-bto/press-releases/sparrow-numbers-rise-garden-feeders

House sparrow decline stabilises, figures show | Environment | The Guardian

Noting the bit about feeders...

For a few years at my place of work in the 2000s, we had our office in a Portakabin, sited beside a boundary strip of trees and bushes next to farmland. We put feeders in the trees and it was interesting the way the different species found them over time and tuned in to them. We put nesting boxes up as well. I ended up making a list of all the species we had attracted - it was about 30, including things like yellowhammers and bramblings and redpolls. Most interesting was the tree sparrows. For the first couple of years there were none, and then we spotted one... which became 2... became 3... and after a further couple of years we had nearly 20 of them. We were not sure if they were just continuing to find the feeders and then hang around, or if the presence of the feeders was allowing them to breed in our spot and build up their numbers...

0965.jpg

As for house sparrows, they are highly colonial and highly residential about here. When I go a walk up the road and round the cycle path, I pass particular bits of hedge or shrubbery and there is a cacophony of house sparrow noise coming from the interior - and it's the same 3 or 4 spots every time. If I want to photograph one, I know exactly where to go to get it...

Flowers03Aug18_1540.jpg


Flowers04Feb20_5629.jpg
 

ohanzee

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I do see plenty of sparrows but this is the 2nd year I've not had any red poles to my feeders, anyone else getting them?

Al

I get some interesting ones, nuthatch, tree creepers, bullfinches, an odd black cap, but never seen a redpoll in my life.

Food out for the sparrows:thumbs:
 

Cap'n Fishy

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never seen a redpoll in my life.

We get them on the feeders on our club loch...

Rusky22Apr17_1809.jpg

Along with siskins...

Trossachs12Mar17_0163.jpg

... and all the more common stuff. :p

Redpolls obviously like niger seed, so try that - it's good for goldfinches too...

2980.jpg
 

easker1

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I get about 30 daily on the feeders, along with coal tits and even a robin trying to feed , I see on Cols Pics a Tree sparrow with the chestnut wig, very rare up here,siskins and Greenfinches getting scarce here, easker1
 

ohanzee

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This looks like a female sparrow that has found seed in a tin of red paint:)

Rusky22Apr17_1809.jpg

I had a family of gold finches nest just above the bird feeders last year, surprising in that they didn't seem to go near the bird feeders, I'll get some niger seeds and see how that goes:thumbs:
 

cgaines10

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We have them, I try and make sure the bird feeders are always topped up. However, I think I'll need to move it as a neighbour has just got cats :eek:hno:

We do get a few different types in our gardem, but i've never seen the Redpolls. I always have a set of house martins nest & it's always nice to see them every year.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I had a family of gold finches nest just above the bird feeders last year, surprising in that they didn't seem to go near the bird feeders, I'll get some niger seeds and see how that goes:thumbs:

There are only two things I know of that will get goldfinches on garden feeders: niger seed and sunflower hearts. In some places they are so fussy, they will take one but not the other - so it pays to try both.

Beware that niger seed is so fine it needs a special feeder - it will just fall out a wire cage feeder, so it needs a perspex type with small slots. Goldfinch beaks are like tweezers - that is why they are specialists at picking out fine seed.

Great spotted woodpeckers will come to peanuts...

Elibank24May18_5606.jpg
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I see on Cols Pics a Tree sparrow with the chestnut wig, very rare up here...

Here's a pair of tree sparrows on the works' feeders from back in the day...

3118.jpg

I always think of them as having mutton-chop sideburns. ;)
 

yardbent

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..............,siskins and Greenfinches getting scarce here, easker1

i have 6 feeders with peanuts, niger seeds and sunflower seeds

this winter I have not seen a single siskin

regular visits by a flock of 25-30 house sparrows and several dunnocks

also an occasional visit by a green woodpecker on the peanuts, as well as tits and goldcrests on the niger

but overall impression is less variety than 2018 when i was able to hand-feed a pair of collared doves,
 

sewinbasher

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House sparrows are definitely down in numbers in my area but I still have them nesting in the eaves. In addition on (or under) my feeders I get blue tit, great tit, greenfinch, chaffinch, goldfinch, and dunnock almost every day. A little less regular are nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, coal tit, siskin and blackcap. Bullfinch and long tailed tit visit the garden but don't often get on the feeders.

When I was a kid we used to take an egg from a house sparrow nest every day which the bird usually replaced, and if you did it often enough we sometimes got a white egg as they seemed to run out of pigment.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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fatshark

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That is a new one to me, I didn't even know they lived in Scotland.

Started breeding here in the 50's but very localised initially, now spreading north ... we've got them in Fife but not on Ardnamurchan. The BTO conveniently have a distribution map from the Bird Atlas on their website. There's a good account of their occurence in Ayrshire here.

Nuthatch are also spreading north into Scotland.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Nuthatch are also spreading north into Scotland.

Andy (Boorod) has regularly posted pics of Scottish nuthatches on the nature photos thread. He's also posted Scottish green woodpeckers. (Never seen one up here, myself.) My mate regularly visits the David Marshall Lodge at Aberfoyle and has quite a few shots of nuthatches from the bird hide/feeding station there.

Col
 

ohanzee

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Started breeding here in the 50's but very localised initially, now spreading north ... we've got them in Fife but not on Ardnamurchan. The BTO conveniently have a distribution map from the Bird Atlas on their website. There's a good account of their occurence in Ayrshire here.

Nuthatch are also spreading north into Scotland.

I get Nuthatches in the garden in Ayrshire and seen them near Glasgow, good news on the green woodpecker maybe:thumbs:
 
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