Saturday, 7 August 2010

Sparrows abound

The local sparrow population has boomed.  most pairs seem to have had at least two broods this year with little predation.  The birds often sit on our laurel bush, now that the top is pruned and there are twigs available to use as perches.
The success of the sparrows this year is probably due to the availability of concealed nesting sites in the hedges and bushes around the gardens, and to the easy access to feeders.  The presence of a local population of magpies and crows in the high trees around the gardens also helps to keep the predatory hawks away.
I have counted 32 sparrows at one time, but I suspect the group is somewhat larger as they tend to fragment to take advantage of the various feeders across the local gardens.  Their main competitors for food are starlings, but there is enough food to sustain both population groups.
 Yesterday, whilst walking around the lake at Trentham Gardens, we spotted this grey heron resting on a canoe at the lakeside.  The adults were quite active, flying frequently from bank to bank.  We also saw kingfisher and terns by the River Trent which runs at the side of the lake.

2 comments:

Robert said...

I was only saying to Susan yesterday that the sparrows have come back big time and are emptying the garden bird feeder twice a day, so perhaps we have a boom in numbers too.

The wren we used to see most days has also returned after going AWOL for a few months. The wood pigeons have never left the undergrowth and have chomped away on sparrow and tit 'throw me downs' all summer.

Watching the garden birds from the kitchen window is one of life's pleasures. I have already made up mind, any future kitchen will have an opening window so that I can use a camera to catch the birds in action.

Robert

Paul Pursglove said...

Interesting observation - yesterday a sparrow hawk flew across the garden obviously going somewhere else. As I saw it, there was a flurry of flapping in the laurel bush. All of the sparrows had simultaneously flocked down into the middle of the bush in an instant. They clearly have the survival instinct.
The Sparrow Hawk was being shepherded away by herring gulls.