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.