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Sparrows


Pip

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I'm quite sad that I never see any Sparrows in our garden even though I put feeders out and water in the birdbath.  We have a visiting Blackbird and his mate, a Blackcap, Bluetits and Woodpidgeons but never any Sparrows.  I know it is rumoured that they are on the decline but I have just spent the most wonderful few days sitting in my friend's garden,  100 miles away,  surrounded by a plethora of birds including Sparrows and wonder if there is anything else I can try to entice some into mine.  A question for you Chris pp.  We are on the S.W. coast in England and have a large contingent of seagulls all year round.  Do you think they may be the reason why we have so few smaller birds in the area ?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I value yours Chris.
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Chris will know better, but I have been observing the birds in our school grounds, and the smallest are Magpies, which are beaten up by the crows, which are thumped by the seagulls. Pigeons don't seem to count. We once had a sparrowhawk, but it was injured. In France we have large numbers of field sparrows following the cows, presumably after insects disturbed by the cows feeding. They go all hooligan at times, flying about in swarms and arguing amongst themselves. Julie reckons they remind her of an infants' playground.

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which are thumped by the seagulls.

Yes Dick, I did wonder whether the Seagulls were bullies frightening the smaller birds.  They are always doing ' the Dambusters ' on our roof as we are quite high up over a valley not far from the beach.  There are more dog lovers than cat lovers in our area, so I didn't think it could be cats keeping them away !  I suppose there has to be a 'pecking' order in most things !  Don't mind the Seagulls, especially Sid who sits on the lamp post, but now wish they preferred the other side of the valley.[:)]

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Have you got bushes or thicket that would attract sparrows? We thought we would lose our sparrow population when we re did our garden last year, but we still see lots, although I think they now roost elsewhere.

This year the crows really seem to be going for the collared doves and we found a dead one the other day.

 I think we have a blackbirds nest or possibly two, both in ivy.

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Hi Gay

We have several trees in our garden and in our neighbour's garden.  Large conifers, fruit trees etc. and plenty of tall bushes - bird's paradise I would hope !  I do everything in my power to attract them, as I love to watch them, but we see so few.  I would think that Dick is quite right and the Seagulls frighten them away.  Obviously Sid and Co. rule the roost !

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I wouldn't have thought that I was the best person on this and I really don't have much of a clue about the UK these days but when I go to the west coast here, Vendee and Charente-Maritime, I see plenty of house sparrows in and around the villages and dunnocks in the surrounding areas. There also doesn't seem to be a problem with any of the other smaller birds.

I don't get any house sparrows in or around my house even though it should be suitable for them but my neighbours place always has loads!

Chris

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Thanks Chris, but sorry you seem to be in the same position as us !  I think when we move to France I will spend all my time looking at the gardens of the houses we might buy, to establish whether they are bird magnets or not, before we buy ![:D]
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Be careful what you wish for  says Tresco

While at my friend's house they warned me that their resident Blackbird would wake me up with his singing at the crack of dawn.  Give me that any day to the shrieking seagulls that wake us up before dawn !  Sadly I slept through his melodious song..................[:(]

Gay, we don't seem to get crows around here so can't compare.  Maybe I'm just not using the right kind of food.  Any ideas anyone ?

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All this winter, since we started feeding we have had masses of birds including  robins, blackbirds, occasional thrush, doves, all kinds of finch (incl. my favourite goldfinches), great and other t*** etc.  Now, although I am still feeding most of the above seem to have left and instead we have lots and lots of sparrows and wagtails.   Oh, and the doves still come over for a free feed and of course, the swallows are back.We have stopped filling the feeders which are not being used much and scattering the seed on the ground instead.   Strange that we seem to have had a change of population but I am happy to see the sparrows again and the wagtails are really cheeky chappies.

Anne

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I was driving out of school this evening and a couple of starlings were rummaging in the grass bank by the entrance, so I watched them while I waited for the Israeli Embassy-style security gates to open. The sun was shining through their back feathers, and if I had never known what iridiscent means, I would now. They often look plain birds, but when the sun is on them they shine and shimmer. Beautiful.

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