I’ve talked about my tree sparrows loads of times here (just click in the tag cloud to read the posts). I get lots in the winter, and very few in the summer, but so far this year numbers are still high.
Today I counted sixty birds. I’ve been expecting numbers to start reducing, so I’ve just taken a peek at my BTO Garden Birdwatch stats for this time last year: I only saw twenty birds in the week.
I don’t know where my birds breed – just that it’s not in my garden. I wonder if this year they’ve found a nesting site closer to me, so they’re still hanging around? Or maybe they are breeding later this year?
The house sparrows established their breeding colonies ages ago, but my tree sparrows have only just started to get into the spring groove. This week there’s been lots of excited chattering. They’ll zoom in from nowhere, form into a tight mass in the middle of the hedge (I can only think of a sardine bait ball), chatter madly for five minutes then pretend nothing happened.
This evening the sparrows were particularly boisterous: at least sixty of them lined up along the branches of my overgrown mock orange. More like starling behaviour than sparrow – in fact I’ve never seen them do this before. Then, like starlings, they flew off in ones and twos to roost in my neighbour’s conifer. Bonkers!
Here are some more pics: