Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Sparrows.

I read somewhere that a naturalist found fifteen wrens huddled together for warmth last winter in a nest box one night.

We are very lucky in that we have plenty of house sparrows here.   They are supposed to be less common than they were but that is certainly not true here where during the day our holly hedge makes a deafening sparrow noise.   We have noticed that when we sit in the sitting room and have our afternoon tea, outside the windows there is a constant stream of sparrows flying up in front of the window.   We have discovered where they are going - they spend their nights huddled together in the house martins' nests under the eaves.

Although it is less cold here and the fog has mostly gone, it is still winter.   And as a friend quite rightly pointed out this morning - February is often an awful month.   I am hoping that she is proved wrong and that at the very least our snowdrops will be out and we will be reminded that spring is only just around the corner.

Keep warm.

20 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

We are very lucky in that The Isle of Sheppey here in North Kent where I live, is like you, de-bunking the fact that the House Sparrow is now officially a bird of national concern. I have an all year round flock of c.40-50 birds in my garden and last year had five broods of youngsters. Three nests were in nest boxes and two were in my hawthorn hedge.
After a light frost, today has been a beautiful, cold but sunny day.

Countryside Tales said...

It's great you have the sparrows- their numbers are down 95% in some areas of London, potentially because of the particles in diesel fumes.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Late this afternoon, I noticed that it was still pretty light at 4.45pm. We are climbing out of winter's dark hole but I agree that February can be an awful, miserable month. I wouldn't want to be a sparrow at this time of year.

angryparsnip said...

I always worry about the birds in winter here. We do get down to freezing for a few evenings and every few years it really dips down.
But we have what I call mild winters. I would hope people do try to help the birds on these very cold days.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

I have heard of many birds huddling for warmth in a nest box. There are several dotted around our garden so I hope they will provide shelter. Apart from a few very sharp frosts it has been ridiculously mild here in our part of Gloucestershire. I am sure you are right about February and am looking forward to all the spring flowers coming into bloom. I have seen a small clump of snowdrops in flower, but mine are way behind them.

justjill said...

We have masses of sparrows, mainly tree, but a lot of house sparrows too. The weather is haywire. We have just had a few days of mild weather following the storms, the snow, how the birds cope I know not. What we have noticed is a big decrease in Greenfinches which are apparently being decimated by some awful illness.

donna baker said...

Though it costs a lot to buy different kinds of feed with enough protein and fat, I enjoy feeding the birds more than most anything else.

Joanne Noragon said...

How interesting to observe birds huddle for warmth. I've not seen it, but surely believe it.

Jimmy loof said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mac n' Janet said...

We're having a beautiful January, but I worry because February is always our winter month and it will be hard to go to winter now.

Cro Magnon said...

I really don't know the difference between House Sparrows and Hedge Sparrows. We have plenty of Sparrows but I wouldn't know which ones they were. At mid-day every day they come for lunch, and eat everything that's been dropped by the Great Tits from their grease balls.

Rachel said...

They got a virus and died.

Librarian said...

Hello Pat, sorry to see your blog has been chosen for a spam comment; maybe you'll want to delete it.

Back to topic: Plenty of sparrows here, with many gardens having privet (or other) hedges around them. When I am working from home and have the window open on a warm afternoon, I can hear them noisily confering in the one next door, and on my way to work, I pass several more hedges where they live and chat and flit in and out.
Lately, the food that I have put out on my window sill has not been touched, although it is proper bird food, no leftovers from my table. I wonder whether there has been a squirrel at work, chasing the birds off.

thelma said...

We have colonies of sparrows in several places in the village, they fly along the hedge twittering away to themselves, and I think it must be a myth that they are dying out, still can't tell the difference. But fell in love with our little wren, which I mistook for a mouse yesterday. It flew /hopped along behind a row of flowerpots, so small, so perfect.

Tom Stephenson said...

Cro: I think that House and Hedge sparrows are the same thing: Dunnocks, and not true sparrows at all. Since they tidied up the foliage here in town, we have no Dunnocks at all any more. You have to go to somewhere where they cherish their hedges and ivy on houses.

Derek Faulkner said...

Not true Tom, two different un-related species. The House Sparrow is Passer Domesticus while the Hedge Sparrow, Dunnock,or Hedge Accentor is Prunella Modularis and it's only close relative is the Alpine Accentor.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sorry Tom but Derek is quite right. I always think it is a pity that the dapper little hedge sparrow is called a sparrow because folk do mix up the two.

Virginia said...

Pat, I know Jessica said there was going to be a break while they did house stuff, but it has been a really long time between posts. Do you know if they are OK? I'm just hoping neither of them slipped down "the precipitous bank", or has been fatally injured by Ptolemy!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Virginia - do I blog with Jessica? If so then I probably know her by her blog name as the name is not familiar to me. Sorry.

Bovey Belle said...

Our Sparrows live behind the barge boards on the front of the house and are Very Happy there! I know they can be noisy, and pests, but they are always providing some movement in the garden.

I'm not surprised at the wrens in the nest box - we have a tiny hole next to our bedroom window (top) and in winter one year, I counted 86 wrens going in there to roost and when you are in bed you can hear them shuffling about!