16 January 2012

Tree Sparrow update

Andrew Lucas wrote: 'Barry Weston and I visited the Newton Farm tree sparrow site at first light on Sunday morning. After about 20 minutes a single tree sparrow turned up and fed ravenously, until a pass by a sparrowhawk caused the birds to dive into nearby cover. Matt Hunter also visited later in the day, and saw the tree sparrow, and two passes by separate sparrowhawks. Let's hope our tree sparrow has its wits about it!

Afterwards, we split up, with Barry covering the farmland to the east, whilst I walked west to the feeding site at Kimley Moor. There was a flock of 20+ chaffinches at Kimley Moor, and a larger flock of about 50, along with a few house sparrows, just outside Scurlage. However, the general 'birdlessness' of much of the farmland was a concern. Sheep grazing or autumn-sown cereals seem to be the dominant land use, with few arable fields with weedy edges that farmland species might favour.

East of Scurlage looks like a better bet, with several large ploughed fields that might be worth a try. We hope to take a look at these over the coming weeks.

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