Friday, 28 June 2013


After missing out on a breeding pair of TREE SPARROWS that Steve Blake had found at Tyttenhanger GP, I eventually had to resort to visiting a private study area in the county to see this diminishing species. The Hertfordshire Bird Club have been involved in a long study on Tree Sparrows in a restricted area of countryside embracing their beloved Ash trees, hedgerows and water. The birds have been colour-ringed and have been throwing up some very interesting results (eg, one juvenile found later in autumn on an offshore North Sea oil rig and an adult - now breeding - from a Yorkshire colony). Anyhow, I visited this week and was delighted to see 28 of these rare birds, including 18 juveniles from this year's first broods...

The study area, incorporating 7 or 8 mature and healthy Ash trees and a small lake - optimum conditions for a Tree Sparrow colony

The study area feeding station where up to £120 of seed is consumed per annum

The main breeding colony; up to 25 nestboxes are on site and this year, at least 5 are occupied. The first broods have already fledged (18 individuals) with the second now fully underway. Three broods are typical, with a potential 54 'new' birds this year

And the TREE SPARROWS themselves

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