Now Chaffinches...

  muddypaws 11:33 AM 12 Nov 12

Is it unusual to see a couple of dozen at once?

Noticed them this morning working their way across the area from right to left.

Another dozen were out of shot to the right.

Found something they fancied.

Quick photo through window here:


  morddwyd 07:41 AM 13 Nov 12

Our native Chaffinches form large flocks in the winter, and do move around the country.

However, there are also large influxes of mainland Chaffinches from both Scandinavia and Central Europe between September and November.

If you see a large flock of Chaffinches, particularly if the are mainly males, it is worthwhile checking to see if there is a Brambling among them.

They are similar, but less common.

  Bing.alau 10:56 AM 13 Nov 12

When I was a lad and lived in the slums of Liverpool, our street was full of house sparrows. If you multiplied the numbers of them in the street by the amount of streets and then the amount of towns there must have been millions of them. Now they are practically non existent. My theory is the amount of cars and possibly their exhaust fumes have killed them all off. Still plenty of flying rats (pigeons) though.

Now living in the posh part of Liverpool the most birds we see at one time are the geese flying over to wherever they go every night, at this time of the year, probably the feeding grounds on the Wirral peninsula. Noisy neighbours though aren't they?

  morddwyd 20:58 PM 13 Nov 12

"My theory is the amount of cars and possibly their exhaust fumes have killed them all off."

The fluctuations pf populations of omnivorous species such as sparrows, gulls, pigeons etc is, in the long term, directly related to food supply.

That is why culling gulls never works in the long term, they simply manage to bring more of their young to maturity (the answer is actually sterilisation through doped bait).

The streets were "messier", not necessarily dirtier, but messier, back then, which meant more food. Hoe many people still shake a crumb laden tablecloth out in the garden three times a day?

  Bing.alau 21:14 PM 13 Nov 12

God knows where the sparrows got any food in our street then. I can't think of anybody who threw the left overs on the tablecloth in to the street or the back yard. I am also now wondering how the sparrows survived with the amount of cats about the area. I can remember one of them pinching a Sunday joint which one lady down the street had left to cool on the back kitchen window. (Why was it a back kitchen? we never had front ones)... She never lived that down. Now I am wondering how we could afford a Sunday roast? Things were tight before the war. We even got our coal from the railway sidings across the road. Those sparrows are awakening a lot of old memories in my addled brain.

  Aitchbee 17:00 PM 16 Nov 12

My big sister's house has a very big garden with bird station feeders and watering bowls dotted everywhere around [plus trees] and I always look forward to peering from her well-appointed windows at the varied birds (including chaffinches) that settle there just for a while.

It's also very exciting to just sit at a table [in her garden] and watch some of the birds at close quarters ... especially if you don't move or make a sound.


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