Saturday 3 September 2022

Tree Sparrow

The Tree Sparrow was still present this morning, despite me bringing my camera out. It seems more wary than yesterday, indicating a recent arrival perhaps. It rarely perched up, and spent most of its time either hiding from people or feeding on the ground. When anyone approached it flew back into the brambles and didn't come out until they had retreated. Nonetheless I managed a grab shot when it made a mistake and perched on a twig for a nanosecond. Bad luck! The last record was in 1987, not 1985 as I had originally thought. Their decline in London has been phenomenal - breeding pairs at Beddington declined from 61 in 2012 to nine in 2013. In 2020, zero. At Tyttenhager 23 nests in 2019 dropped to eight in 2020. There are now fewer there than at Beddington in 2013 so I think we can see where this is headed. Such a shame as they are such smart little birds. This is likely to be the last one I see.

Elsewhere the Wryneck was a no-show, although it would not surprise me if it was still around, also hiding from me, but all of yesterdays Wheatears and Whinchats had stuck around. One of the Wheatears was particularly friendly and allowed a close, if muddy approach. The Whinchats stayed within the confines of the Skylark enclosure for the most part, and were thus perpetually out of range. The Skylark fence is fantastic and was a long time coming, but the Corporation of London isn't really playing ball with the agreed dates, or at least the fencing season does not seem to tally with the breeding season previously displayed on the signage. I'd quite like to be able to get in there now that breeding is over, maybe that is where the Wryneck is hanging out?

A distant Whinchat

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