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Has anyone noticed that for most of this year there seems to have been a lack of smaller birds?

Plenty of crows, rooks pigeons, thrushes and blackbirds but no sparrows, wrens, finches or other smaller birds just the cheeky robin.

The bird feeder has just stayed full most of the year even though I replace it's contents each week.

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Here's the (almost) resident woodpecker (male) taken by my next-door neighbour. The holes he pecks are like .22 rounds. Quite audible while he's at it...

It could be that you’re standing closer to them this year. Try moving further away and see if they get smaller.

Not exactly a little bird but one taking its toll on the local populations. A Prize-winning shot of a Kestrel, captured today by my neighbour. You gotta put the time in to get a smudge like this...

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7 hours ago, doc.fixit said:

Has anyone noticed that for most of this year there seems to have been a lack of smaller birds?

Plenty of crows, rooks pigeons, thrushes and blackbirds but no sparrows, wrens, finches or other smaller birds just the cheeky robin.

The bird feeder has just stayed full most of the year even though I replace it's contents each week.

Sorry to hear that doc but the numbers in our garden have held up well. I regularly complete the garden birdwatch form and the last couple of weeks there's been over 20 goldfinches each day feeding on nyger seeds and sunflower kernels. 

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I was fishing off the breakwater on Wednesday and a Sparrowhawk actually flew under my fishing rod.

That's the nearest I've ever been to a wild hawk.

So there must be plenty of them about....

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10 hours ago, P.K. said:

I was fishing off the breakwater on Wednesday and a Sparrowhawk actually flew under my fishing rod.

That's the nearest I've ever been to a wild hawk.

So there must be plenty of them about....

I had one in the back garden

sparrow hawk.JPG

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22 hours ago, doc.fixit said:

Has anyone noticed that for most of this year there seems to have been a lack of smaller birds?

Plenty of crows, rooks pigeons, thrushes and blackbirds but no sparrows, wrens, finches or other smaller birds just the cheeky robin.

The bird feeder has just stayed full most of the year even though I replace it's contents each week.

We noticed a distinct lack of Blue Tits this summer Doc which was out of the ordinary and a bit of a worry. Great Tits and our local Robin (and his squeeze) were as per, ditto the sparrows. No sign of a Dunnock though, which was also unusual. Having said that, Thrushes were bloody everywhere in our garden; never seen so many. 

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Cheers folks, as I said, thrush and blackbird, robin and starling fine but the usual throng of sparrows, dunnocks, tits, chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch etc , missing completely. The sparrow hawk hasn't shown up either but the buzzards are right up in the sky mewling away. Neighbours report the same.

The collared doves put in an appearance every so often but that's it, sadly.

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Our garden, and the next door neighbour's garden have around a dozen feeders dotted around and I have spread the extra apples from an abundant crop we had into the wilder parts of the garden, roof of the summerhouse and shed. I've positioned half a dozen nest-boxes in the ivy and surrounding trees which have all been used this year so fortunately we've not seen any reduction of the various species. Plenty of sparrow, the usual squabbling chaffinches, all the tits, wagtails, bloody robins that sing through the night 🤫, tree-creepers wrens and best of all, a woodpecker. Problem around here is the plethora of cats, including ours, but a soggy teabag fired from my hunting catapult soon sorts them out. There's a white one going around with tea-stains all over it 😄 And bats. Loads of them, in fact I sat outside last night looking at Mars through the scope and there were plenty of them. 

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Our neighbour suggested that it might be a sparrow hawk he had seen around a lot this year, sounds reasonable, sadly I must agree. I had a close encounter with one a few weeks ago, scared the beejaysus out of me. I just was going through an arched gateway into the orchard as the hawk decide to do the same in the opposite way, bloody hell, talk about aerobatics.

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The cock Siskin's have a habit of flying at their own reflection in the window glass. Usually they come round after a dazed half-hour. One had its beak all twisted, like a cross-bill finch but a couple of weeks later there he was sat on the fence. How he was feeding properly was a mystery but he looked otherwise healthy. The Redpoll's are a great looking bird. 

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On 10/11/2020 at 7:30 PM, doc.fixit said:

Our neighbour suggested that it might be a sparrow hawk he had seen around a lot this year, sounds reasonable, sadly I must agree. I had a close encounter with one a few weeks ago, scared the beejaysus out of me. I just was going through an arched gateway into the orchard as the hawk decide to do the same in the opposite way, bloody hell, talk about aerobatics.

I don't think the Sparrowhawk would make that much difference, I have a Sparrowhawk that regularly sits on the fence or log pile waiting for the small birds to come to the feeders and then picks its meal. I still have plenty of small birds though every day although flock numbers vary in waves over the course of a few weeks. At the moment hardly any Sparrows and lots of Goldfinches.

The birds that I have noticed a big drop in numbers this year in the garden are Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Starlings.

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Thanks for that, how strange, your experience is the exact opposite of mine. As I said, we have an abundance of the blackbirds, thrushes etc but absolutely no small one at all and I notice there are fewer on our local walks as well.

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