Although sparrowhawks have not nested close by again they make regular appearances.
Here is a brief update of my original letter.
It seems an adult Great Spotted woodpecker was not taken and each year ‘our’ pair produces a chick which always seems to be taken by a sparrowhawk.
Last years chicks red crown was just beginning to turn black when I found a tail feather by our feeder and thought ‘sparrowhawk attack’ and the juvenile was indeed not seen again having been a regular visitor several times a day.
The adults are very wary and spend a great deal of time surveying the sky in all directions.
Photo left: Yellowhammer
Appears on RSPB hell’s Red List – Of cause!
“Must have escaped from an aviary.” Birds of high conservation – concern! Endearing powerful high pitched singing. Ravishing – Brilliant yellow plumage.
‘Red List species of conservation concern.’ WHO IS Concerned…? “Alarming 30 years RED! Extinct = When ?” Tell us…
Cont: ‘We have permanently allowed the loss of our Garden Songbirds.’ – “We have lost willow tits, cuckoo, sparrows, mistle thrushes, willow warblers, chiff-chaffs, spotted flycatchers, black-caps, gold crests, red polls, siskins, tree creepers.
The tit population is very low especially coal-tits and also our thrushes.”
Blackbirds have shown slight increase recently and so have bullfinches which have returned after three years absence – only two though (we used to have six). They used to eat the higher budding blossoms on one of our apple trees in particular leaving just a frilly skirt of blossom on the lower branches!
“We have just been left with plenty of magpies crows and buzzards so the remaining birds are at great risk of nest predation.”
I was reading ‘Mystery of the Silent Woodlands.’ Scientists are baffled as bird numbers plummet in yesterdays Independent. The article gives a list of seven possible causes of decline which includes predators ‘such as grey squirrels, members of the crow corvid family (magpies, etc) and great-spotted woodpeckers.’ - As ever “NOT a mention of sparrowhawks; this defies logic?”
Soon it will be too late and we shall have lost many of our Song-bird varieties.
‘I could weep’!
Keep up your good work. 2001 July: - By Carol Davies.
‘The Songbird Population in our Garden and Adjacent Woods has Never Recovered.’
Songbirds-Slaughter: God help ‘You’ stay sane. It IS A Blood Bath! WHO CAN HELP ‘US?’ – SICKENLY SAD – FOR BRITAINS GARDEN BIRDS.
IT WOULD SEEM ‘NOT’ the RSPB “With it’s Billions !” - WHO THEN?
Main Photo: Corn Bunting – Very cordial lyrical distinctive high pitched jangling song. “2010 – Numbers ‘Down.’ Truth DEAD Red ‘90%’ !”
‘Threatened Endangered In the UK?’ Loathsome. – Instead ‘DEAD’ Red List! – UK ‘Help’…
NOTE: Say the Truth RSPB If ‘You’ Care. How many are left? - Along with Far Too Many other once ‘common’ British ‘Garden Songbirds!’
Songbirds-Slaughter: View: Lost Birds & RSPB!
Herring Gull ‘Eating’ Adult Blackbird. Herring Gulls Live to 35 years!
View story: News ‘tweets’
‘Blame the Gulls’ – Daily Mail: 2001 September -
The demise of our songbirds has nothing to do with modern farming or changes in the weather. I was brought up on farms and worked on them for 30 years so I know a lot about wildlife and farming in general.
‘Take it from me that unless we have a cull of magpies grey-squirrels crows seagulls there will soon be none of the aforementioned birds left.’
I took my dog for walks across fields near where we live. The trees and hedgerows go all the way round the fields except for gateways and in the spring I witnessed two blackbird pairs and one thrush make nests there. A magpie started making its nest in a sloe tree next to a gateway about 100m from the songbirds nests.
Not one pair brought any young up from their nests and I saw the magpies eating the thrush eggs. I have seen grey squirrels eating birds eggs and young birds and watched them burying eggs under leaves. As well as eating partridge eggs and young hatchlings.
‘I have also witnessed seagulls eating peewit and skylark eggs. The gulls now outnumber the rooks that used to follow the plough; some of our paddocks that the skylark used to nest in are now overrun with gulls.’ So don’t blame our farmers or the change in the weather.
“Blame the do-gooders who say we must not kill anything. If nothing is done soon there will be no more dawn chorus that we used to know and love.”
2001 Daily Mail: ‘Blame the Gulls’ –
TWILIGHT OF THE BIRDS... 2002 August – The Telegraph - Ken Hughes.
You report on the decline of the Hawfinch in Britain made sad reading when coupled with the huge decline overall in British breeding birds. Particularly those of the finch family. One can observe in the country side the general decline in numbers of finches and many other species of bird.
“Without wishing to seem alarmist at the current rate of decline many of these and other birds may well be extinct in most of Britain within 10 years.”
Unfortunately this does not seem to worry the average person or indeed the government.
Only when these birds have gone for ever in just a few years from now will we perhaps wake up to what is happening in our fast vanishing countryside without which there would be very few birds of any species left.
“This cannot be allowed to happen.” 2002 The Telegraph:
Magpies Killing off Songbirds - Daily Express: 2003 September – D.Kargine, London
‘There is something touching in the naivety of those who fondly imagine that nature will always find its own balance.’
Its all very well telling us that the magpies cant go on increasing in number if the numbers of their prey. In particular the much prized songbirds – fall below a certain point.
But what will we end up with then? No songbirds and no magpies either. Whatever the nice symmetry of the ‘natural’ argument its clear that for whatever reason – mans intervention climate change acts of God – imbalances do occur. If magpies attack songbird nests and I’ve grown sick of ‘years’ of seeing them do it – ‘More magpies clearly mean fewer songbirds.’
2003 Daily Express: Magpies Killing off Songbirds -
Albert Einstein – “Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
Tree Sparrow – “Decimated 93%” – Warning – Britain… cry.
Rich chestnut crown. White collar cheeks with black spot.
Gregarious little Tree Sparrows were again Introduced Worldwide.
Shyer and smaller than our house sparrow.
Song more harmonious very active with permanently cocked tail.
Takes to next boxes.
Mate for life. ‘Our’ fetching elegant tiny – Tree Sparrow.
Disastrous Offensive UK – Why? Yet Another – On Red – Death – List!
Tree Sparrow – UGH! ‘You may never see them again.’ Do-You-Care?
These and so many more songbirds listed were once part of our lives.
Our common ‘garden birds’ along with so many other beautiful songbird visitors from across the sea.
2011: Use Only ‘Recent’ Data. MOSTLY ALL IS SO – ‘WAY OUT OF DATE’ – ?
Only the Charity http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk - ‘Present present day’ numbers. Percentage loss figures. Read about Songbirds – Our tragic loss.
Magpie: Latin meaning – ‘‘An appetite for substances unfit as food. Eating anything.’’ Perfect reference TO magpies.
They rarely ‘eat’ that which they – KILL – “They ARE JUST A – KILLING MACHINE OF SPARROWS AND SONGBIRDS!”
Albert Einstein: “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds!”
Many Agree about the Grey-Squirrel Menace… Eastern Daily Press: 2004 March – By Rex Hancy
‘The response to my article on the grey-squirrel menace was surprising.’ I had no adverse comment and the support was almost overwhelming. On the day of publication the phone continued to ring with readers telling me about their personal experiences. Many were glad to talk about hitherto private possibly secretive campaigns.
The common thread was surprise at the number of grey-squirrel animals involved.
One in a well-treed suburb thought that the half dozen or so visiting the garden were doing far too much damage so invested in a proper cage trap.
Fifty were caught in a single month - To lesson the damage by squirrels coypu traps were scattered about a small wood and accounted for more than 50 in a few weeks. Another who used to be keen on shooting has given up the practice with the single exception of squirrels.
Just under hundred were accounted for in a year all without moving from the house.
‘Yet increasing damage to trees in the surrounding woodland continues.’ The lesson we learn from that and similar accounts are that there is a huge reservoir out there waiting to fill any vacuum and as we know the breeding rate is high.
The majority of readers are more interested in squirrels nearer home – In the house in fact. One told of the pest controllers being invited in to deal with a squirrel in the roof. Eleven were found including young. In another horror story a squirrel clambered Father Christmas-like down a chimney then helped itself to what was edible. ‘When it tried to leave the chaos and damage had to be seen to be believed.’
For those who like to feed the birds and find squirrels moving in and taking the peanuts. Derek Cook from Gorleston has some advice. He now buys crushed peanuts from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The birds are happy to clear them up and the squirrels no longer call.
Eastern Daily Press: 2004 March - Many Agree about the Grey-Squirrel Menace... By Rex Hancy
“Songbirds Extinct Within 10 Years…!” – NO Garden Birds – ‘Facts Of Years Being Ignored – In Britain’ – Letters 2001 – 2004
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