Monday, 12 November 2007

Tree Sprogs

If you want to see wintering Tree Sparrows in Bedfordshire you have to look at game strips. It seems that almost all of the most recent records of wintering birds in Beds have come from people looking at finch flocks around game strips.

This is again true for this winter. I was told there was one Tree Sparrow back at the Castle Farm game strips near Tingrith over a month ago. I finally got along there last weekend, and after a little bit of searching found at least fifteen of these great little birds sheltering in the hedges.

Tingrith is about half an hour away from where I live, so was pretty chuffed to hear that someone had also seen some about a mile from my house! Armed with good directions, I pottered along there at lunchtime today and found one of these hansom Sparrows cavorting with the commoner House Sparrows. I even managed a shot (see above).

The challenge now, is to make them stay the winter and work out where they breed...


  1. Now for the benefit of someone a long way away, could you clarify what a "game strip" is? I can make an educated guess - I am assuming it's not a local name for an indoor cricket venue - but my time in Bedfordshire made me wary of second guessing local terminology!

  2. A 'game strip' is a crop planted specifically for game birds (Pheasants or Partridges) to use as cover in the winter months. The gamekeepers usually put a few large seed hoppers amongst them and that attracts the buntings, sparrows and finches.


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