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twenty

Swifts

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Swifts returned on local farm Wednesday. Straight in to the nest box's provided on gable as it was raining! will be watched on nest cam by many as in previous years and young ringed before fledging! Turtle doves  settled paired up,calling,displaying  and coming to feeders. Protect them best we can! Spotted fly catchers back  again. Lot of skylarks breeding this year! English partridges seen regularly and doing well!. Buzzard numbers down but breeding. lot of young rabbits out lately so they should do ok! Loads of leverets about so maybe dog walkers are listening to us and keeping dogs on leads in breeding season and keeping to foot paths! Kestrels and owls in box's. Beat the jackdaws to them this year. Hobby's over street and will probably nest  behind the school  again this year. lots of birds and critters visiting newly created flood prevention/farm resivour. Sticklebacks {3 and 10 spine} i rescued from dried up stream and put in will flourish and feed many others! Still seems strange seeing ravens regularly over my part of Suffolk. They breed locally last year but seem to disappear in winter. often little egrets about to.This  level of flourishing wildlife is all on various local farms some of which are game shoots. Where pest control and crop protection is carried out alongside good limited habitat management, creation. improvement and limited supplementary feeding to help turtle doves and other  red list birds. Success and proof that all this works for the good of and all wildlife is backed up  by data from bird ringing and records of pest control.  Some carried out on farms that  have won awards for conservation yet not receiving there farm payments for what they do alongside people like myself. We are not scientists,  have honours or letters after our name and clever words! But  as country folk  we have a lifetime of knowledge and passion for wildlife shooting  conservation. and wonderment of the natural world! like our fathers and grandfathers!  These people and organisations that have limited understanding or self promoting/bigger agenders labelling us "casual killers and wildlife Vandals" by trying to change and take away our ways of controlling pest species  and wildlife conservation, will cause all we do and years of hard work to unravel quickly and any trust that has been built  with the conservation org's and gov bodies in resent years to be lost! The growing number of turtle doves now returning remind me of that!  We have  a significant number of the returning UK population locally.  They have been building slowly over the years from our hard work and knowledge! The org's and trusts wouldn't believe we had them a few years back till we showed them! They were the same with our water voles, barn owls and kingfishers. Wildlife thriving on on farms and even worse shoots just does not fit with there agenda or membership! . . . Sorry to waffle on folks!  But i feel a lot of hard work  done by us real conservationists and people that truly care is gona go down the pan! . . .. . It''s been a hard  week and this is probably in the wrong section!       Atb   NB

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2 hours ago, NatureBoy said:

Swifts returned on local farm Wednesday. Straight in to the nest box's provided on gable as it was raining! will be watched on nest cam by many as in previous years and young ringed before fledging! Turtle doves  settled paired up,calling,displaying  and coming to feeders. Protect them best we can! Spotted fly catchers back  again. Lot of skylarks breeding this year! English partridges seen regularly and doing well!. Buzzard numbers down but breeding. lot of young rabbits out lately so they should do ok! Loads of leverets about so maybe dog walkers are listening to us and keeping dogs on leads in breeding season and keeping to foot paths! Kestrels and owls in box's. Beat the jackdaws to them this year. Hobby's over street and will probably nest  behind the school  again this year. lots of birds and critters visiting newly created flood prevention/farm resivour. Sticklebacks {3 and 10 spine} i rescued from dried up stream and put in will flourish and feed many others! Still seems strange seeing ravens regularly over my part of Suffolk. They breed locally last year but seem to disappear in winter. often little egrets about to.This  level of flourishing wildlife is all on various local farms some of which are game shoots. Where pest control and crop protection is carried out alongside good limited habitat management, creation. improvement and limited supplementary feeding to help turtle doves and other  red list birds. Success and proof that all this works for the good of and all wildlife is backed up  by data from bird ringing and records of pest control.  Some carried out on farms that  have won awards for conservation yet not receiving there farm payments for what they do alongside people like myself. We are not scientists,  have honours or letters after our name and clever words! But  as country folk  we have a lifetime of knowledge and passion for wildlife shooting  conservation. and wonderment of the natural world! like our fathers and grandfathers!  These people and organisations that have limited understanding or self promoting/bigger agenders labelling us "casual killers and wildlife Vandals" by trying to change and take away our ways of controlling pest species  and wildlife conservation, will cause all we do and years of hard work to unravel quickly and any trust that has been built  with the conservation org's and gov bodies in resent years to be lost! The growing number of turtle doves now returning remind me of that!  We have  a significant number of the returning UK population locally.  They have been building slowly over the years from our hard work and knowledge! The org's and trusts wouldn't believe we had them a few years back till we showed them! They were the same with our water voles, barn owls and kingfishers. Wildlife thriving on on farms and even worse shoots just does not fit with there agenda or membership! . . . Sorry to waffle on folks!  But i feel a lot of hard work  done by us real conservationists and people that truly care is gona go down the pan! . . .. . It''s been a hard  week and this is probably in the wrong section!       Atb   NB

Couldn't agree with you more mate, I would love to be able to show the passion and commitment of what we try to achieve to Packham and Co, but they don't believe us.

Everything I do is aimed at building up numbers of vulnerable species, we have nestboxes for many species spread over the land we oversee, and have had a lot of success with this approach.

Just today  there are reports of returning Nightjar to the forest of dean, and even a golden Oriole to the Stroud area (south Glos).

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3 hours ago, NatureBoy said:

Swifts returned on local farm Wednesday. Straight in to the nest box's provided on gable as it was raining! will be watched on nest cam by many as in previous years and young ringed before fledging! Turtle doves  settled paired up,calling,displaying  and coming to feeders. Protect them best we can! Spotted fly catchers back  again. Lot of skylarks breeding this year! English partridges seen regularly and doing well!. Buzzard numbers down but breeding. lot of young rabbits out lately so they should do ok! Loads of leverets about so maybe dog walkers are listening to us and keeping dogs on leads in breeding season and keeping to foot paths! Kestrels and owls in box's. Beat the jackdaws to them this year. Hobby's over street and will probably nest  behind the school  again this year. lots of birds and critters visiting newly created flood prevention/farm resivour. Sticklebacks {3 and 10 spine} i rescued from dried up stream and put in will flourish and feed many others! Still seems strange seeing ravens regularly over my part of Suffolk. They breed locally last year but seem to disappear in winter. often little egrets about to.This  level of flourishing wildlife is all on various local farms some of which are game shoots. Where pest control and crop protection is carried out alongside good limited habitat management, creation. improvement and limited supplementary feeding to help turtle doves and other  red list birds. Success and proof that all this works for the good of and all wildlife is backed up  by data from bird ringing and records of pest control.  Some carried out on farms that  have won awards for conservation yet not receiving there farm payments for what they do alongside people like myself. We are not scientists,  have honours or letters after our name and clever words! But  as country folk  we have a lifetime of knowledge and passion for wildlife shooting  conservation. and wonderment of the natural world! like our fathers and grandfathers!  These people and organisations that have limited understanding or self promoting/bigger agenders labelling us "casual killers and wildlife Vandals" by trying to change and take away our ways of controlling pest species  and wildlife conservation, will cause all we do and years of hard work to unravel quickly and any trust that has been built  with the conservation org's and gov bodies in resent years to be lost! The growing number of turtle doves now returning remind me of that!  We have  a significant number of the returning UK population locally.  They have been building slowly over the years from our hard work and knowledge! The org's and trusts wouldn't believe we had them a few years back till we showed them! They were the same with our water voles, barn owls and kingfishers. Wildlife thriving on on farms and even worse shoots just does not fit with there agenda or membership! . . . Sorry to waffle on folks!  But i feel a lot of hard work  done by us real conservationists and people that truly care is gona go down the pan! . . .. . It''s been a hard  week and this is probably in the wrong section!       Atb   NB

How wonderful to hear all this. My day was made tonight when I saw a barn owl hunting up the banks of the small stream in front of our house. I was beginning to think the buzzards had had them all !

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fishing yesterday only seen a few swallows in Warwickshire been informed around for a week or two not been out in the countryside to observe  (ill health)  how many do goaders go out every two or three months and miss out on so much and yet their opinion  is  taken over people who live and work in the country side every day,  so the data collection by rspb  and others is flawed ,  people who work and live in the countryside are not consulted on such matters ,,, a resource wasted 

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On 10/05/2019 at 16:40, Teal said:

Not seen any swifts yet.

Was getting pretty concerned but this afternoon saw first swifts of the year on the farm. Three of them together. Hopefully more will follow.

Had seen some in NI a few weeks ago so not sure where our locals were held up but glad to see them. Hope others are turning up elsewhere in the country. It's a worry so many seem to be missing.

Egypt seems the wrong side of the continent for our swallow migration path, but I guess other countries may be trapping them also?

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11 hours ago, Teal said:

Was getting pretty concerned but this afternoon saw first swifts of the year on the farm. Three of them together. Hopefully more will follow.

Had seen some in NI a few weeks ago so not sure where our locals were held up but glad to see them. Hope others are turning up elsewhere in the country. It's a worry so many seem to be missing.

Egypt seems the wrong side of the continent for our swallow migration path, but I guess other countries may be trapping them also?

I have been seeing the odd ones for a few weeks now, but there are certainly fewer about than usual! In past years I regularly used to see doubles figures of them behind my property, I'm seeing just the odd ones presently.....let's hope more turn up as the summer progresses!

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Last evening Clodhopper and I saw possibly 100 mixed swallows, swifts and House martens feeding virtually at ground level and at such a height we could hardly see them.

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the swallows are flitting above the rape............and the swifts are screaming their heads off above the village............

still havnt heard a cuckoo now for at least 3 years

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Overall, the picture seems to be a shortage of hirundines and swifts so far, hopefully numbers will swell shortly. 

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Plenty of Swift's in Cardiff bay,also swallows and have heard three different cuckoos in three different locations,first on on April 29th.

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4 hours ago, greylag said:

Plenty of Swift's in Cardiff bay,also swallows and have heard three different cuckoos in three different locations,first on on April 29th.

Haven't heard a cuckoo yet this year, but did see a Hobby last weekend.

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On the 22nd of this month I was shooting on the Norfolk / Suffolk border and the field I was on was full of Swifts , no doubt there was a lot of insects and the Swifts were taking full advantage of the situation .

Strange birds , on the local radio they were talking about Swifts and were saying when it turn cold and there are no insects about the Swifts can fly as far as the Med to find enough to feed there young , while the young are waiting they go into semi hibernation and apparently the old ones can sleep while flying while making a long journey .

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Swifts......An increase in numbers yesterday, to the rear of my property! Maybe 5/6 at any one time?

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All  the swift box's up one farm are occupied and nesting now. Cam shows one lot sitting on 5 eggs. Saw swallows over and sitting on new drill last week. They and house martins get mud for nesting round the new flood prevention resivior. Little egrets turn up there to. Never found where they nest. Lot more insects my way this spring. Big hatches after rain. Got  8 turtle doves paired up on same farm to.  BTO ringer managed to get large male and ring it. Kingfisher to. Got several pairs on other farms and in village. Purrring opposite my house. I think the fact we got on top of the growing number of corvids last spring and this helped. As it was so dry they a real problem in the piggery, poultry and live stock units in big numbers. I am glad the rooks have left the rookery near mine. They were the first to start calling at first light. Real noisy. Two pairs of hobbys nesting local and kestrels doing well in boxes this year. Less buzzards and sparrow hawks this year and haven't seen the ravens that were about for a while. See goldcrests regularly and more treecreepers. Less woodpeckers! Got some young black rabbits  on one farm and some white on another. these seem to come thro when numbers are low. Never see mixed colours. Plenty of hares doing well. Got  9 different  species of birds  nesting in my garden. Dunnocks and blackbirds on second broods. Sparrow hawk got some young blackbirds and jackdaws had the pigeons nest. Blackbirds nest on my porch will fledged tonight or in morning i hope. Got some of the growing number of birds ringed on farm/shoot coming to my feeders. they expanding out thro corridors of proper hedge and habitat management! So we must be doing something right! Record numbers of yellow hammers. They even ringed a crow last month. Not bad for a bunch of "casual killers and wildlife vandals" without an oglogy or letters after our name!      NB

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20 hours ago, NatureBoy said:

All  the swift box's up one farm are occupied and nesting now. Cam shows one lot sitting on 5 eggs. Saw swallows over and sitting on new drill last week. They and house martins get mud for nesting round the new flood prevention resivior. Little egrets turn up there to. Never found where they nest. Lot more insects my way this spring. Big hatches after rain. Got  8 turtle doves paired up on same farm to.  BTO ringer managed to get large male and ring it. Kingfisher to. Got several pairs on other farms and in village. Purrring opposite my house. I think the fact we got on top of the growing number of corvids last spring and this helped. As it was so dry they a real problem in the piggery, poultry and live stock units in big numbers. I am glad the rooks have left the rookery near mine. They were the first to start calling at first light. Real noisy. Two pairs of hobbys nesting local and kestrels doing well in boxes this year. Less buzzards and sparrow hawks this year and haven't seen the ravens that were about for a while. See goldcrests regularly and more treecreepers. Less woodpeckers! Got some young black rabbits  on one farm and some white on another. these seem to come thro when numbers are low. Never see mixed colours. Plenty of hares doing well. Got  9 different  species of birds  nesting in my garden. Dunnocks and blackbirds on second broods. Sparrow hawk got some young blackbirds and jackdaws had the pigeons nest. Blackbirds nest on my porch will fledged tonight or in morning i hope. Got some of the growing number of birds ringed on farm/shoot coming to my feeders. they expanding out thro corridors of proper hedge and habitat management! So we must be doing something right! Record numbers of yellow hammers. They even ringed a crow last month. Not bad for a bunch of "casual killers and wildlife vandals" without an oglogy or letters after our name!      NB

That's a brilliant report mate, I think you  and I are from the same egg, .....My son and I have been monitoring a Heronry on the land he keepers,.. along with the BTO we have had a pretty good season with 14 active nests ( all fledged by mid/late April ).........Also a Barn Owl using a blue barrel in the rafters of an old barn.......30 plus nestboxes for the smaller species, (most in use).....2 raven nests also monitored, and a small rookery,...... along with Buzzard,Kestrel,Greylag,Canada,Coot,moorhen,Mallard,Mute Swan,Tawny and little owl, whitethroat,blackcap,Long tailed tit, plus all the usuals...............unfortunately the magpies are busy,..Larsened about 20 before the cesstation,.. but there you go.

All the best

 

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2 hours ago, twenty said:

That's a brilliant report mate, I think you  and I are from the same egg, .....My son and I have been monitoring a Heronry on the land he keepers,.. along with the BTO we have had a pretty good season with 14 active nests ( all fledged by mid/late April ).........Also a Barn Owl using a blue barrel in the rafters of an old barn.......30 plus nestboxes for the smaller species, (most in use).....2 raven nests also monitored, and a small rookery,...... along with Buzzard,Kestrel,Greylag,Canada,Coot,moorhen,Mallard,Mute Swan,Tawny and little owl, whitethroat,blackcap,Long tailed tit, plus all the usuals...............unfortunately the magpies are busy,..Larsened about 20 before the cesstation,.. but there you go.

All the best

 

Cheers Twenty! Just gota keep on doing what we do and keep banging the drum! Great you doing it with your boy mate! BTO ant all bad! No point in slinging mud! Packham , Avery and co choose to dismiss all what we do and any good science our orgs have done to show the  need for pest control and the real need to control ALL corvids! Might be worth you putting in for license for corvids with what you do with BTO and having red list species. 2 of the farms did and got all corvids! So we back controlling and trapping them. Both got license quick to, Both shoots as well. Having turtle doves, grey partridge other red listers and having  BTO on helped. Jackdaws  biggest problem this year. Being able to really get the corvid numbers down last year made a big  noticable differance!  Numbers of grey partridge ( seen two broods) and turtle doves well up,  More song thrushes in the area and plenty of whitethroat  about, Public support and interest been good since this mess kicked off! Only been other shooters that have questioned why i am still shooting. . . .Has all  kicked off in swift box up farm with cam on it! Another bird came in attacked the pair. big fight to exhaustion and all eggs destroyed. Nest now empty,  Plenty of bees and a lot more insects about again today and saw first pair  of spotted flycatchers of the year.  NB

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13 hours ago, NatureBoy said:

Cheers Twenty! Just gota keep on doing what we do and keep banging the drum! Great you doing it with your boy mate! BTO ant all bad! No point in slinging mud! Packham , Avery and co choose to dismiss all what we do and any good science our orgs have done to show the  need for pest control and the real need to control ALL corvids! Might be worth you putting in for license for corvids with what you do with BTO and having red list species. 2 of the farms did and got all corvids! So we back controlling and trapping them. Both got license quick to, Both shoots as well. Having turtle doves, grey partridge other red listers and having  BTO on helped. Jackdaws  biggest problem this year. Being able to really get the corvid numbers down last year made a big  noticable differance!  Numbers of grey partridge ( seen two broods) and turtle doves well up,  More song thrushes in the area and plenty of whitethroat  about, Public support and interest been good since this mess kicked off! Only been other shooters that have questioned why i am still shooting. . . .Has all  kicked off in swift box up farm with cam on it! Another bird came in attacked the pair. big fight to exhaustion and all eggs destroyed. Nest now empty,  Plenty of bees and a lot more insects about again today and saw first pair  of spotted flycatchers of the year.  NB

Yeah ,he has applied for corvid control licence,...........shame about that swifts nest,......reminds me of a couple of weeks ago,....my sons partner was gardening, pulled down a load of ivy off an apple tree, unfortunately containing a wrens nest and 8 eggs, she was gutted,.....but there you go,... 3 nestboxes on their cottage have produced House sparrow, blue tit and robin broods to compensate.....5 Shelduck on his ground this morning.

 

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On 02/06/2019 at 12:22, twenty said:

Yeah ,he has applied for corvid control licence,...........shame about that swifts nest,......reminds me of a couple of weeks ago,....my sons partner was gardening, pulled down a load of ivy off an apple tree, unfortunately containing a wrens nest and 8 eggs, she was gutted,.....but there you go,... 3 nestboxes on their cottage have produced House sparrow, blue tit and robin broods to compensate.....5 Shelduck on his ground this morning.

 

Saw farmer and more cam footage. Swifts actually fought to the death of one of them. He removed it after pair left box. Ringer recon it 3rd year bird but couldn't sex it as it odd size. Pair back in box already. Got ringed male green and gold finches nesting in my garden. Farmer saw and got a pic of stone curlew other day on drilled cover. Very rare in our part of Suffolk. Hope they hang about.  Jackdaws still battering the young birds! Only one of the young black birds still about. Wrens fledged yesterday morning. bouncing of every thing.   NB

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11 hours ago, NatureBoy said:

Saw farmer and more cam footage. Swifts actually fought to the death of one of them. He removed it after pair left box. Ringer recon it 3rd year bird but couldn't sex it as it odd size. Pair back in box already. Got ringed male green and gold finches nesting in my garden. Farmer saw and got a pic of stone curlew other day on drilled cover. Very rare in our part of Suffolk. Hope they hang about.  Jackdaws still battering the young birds! Only one of the young black birds still about. Wrens fledged yesterday morning. bouncing of every thing.   NB

Blimey,.....not seen a greenfinch locally for years,......gold finches feeding young with regurgitated sunflower seed in our garden yesterday,.....blackbird pair chasing off Jackdaws on a regular basis, second brood of chicks are 10 days old......

Spoonbill at WWT Slimbridge yesterday.

Yellow legged gull at Frampton pools yesterday.

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Had a spotted flycatcher sitting on eggs against the side of the house...…..came out this morning and the nest had been ragged out and eggs gone...…..crow, magpie, squirrel...…..who knows …...

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5 hours ago, Bell said:

Had a spotted flycatcher sitting on eggs against the side of the house...…..came out this morning and the nest had been ragged out and eggs gone...…..crow, magpie, squirrel...…..who knows …...

That's a terrible shame mate,...you feel sick in the stomach when you see it, don't you.

Hopefully they will attempt another nest/clutch,

Had a magpie scouting the gardens this morning, there were alarm calls, and pretend attacks aimed towards the corvid, but it was oblivious to them, and carried on probing the hedges and shrubs.

Also had a sparrowhawk hurtle through the garden the other day,.....every bird in the vicinity disappeared in a cacophony of alarm calls, ....unfortunately that is one of the drawbacks of having various bird feeders around garden,......the hawk knows the feeders are there too.

Last year we had a lovely cock canary, who sang his head off every day,..I used to hang his cage up in the garden, against the house,.......I heard a terrible commotion one day, ran outside to find a sparrowhawk pinned against the canary cage with its talon through the bars gripping the canary,.....you have got to admire the accuracy of attacking that cage, and grabbing the canary through the bars, which only had 10mm gaps,...................fortunately, believe it or not, the canary survived, blooded and shocked,.........he was singing again soon after.

 

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13 hours ago, twenty said:

Blimey,.....not seen a greenfinch locally for years,......gold finches feeding young with regurgitated sunflower seed in our garden yesterday,.....blackbird pair chasing off Jackdaws on a regular basis, second brood of chicks are 10 days old......

Spoonbill at WWT Slimbridge yesterday.

Yellow legged gull at Frampton pools yesterday.

Greenfinches been slow to recover from virus that knocked them back few years ago. Several about this year. Few more bullfinches and linnets to. They ringing record numbers of yellow hammers on the farm. Shows populations can expand with a bit of help, the right habitat, wildlife corridors and pest control!  Think that the same farm being in RBAPS trials help birds and loads of insects this year! Birds still using feeders hard this tie of year shows they still need our help. Jackdaws still hitting birds daily in a lot of gardens in village. Hopefully now we have had some rain they will lay off the birds. 80% of young songbirds don't make the year.  NB

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9 hours ago, NatureBoy said:

Greenfinches been slow to recover from virus that knocked them back few years ago. Several about this year. Few more bullfinches and linnets to. They ringing record numbers of yellow hammers on the farm. Shows populations can expand with a bit of help, the right habitat, wildlife corridors and pest control!  Think that the same farm being in RBAPS trials help birds and loads of insects this year! Birds still using feeders hard this tie of year shows they still need our help. Jackdaws still hitting birds daily in a lot of gardens in village. Hopefully now we have had some rain they will lay off the birds. 80% of young songbirds don't make the year.  NB

Yeah it was Trichomonosis wasn't it that did for the finches etc,......we've got chaffinch back in decent number,...and as you say yellowhammer have done well.

I am amazed at the House sparrow revival in the last few years,.....It is now normal to see 3 or 4 in the garden at any one time, and during a recent garden bird survey for Gloucestershire Ornithology group I was regularly reporting numbers of up to 15 at a time on the feeding stations........During March and April I regularly put down soft feathers that I collect from Pigeon etc, on to the lawn, the number of sparrows that are attracted to these is amazing, and a good handful will normally be taken away within minutes, its great to watch.

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