I’ve just realised that I haven’t seen any house sparrows around my place in Higgins for a few days now. Referring to John’s email regarding a large flock at Holt, I wonder if my sparrows were a part of this.
I don’t recall the sparrows ever leaving this area in past years. They have always been around.
At 19:00 Hours yesterday I noticed several groups of small birds flying past the window. Went outside and saw the outer foliage of a spreading apricot tree was crowded with House
Sparrows, both males and females, although some of the latter were probably immatures. Arrestingly, the warm reddish rays of the westering sun imparted a ruddy patina to their dowdy plumage.
Groups of between 8 to twelve birds kept arriving from the south, most landed on the apricot while some continued north. After a few minutes, groups began leaving the apricot and
flying back in the direction they had come. Then, just thirty metres away, they paused for a few seconds in a bushy birch before flying on out of sight. This movement continued for maybe 5 minutes until no sparrows remained in the area.
After a good objective think I believe the total number I witnessed easily exceeded 100 perhaps 150. I suppose all this was some kind of post-breeding movement? Regardless, it’s
the largest flock of House Sparrows I’ve seen in Australia.