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The forum on House Sparrow behaviour got my memory moving and prompted this missive.One of my hunting grounds at Walton-on-the Naze, Essex, as a young lad around about 1947/48 was a farm at Ashes Corner. There were ponds for dipping, hedges for bird watching and always the Gamekeepers gibbet to see what unfortunate creature had been killed off, always a sad event, but I couldn't resist a peek.
The farm had a stack yard with a very high Hawthorn hedge surrounding it. In the hedge there were always a strong population of Sparrows in that hedge and each spring the hedge would have an untidy mass of straw from the stack yard as dozens of noisy birds nested there.
The area has long since been 'developed' and the Sparrows have departed. I dont know of any site like this in our area now. Does anyone know sites where sparrows nest this way or have our farming methods changed this habit.