Bird facts

House sparrows squabbling - a sparrow
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House sparrows Cambridge GR - House sparrow party
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There are at least ten breeding bird species on the Cambridge Road Estate.

This may not sound like many -but there are some important colonies of birds dependent on the features not found elsewhere.

This includes a colony of house sparrows- a bird  that appears on the JNCC red list of conservation concern or can be deemed endangered. There are more than 25 pairs of house sparrow breeding in features associated with the semi-detached houses (dropped hanging tiles, broken soffits and gaps behind rainwater goods, and a permeable roofline).

with this years brood numbers have reached >70 individual birds.

Developers ecologists sometimes think they can assist, by replacing the features that the birds are dependent on with sparrow terrace boxes. This doesn't understand  the communal nature of the bird, the requirement for safe places to breed, squabble and dust bathe. There if further  requirement for  ease of communication with other house sparrow colonies (to prevent breeding with brothers and sisters) and a healthy functioning environment full of insects and seeds (even seed eating birds require insects to feed their young).

Sparrows on the Cambridge Road Estate M. Coles

Grey wagtails have bred on the estate  (2018) and they are  seen hunting for insects on the weedy gaps in  pathways.

Bats

Bats are very dependent on a number of features, but most of all an environment that retains  sufficient insect producing systems along with vegetation that will harbour the insect biomass where bats can find it.

 

It is not often that these conditions are met on a residential estate in such an urban setting; during this end of the year bat walk it was not expected that many bat registrations would be recorded on the equipment. But in fact there was bat activity wherever clusters of vegetation were located.

The key

Ppip = common pipistrelle; Ppyg = soprano pipistrelle, the yellow track is the route walked and logged by GPS

copyright Alison Fure

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Bonner Hill Road Kingston upon Thames KT1 3HE