Strange antics of a Sparrow(?)

I’ve noticed over the past few days the antics of a small bird, possible a Sparrow (greyish with white wing bars).
It perches on a branch near to the Berlingo and spends hours on and off flittering between that and the darkened rear right window of the car. After each hovver it returns to its perch.
I set up the tripod and camera on the terrasse and it ran for 13 minutes before the batteries ran out, but didn’t catch him, perhaps my presence put him off for a while.

Then with new batteries I lurked inside with camera at the ready.

These are the results. Not good at all because I am shooting through a window which is not clean, partly due to dog noses but also as our defence against bird strikes so I can’t zoom in for a closer look.

Any ideas as to what he is up to? The only thing I can think of is that he can see his reflection in the dark glass. Before towing the caravan in my early dog transporting days I used to sleep in the car with my passengers. :rofl:

My guess would be the same as yours, especially if his breed (? I’m sure that’s not the right word) is one where the females look similar to the males – so he’s looking for a mate?

Might your little bird be one of these?

FichesODJoiseaux_1.pdf (3.7 MB)

Well he will be really frustrated before much longer, he was back again just a few moments ago. Perhaps the Robin chased him off again.

@Susannah thank you, the closest I can find there is the Pinson des Abres, a Chaffinch, mainly because of the wing bars. Or perhaps a Serin Cini, but he seems more drab than them apart from the bars.

Or my first thought Moineau Domestique? But those white bars. :thinking:

Damn. Just caught a movement in the corner of my eye and it was him, came close to collect dropped seeds from the bird bar, only 2 feet away, but my instinctive movement caught him as well and he was gone in an instant.

He just came back. :joy: The white bar is really bright and distinctive, bordered by a black one under it, and then a tiny bit of white below that. Back to the Pinson again, but the rest of him is really just grey.

I’ll scatter a few seeds on the bird bar and if he starts to come back can set up the trail camera there, activated by movement.

I’m thinking that the French handy chart may only show males? Maybe your little bird is a female. In which case she mayn’t be looking for a mate, just food :grin:

That would also explain its duller appearance - female birds are, in general, less colourful than the male of the species

Glad you added the smiley there. Type-casting males as sex mad and females as greedy guts is frowned upon these days, isn’t it. :rofl:

But yes, you could be right. Just checking the batteries in the trail camera at the moment but he has not been to the bird bar yet.

@_Brian Yes, correct, I’ll see if I can get some decent pictures later.

Looks like a female Chaffinch to me
Scattering seeds on the ground is better they prefer it


That’s it I reckon, but this one is less colourful other than on the wings.

The batteries for the trail camera have gone flat even while not being used so I have them on charge at the moment. It is a very good piece of kit but only operates with 1.5v AAs, which are about as rare has Chaffinch’s teeth. :roll_eyes:

Oh David… thanks to you, this thread has brought me out of a dark moment and made me smile…

Some years back, Little brother, keen birdwatcher, was visiting and I sent him off to the “field over there…” where I’d seen some “little brown birds…”

He returned an hour or so later and scornfully told me what a dunce I am…
He then took out a list he’d made and rattled off so many different names… explaining just what those “little brown birds” actually were…
I’d no idea there are so many, which look so similar…

Mind you… he realized how close it was to mealtime and fearing I would refuse to feed him, swiftly admitted that it was easy for the average person Not to notice the small, important differences etc etc…

We all had a good laugh… (and a good meal).

ah well… I may only be Average… but at least I’m alive and kicking… :+1: :wink:

That would be a good name for a song…O wait a minute :wink::yum:

I agree with Wozza. It’s a female chaffinch… They like to root around on the ground looking for seeds.


Pretty sure that’s it. I have been out for a while, the resumption of Jules’ training class which these days is pretty much a bit of recall and a bit of marche aux pied and a lot of coffee and chat, but I did set up the trail camera before I left so she might have visited the bar, the trail of seeds does seem a little depleted. I’ll check it later on but I have seen her flying about near the Berlingo since I came back in. (That hasn’t moved btw, it is laid up for the winter with battery disconnected).

1 Like

Perhaps she’s eyeing up the Berlingo as a nesting opportunity…


I thought you were going to say as a possible mate. :astonished:

Can you imgine it, come spring, a clutch of little flying Berlingos zooming around? :rofl:


@David_Spardo - if your Berlingo is laid up for the winter, I strongly suggest you get some anti-rodent spray and use it on anything plastic or composite under the bonnet, as well as any exposed bits of writing loom. My Saab’s main loom was attacjed by the blighters and I was very, very lucky to be able to repair the damage.

Norauto have quite a range of suitable products:

Thanks @_Brian, I never thought of that, I’ll check it out. :smiley:

Mrs chaffinch, super sweet, Mr chaffinch is much brighter, there was a gang of them racketing about on my terrace digging in leaves chucking things around etc the other day, delightful :heart_eyes:

1 Like

I once had a male chaffinch bash itself relentlessly against my living room window for two solid weeks from dawn till dusk. Presumably thinking his reflection was a rival male. It got really tedious. :woozy_face: Tried to chase him but he kept coming back. The power of hormones. Wouldn’t have assumed females would do the same but who knows.

This one flutters up and down against the glass before returning to the perch.
The good news is that I saw her a few moments ago very near to me on the terrasse hoovering seeds.
The bad news is that, after several months of non use, I obviously didn’t set the trail camera up correctly and the only thing on it was a brief shot of my feet as I retrieved before dark last night.
I’ll try again today. :roll_eyes: