The lovely Tree Sparrow is making a slow recovery after a catastrophic decline of 93% between 1970 and 2008. Both male and female Tree Sparrows have a brown cap and a dark spot on their pale cheek, compared to the grey cap of the male House Sparrow. Both birds can be encouraged to nest by putting up groups of boxes. It is nest- box time, and you can look up various birds’ needs on the BTO site. I watched these at Druridge Bay on the NE coast where they use simple bird feeders made from plastic bottles. Conditions: some sunny intervals amid the cloudy skies. Temperature:Max 7- Min 2c.