Runner beans

Hi,
This year and last year my runner beans (aka Pole beans) have been a flop. Very little flower and hence little produce. Any ideas? Previously grown in same plot and highly successful, plenty of water automatic in UK where we get so much rain but supplemented by auto irrigation ) I have noticed sparrows on the canes - could they be eating the flowers?
Thanks
Ron
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Yes. I've noticed that here in Puget Sound with my fruit trees. The 10 days or so while in bloom is critical- sometimes a heavy wind or rain will knock the flowers off and there will be little or no fruit later that season.
I'd put up a few shiny streamers or whirlygigs to scare the birds away.
(`._. rr ._.)
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