After the excitement of he grey heron this morning, and the resignation that hobbys and mouse martins are in Africa, I didn’t expect house sparrow to be too much of a challenge. And it wasn’t. Although, saying that, it was a bit more of a challenge than it would have been not so long ago.
You may or may not need me to say that the population of house sparrows in this country has declined rapidly in recent years, and no one seems to really know why. As I walked from my village edge home into the residential areas of the village it was the very familiar ‘cheap cheap’ that drew my attention to the evergreen bush at the edge of the path. It is such a familiar sound because I remember summer days as a child when it was almost deafening! I also remember raising some house sparrow chicks on year, after my dad dislodged the nest from a house he was working on. We kept them in the shed, and I am pretty sure they are fledged successfully.
So, in some ways, it is a bit disappointing that I saw maybe ten birds, a couple of males but mostly females, in this tree, and that was about it. I continued to walk around the village and I saw a few more small clusters. They are quite delightful, almost cheeky and maybe the smaller numbers will mean they appear less pest-like? These, as always, we bickering with each other in the tree, no doubt gossiping about the day. The colours were a bit faded, I assume due to winter, but I look forward to seeing the males especially with their black heads come springtime.