Archive for January 4, 2013

Where did the sparrows go?

Posted: January 4, 2013 in Birds, Natural History

I used to rely on my mums garden as a banker for House Sparrow. I remember that about 30 years ago I took part in a survey of House Sparrows in London (We were concerned about them even then). But my Mums garden kept producing good results with parties of 25 plus in the autumn. And so it has continued although the numbers have declined and were more recently in single figures. But she hasn’t seen one in her garden since the autumn. Plenty of Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Starlings and the occasional Greater Spotted Woodpecker, but no House Sparrows.
This matches what we have seen in our Garden. We don’t lack for bird species. My garden list must be between 20 and 30 species but no House Sparrows for at least 10 years! There was one spot on King Johns Walk, near the riding stables behind Eltham Palace where there was a small group, but have not seen any there for last 2 years or so. The decline it seems continues. A bird that was abundant when I was a child has become a local rarity.