Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hello, Jack Sparrow

I saw a house sparrow in my garden today! This may seem like no big deal to some of you, but I haven't seen a sparrow in my garden for, ooh, 15 years. Recently, I've seen a couple on Wandsworth Common and hoped that the feeders in my garden and my neighbour's might attract them. The one I saw today was a male, but he had a friend with him who was hidden in the bamboo, so perhaps they'll both spread the word.
Three houses ago, I used to get crowds of sparrows in the garden, but in those days I lived in a big Victorian house with lots of ivy growing up the back wall. Next door had lots of ivy as well, which acted as a kind of sparrow tenement block. I'm convinced the fashion for ripping climbers off walls and stripping gardens of all vegetation in the attempt to turn them into "outside rooms" is partly to blame for the demise of the London sparrow population. People say climbers like ivy are bad for walls. I say bare walls are bad for sparrows.