28 February 2011

Celebration Day

I know house sparrows are common everyday sort of birds but we did miss them when they’d gone. We went from plenty to none in the space of a few days.

Yes, there were enough of them to keep us worrying that they would eat all the food put out for interesting birds, those more colourful and exciting than the ordinary brown sparrow.

We lived in a huge 5 bedroomed house with a long garden, situated near fields and woods, a river and a golfcourse, the ideal place to capture the attention of our wildlife favourites.

Woodpeckers visited daily, along with a diverse number of assorted finches, different kinds of warblers, wrens, jays, blackbirds, treecreepers, long tailed tits, nuthatches, crested tits and many other similar varieties, as well as an assortment of hawks, ring necked doves, crows and magpies, but no pigeons. We didn’t want pigeons. We didn’t want sparrows either but we had plenty of them.

Then the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) started to worry us with tales of the rapid decline of certain birds and we began to notice the drop in numbers of our daily visitors. It was a slow process, nothing to be concerned about. Or so we thought. However, as the years went by we began to believe it. Just think, without birds we could lose our planet!

Twenty years ago we moved house. Didn’t go far, just over the rooftops, so to speak, to a road parallel to the one we’d lived in for so long. We did go a little further uphill though, thinking then of approaching old age and infirm limbs! Consideration had to be given to future journeys to the shops in the (unlikely) event that we might have to abandon our cars. The new residence was to be a bungalow so stairs wouldn’t be a problem, this idea coming after a spell when I suffered a broken ankle and had to negotiate stairs by sitting on the backside.

We definitely downsized, the bungalow being more like a fairy cottage after the big house with the picturesque stained glass windows. Oooh but I did miss that grand staircase that I should only have used when wearing a crinoline dress … like in the films.

But I digress!

The garden was lovelier and more attractive than the last one, wider, longer and very mature.

(click here for more views of the garden)

It had more fruit trees and two lawns and with the trio of ponds, each one cascading into the next, I just knew the herons would come. They did, along with most but not all the bird varieties we’d been used to, and only about five sparrows which rapidly reduced to none. We’d only moved across the rooftops, surely they could fly uphill?

Well, from that day to this there have been no sparrows. We have plenty of dunnocks but NO house sparrows. Let’s face it, twenty years is a long time to be without sparrows! I actually thought they were extinct, that is until yesterday. Whilst eating dinner I happened to look out at the garden and … well, blow me down, there were two house sparrows at the seed feeder. They were back again today and they brought a friend. My Guy reckons they’re about to start a new dynasty. Hopefully we’re back in business. All I need to do now is get rid of the perishing WOODPIGEONS.


  1. glad they came back to visit...the new garden sounds rather wishes on those woodpigeons...smiles.

  2. Oh....what a touching and heart-warming share, Valerie!

    And it's ironic that you mentioned sparrows because last month I was walking down the street and noticed a group of darling little sparrows sitting under a pine tree in the snow. OMG, they were soooooo cute!

    And yes, I snapped a photo of them!

    Beautiful photos of your garden, dear lady! I'm going to click on the link you left so that I can see more!

    Happy Weekend!


  3. Brian, I'm working on the woodpigeons. I've discovered they don't like CDs - the shiny side scares them silly. Thinking of hanging some in the trees!

    Ron, I hope your sparrows could find food in all that snow. So glad you liked my garden. It's what a call a 'natural' garden, no real upkeep needed - which I lurve.

  4. It is so nice to see a garden without snow....mine is in layers, snow, bird feed, another layer of snow then more bird feed, etc. Honestly and I still have huge drifts in my yard. Want some company?
    Have a great weekend.....:-)Hugs

  5. We've noticed the distinct lack of sparrows too Valerie. Such a shame.

    I love the views of your garden, especially the one from your kitchen window. :)

  6. Yup, the decline of the sparrows. Just goes to show we don't know what we got till it's gone. Beautiful garden, Valerie.

  7. I've also noticed the lack of sparrows these days. Where have they all gone!
    Your gardens, both, are very beautiful Valerie.

  8. Sparrows are truly lovely birds. Nice post Valerie!


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