Monday, April 19, 2010

Where has all the birdsong gone?
When I moved into this house 20 years ago I was often woken early in the morning by birdsong - nothing special just sparrows, starlings, blackbirds. I wasn't always happy being woken at 4 am in the summer - the sun was up, the birds were singing and I couldn't get back to sleep.
Now each morning, even in summer, there is silence. Yes I live in a city, yes my garden is tiny and yes I have seven cats but apart from the number of cats increasing over the years, nothing has changed. My garden backs onto other gardens so there is plenty of room for wildlife but even the hedgehogs seem to have deserted us. I'm not the only one to notice this - the lack of house sparrows and starlings - at one time they were all over but now I can go for days without seeing any.
Even in the centre of town the pigeons seem to be the only birds thriving - at one time you would see little house sparrows darting in and out between pigeons and starlings but now there are only the pigeons and the odd crow.
I feel a little sorry for the pigeons - they congregate around the Haymarket bus station waiting for crumbs from sandwiches and Greggs pasties - I watch them when I'm waiting for my bus to work - many seem to have injuries to their feet and legs, some are scrawny and sad looking. Many people regard them as vermin - rats with feathers, vermin with wings - but I can't think of them in that way - they have just as much right to be here as anyone else - it's probably the human race who have overrun.
Back to the garden birds - there has been a noted reduction - it's estimated that there are ten million fewer house sparrows in the UK than there were twenty five years ago - so what else may have disappeared in that time...................

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