A nice day and the opportunity in the garden to get a bit of clearing up done.With the sun shinning many of the garden birds took the opportunity to voice their existence, a Wren sang loudly for a high branch, unusual for a bird so often hidden in the under storey, a Blackcap sang his bold tuneful song and was accompanied by both Blackbirds and a Song Thrush, even Dunnocks tinkled away in the background.
But the "song" that seemed to dominate was that of the House Sparrow. The female was gathering food for her nestlings, although as yet I haven't managed to track her back to her nest site.
She had a large beakful, with lots of legs sticking out the sides. I cam make out a spider, and probably a Crane-fly, but there are a few other items as well.
The real star of the day was her other half. Whoever said Sparrows were dull? Dr Summers-Smith's books about the sparrow family have long been favourites of mine and watching this handsome and self proclaiming cock Sparrow it was easy to understand why he found them so fascinating.
At one time he spent a long time loudly advertising his presence from the phone wire, and I took the opportunity to go upstairs and get some pictures from an upstairs window.
I like the way he leans forward, displaying his black throat and bib, and at the same time fluffing up his rump and spreading his tail. He doesn't seem to be taking any part in the food collection. The young might be saying "where's your papa gone" (1971 Middle of the road)
Most of the time he patrols the ridge on the roof of the cottage just below our garden, but I haven't seen her entering any holes there. I do have a suspicion that they might be nesting in a hole in the tree in the front garden. In previous years it's been used by Blue-tits and Starlings. The nest-hole, here photographed in 2008 is now largely hidden by ivy, so it is difficult to check if it is being used. Although Sparrow are bold and a prepared to share their habitats with man, they also seem shy when it comes to returning to the nest while being watched.
A new feature has appeared at the top of Bay Hill, on the central island, where the buses turn. Overlooking the sea it is a reminder of the importance of boats and the sea to St Margaret's, ad well as an attractive feature.
A list of contributors to the project is on the stern of the boat.