• Put a buzz in the air, not a jet engine roar

    Jack sparrow looking for a tasty treatIn all the coverage about insect loss being responsible for the alarming decline in house sparrows, not one journalist has asked 'so what?"

    The answer is that house sparrows may be small, brown & grey and, well, a bit common. But they are chirpy, happy little birds that add sound and movement to many people's lives. They are part of the natural world and part of our culture. Their loss would indicate that…

    • 24 Nov 2008
  • Urban woodcocks

    Can you see what it is yet? A woodcock.There's been a real buzz among bird lovers in London this week thanks to a woodcock.

    These bulky waders are mostly nocturnal, favour woodlands and are incredibly shy, so to see one during the day in London, Lambeth no less, is a bit of a surprise. Well, I say surprise, but in fact there have been more than ninety confirmed sightings of woodcock in Greater London since the mid-seventies. My theory is that they've nipped…

    • 11 Nov 2008
  • Watch the birdie

    I need a hug. Damp, grey and cold is how I feel, so how apt that the weather has obligingly changed to fit my mood. What I need is a swirling cloud of starlings, a murmuration, to lift my spirits.

    Starlings massed over Brighton pierThere are a few small clusters of starlings that perform mini sky-dances around London but I've a full month to wait until the Brighton Pier starlings are fully up and running. The sheer number of starlings perched on the…

    • 4 Nov 2008