• How many?

    Thousands. No millions. Sorry, forget that, it's probably billions. Yes, billions of ants have taken to the skies of London in their annual mating flight, and those that survive hungry birds and spiders' webs will soon shed their wings and die.

    Antastic swarm orgy in Hackney, E5The point to this apparently futile existence is procreation. Winged males and females  synchronise their flight with other colonies, so it seems the UK's entire flying…

    • 24 Jul 2012
  • Thomas and the trackside habitation

    It was a beautiful morning in the city of Sondon but the Fat Controller was not happy. "My really useful engine is in the wrong place and its all the fault of those nasty conservationists." He harumphed, stamped his foot and clenched his fists.

    Early evening but still early enough to enjoy birdsongThe previous day, Thomas, a cheeky, fussy little engine, had delivered letters to local residents saying the Fat Controllers' contractors were coming to clear the banks…

    • 13 Jul 2012
  • Facing bankruptcy?

    Interest's high and the question on everyone's lips is: "will the final statement be in the redThe Urban Birder, David Lindo, lifts his shades in tribute to the giant sparra he found on the Southbank, or the black?"

    I refer not to the banking crisis, not to the world economy, but to our Cockney Sparrow Count. It closes on Thursday 12 July, with a few days grace to submit results. Ten years ago the first London sparrow census revealed a black hole of sparrows in central London. Alarmingly this once common…

    • 7 Jul 2012
  • Counting, food and the power of individuals

    Look out the window right now. Do see any house sparrows? I don't.

    In the nineties, London lost seven out of every ten sparrows and there were fears the cockney sparra could soon be extinct in the Capital. Bear in mind that this little grey and brown bird has more or less colonised the world, and you can understand why this huge drop in numbers caused alarm.

    The Urban Birder, David Lindo found this sparra on the southbank.In 2002, the RSPB, London Wildlife Trust, Greenspace information…

    • 3 Jul 2012