Sunday, 11 April 2010

5-11 April 2010

Last Tuesday (6th) I heard the Air Ambulance fly close by and was pretty sure it had landed on the green-with-no-name between Greyhound Road and Abbey Gardens. TOH didn't believe there was enough space there for it, so I went to investigate. It was also a good opportunity to check on the Abbey Gardens sparrows as I had not done so in a while.
When I got there, the ambulance was indeed parked there and a few locals were chatting with the crew and taking photos. I took a few of my own, here is one:

The relevance to the sparrows is that the houses you see behind are amongst the ones they nest in, at the edge of Abbey Gardens. They like being in the bushes along the fence occasionally, but mostly they stay in the gardens, making them rather difficult to spot. However that day, some perched at the top of a bush, allowing me a glimpse:

4 sparrows

5 sparrows & a starling

They do have to share the area with starlings. I know these starlings do venture as far as Margravine Cemetery and my feeders as one of them is fairly distinctive: partially leucistic with the edge of its wings white, and I have seen it in all 3 spots. I wish the sparrows were as far ranging...

On Thursday (8th), at the supermarket in Sands End, I heard them immediately, and spotted a few from afar, in the ivy covering the back wall. A few of them were in the bushes along the Thames Path and I managed a few photos.
They are quite a challenge, brown on brown twigs, deep inside...

camouflagedBut, occasionally, they pop out and allow some cheeky shots...

on the lookout

there was 1 sparrow

and then there were 2
On Friday, late afternoon, I had a quick walk on the Thames Path in Fulham Reach. A few were vocal on the abandoned building site, at least 6 in the trees in front of the office blocks. At Crabtree Wharf, once again, a fair few of them, some of them interested in a crows nest (I think), probably to steal nesting material.

Recently, on my way to the allotment, I have found another location. I have marked it on the map but I haven't yet stopped to investigate further and take photos. Likewise, on my way to the supermarket recently I have heard some on Peterborough Rd opposite what looks like a very big garden. Once again I haven't stopped yet but I have put a marker on the map.
On the other hand, last year, I used to hear (and see them if the traffic light was favourable, i.e. red) some at the junction of Carnwath Rd and Wandsworth Bridge. They were under the roof of the pub in the corner, but I haven't heard nor seen them this year.

Friday, 26 February 2010

25 February 2010

I went to check on some of the sparrows yesterday early afternoon.

My first one was a female calling in a bush at the corner of Wingrave Road. A male, above me, in a small tree on the other side of the road, answered her and joined her after a few minutes. Much preening and fluffing up ensued, I thought maybe?, but, no, nothing happened. He left and started pecking at the wall of the house, I assume looking for insects. She joined him for a short time but went back to her bush almost immediately, which is when I noticed another female. The male left his spot on the wall and flew to a tree a few houses further on Rannoch Road. Both females followed.

I continued onto the river. I could hear much chirping and calling along Wingrave Road with at least 7 of them on the gutters/roofs, including a female with nesting material. On the other side of the road, one was calling in a tree in private gardens.

When I arrived at Rainville Court, 3 left the ivy and went into their usual bush. More arrived, some moved onto the London plane, such as this one below (light was unfortunately not best for such photos, and I'm not entirely sure my attempts as cleaning up were that successful).

in London Plane

It's a pity vegetation got in the way in this photo, but it illustrates how difficult it can be trying to count them, and that's not in the densest past of the bush where they tend to prefer staying...

sitting in a bush

I continued along the path towards Hammersmith Bridge. In the small tree by Hammersmith Embankment where they are from time to time was this female calling, with at least one more bird well hidden in the bush below.

sitting in a bush

sitting in a bush

On the way back to Fulham Palace Road, there were at least 5 of them in trees on the currently abandoned building site, with more than likely more of them behind the fences. I couldn't see any at the nests in Winslow Road.

I have updated the map with these sightings.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Crabtree Wharf & Sands End Sainsbury's update

Yesterday (20 January), I went to Crabtree Wharf around 8am. Once again I could hear them way before getting to Rainville Court, the archway acting as echo chamber. The amount of bird poo underneath the ivy is testament to their presence. They were a bit more showy than usual and I had counted up to 13 when 10 left then 5. I managed to count 10 more, making it 25.

In contrast, at the supermarket, no racket to welcome me. I managed to hear one around the apartment blocks, and hear and see one in the bushes. I'm hoping it was because the weather was pretty foul.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

at the supermarket

I have finally uploaded photos I took in October at or near Sainsbury's. Here is a selection:

taking off
I count 17 sparrows
17 sparrows on a bush
all alone on the Thames Path
Where are you all?

More photos in the Fulham Sands End Set.

View Fulham Sparrows in a larger map

Sunday, 17 January 2010


The small group at Crabtree Wharf is still very much active, and extremely vocal. I can sometimes hear them all the way from Rannoch Road when I approach that way.
This is their bush, covered with snow on Wednesday 13 January at about 8 am (the day had only just started and it was still rather dark).

Sparrows' bush in the snow

For once, some of them emerged at the top:
Sparrow  in the snow
Sparrow  in the snow
Sparrow  in the snow

Some of them went on to the London Plane above and started eating the seeds.

I have started creating a map with all the locations. It's not quite finished yet, and there are a lot of places I have yet to check. It is easier to use if you click on the link below. Let me know what you think.

Monday, 26 October 2009

1 October

It's not that I have not seen any sparrows since my last post, or even that I haven't taken any photo of any, but I have just been too busy to do anything with them.
I have just processed a selection I took on 1st October by the supermarket when I went to do the weekly shopping.

is that my best profile?

It was pretty hot that day...

it's hot out there!

As usual, there are more photos from that day on the Fulham Sparrows flickr album if you fancy.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Is it normal for a sparrow's tail to appear transparent through sunshine?

Last Friday lunchtime, it was really sunny and warm. I had decided to go and check on my patch as it would be low tide at the time.
When I arrived at Crabtree Wharf, as is pretty much always the case, there was a small group of sparrows in a bush by the Thames Path. I don't know if it was the fact that the sun was particularly bright, the angle of it, or that the sparrow was odd, but the tail of this sparrow appeared like transparent in the sunshine:

sun in tail

sun in tail

I'll admit these are not the best photos in the world... I unfortunately couldn't get another angle for another photo.

A small group split and went into smaller bushes by some railings, and I got some much more classic photos, like this one peeking out from behind a leaf:

peeking out

or these 2 cheeky ones:

do you like my profile?

Don't you think their feet look like E.T.'s?

There are more photos from that day on the Fulham Sparrows flickr album if you fancy.