Further evidence of a decline in London's bird population was published yesterday. It seems mild winters are attracting birds towards the bountiful treats of the countryside and away from our gardens. A secondary factor is the rise in nest prices, with a typical urban perch now beyond the budget of the average first-time flyer.
The results are presented in the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch (is the focus here on big gardens or big birds?). According to the survey, the three most commonly sighted birds are starlings, house sparrows and blue tits. Unless you live at the northern end of Regents Park, in which case they are rock hopper penguins, tawny frogmouths and hyacinth macaws. Perhaps these guys also have a case. (Pigeons, we conjecture, are now being classified as Rattus avianus and are not counted in the survey.)
Nature abhors a vacuum. The urban call of the song thrush is being rapidly replaced by another Twitter.