28th March 2020 – Self-isolating in Bristol

I managed to get a short fix of nature this morning whilst self-isolating at home but I didn’t stay long outside as, with a strong north-easterly wind, the temperatures had plummeted.

The bird feeders in our garden continue to go down but I get little or no opportunity to photograph the birds on them because as soon as I go in to our small back garden the birds disappear. I can see them from the bathroom window  but that’s too geeky for even me to photograph them from there. Consequently I am restricted to photographing birds discretely with a long lens in neighbours’ gardens or on nearby rooftops.

The wood pigeons were easy to spot but I didn’t see any of the collared doves which have been around recently.


There seemed  to be more house sparrows this morning. It is very encouraging to see them as, although once quite abundant locally, they had disappeared in recent years.

DSC05698Male sparrow

DSC05681Female sparrow

I could hear goldfinches but didn’t see any today.

The dunnocks appeared again and instantly made for the car across the road to look at themselves in the wing mirrors or at their reflections in the car windows.

DSC05742Dunnock getting ready for the day ahead

On the same wall I also saw a robin.

DSC05596\DSC05604European robin

In a distant garden  there were a pair of blackbirds. I haven’t seen any locally recently but I have heard them. That’s the next thing – recording bird song!

DSC05715The best I could manage of this male blackbird

On the roof tops there were jackdaws, crows and magpies.

DSC05777Two jackdaws

Before going in I spotted a huge bee busy on a flowering red currant next to the back door.


I made a mental note to myself to learn the names of different types of bees. As Simon Barnes writes in the Sunday Times today:

” I can’t kiss you. I can’t buy you a pint. I can’t invite you to drop by and watch the football. All I can offer is the best thing in the world. Nature”. He goes on to say:
“It all starts with noticing. The second stage is seeking the name, and that will give a greater intimacy, as names do.”

But enough was enough and I disappeared indoors to find some chores to do.


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2 responses to “28th March 2020 – Self-isolating in Bristol”

  1. I read a news item a few years ago about House Sparrows. Apparently there is a world-wide decline in their populations. The authors claimed that it was due to reduced availability of seed for them that was in turn due to the absence of horses and their food from cities. It seemed kind of logical that this could have been a factor but only 50 or 60 years ago, not now. Certainly they still have a lot of them in New Zealand. I think they were the most common and widespread bird that we saw.


  2. John,
    That’s very good of you to take time to comment on my blog. I didn’t realise that there was a world-wide decline but I suppose that would be inevitable (especially as we see how things are developing globally with respect to Covid-19) . I Imagine that change of habitat would also be a reason for the decline in cities. I remember when I was young that most houses would have a garden with hedges surrounding them; today gardens are smaller and often the borders are fixed fences.
    Hope you are coping well with the restrictions and the whole family keeping safe. Having gained, with retirement, the ability to roam more frequently it is quite hard to be restricted again.


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