HOUSE SPARROWS (Passer domesticus)……….and the weather

The wind has been more than a little gusty in my area over the last 5-6 days.    In fact, the Spring winds have been downright ferocious and threatened to blow my garden away.

Check out the background in the image below.  Can you see the Japanese Maple branches and foliage are near horizontal?  At one stage, the Maple’s branches seemed to bend over in half and almost touched the ground.   I had grave fears for the tree’s well-being, but it seemed to bend and sway with the elasticity that most young saplings have.

I’ve stood at the lounge window each morning in hope of seeing more Spring shoots on my Herbs and Veggies, but they have made little headway in the last week (for this time of the year) and slowed right down in their growth.

Not enough sun I fear.

No Superb Fairy-wrens in sight and just a few very tiny House Sparrows.   To the casual observer, they are just faded-looking females, but on the ground here, I can see their tiny frames and washed-out looking head feathers denote very young juveniles.   They are almost as small as the adult Superb Fairy-wrens.

The 2 sparrows I photographed last week stayed on the balcony fence for some time, seemingly motionless.   Last night, it was not until I reviewed the 4 photos I’d taken that I realized their tiny claws were hanging onto the frame that holds the blue ceramic birdbath in place (so they didn’t get blown away?).

The bird that stood on the fence bar itself didn’t stay long.

I made 4 very similar photos and can’t tell which is the best out of them, so thought to post all of them.

Today, the wind has finally dropped and I can see by this morning’s weather forecast I have 4 clear, rainless days to do something outdoors.

Perhaps prune the herbs to start encouraging them to flesh out into more robust bushes perhaps?   Doesn’t sound much, but at least it’s better than lying in the hospital hooked up to a heart monitor 24/7.   Those 6 days in the hospital were the most boring I’ve experienced in many years.   I don’t survive too well when I’m out of green surroundings and don’t have a Room With a View.

19 thoughts on “HOUSE SPARROWS (Passer domesticus)……….and the weather

    1. I agree, Eliza. I always feel better outdoors in nature (except when it’s hot 😀 ).

      It’s funny how I can spend a lot of time indoors at home when I’ve got birds and plants to look at, but when it’s not my choice i.e. in an enforced stay in hospital where there is no nature or bird life, I actually get bored looking at the same room and routine. Years ago, I could read, but now my eyesight isn’t so good, not much fun taking books to hospital.

      I like your last sentence……earth-lings we certainly are 🙂


    2. No I don’t, Eliza. I would probably fall asleep (as I do every afternoon). I rarely listen to music either. I prefer silence so I can listen to birdsong. I know there’s a fairy-wren in the vicinity well before I see them. Saw that blue male yesterday in the Maple tree, but he only visited the potted plants very briefly before flying away so no photo to be had.

      I’ve been hearing a lot of little cheeps in the last few days and I wonder if there’s a nest in the Eucalyptus tree next to the Japanese Maple. The foliage is too thick to see much though.

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    3. PS When I know I’m booked into hospital for surgery I usually take in a book of Buddhist short stories and a copy of Organic Gardener magazine (if I’ve got one). I only starting subscribing regularly to this magazine last month. I thought I’d try a 6-month subscription to see how I go reading it before paying for a full year.

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    1. I found it very hard to decide as the bird poses are almost the same. Just different light I suppose.

      When the maple bent right down, I was thinking that’s the strongest wind I’ve seen here in the last 3 years.

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    1. Thanks Pete. I’m surprised you say they’re in decline as there are so common here. Would that decline be from predators or loss of habitat I wonder?


    1. Thanks David.

      The wind finally dropped yesterday and I’m hoping to get outdoors again to tidy up the windblown leaves and broken branches lying on the balcony tiles. The temperature’s actually going up to high heat and sunshine for the next 2 days.

      My 3 straggly-looking tomato plants and their Basil companion plants could do with some warmer weather I think.


  1. We’ve just had a front, but despite the predictions, it turned out to be not much of anything at all, wind-wise. We did get an inch or so of rain, which was good. Your sparrows are precious. There’s quite a dearth of birds and their songs here just now, at least here in the neighborhood. It’s not uncommon for November. There’s so much natural food available that they stop coming to feeders; I’ve not seen a single jay in a week or more, so the crop may have come in early.

    I made the decision on my new place today. I had told them I wanted second floor, and preferably in the front of the complex. When I looked at the two that are currently available, I decided for first floor, in the back of the complex. I know it’s going to be much darker than my current place — much! — but instead of a view of the sky and water, there are some wonderful trees around. And, it faces into the heart of the complex, so I’ll never have a view of construction, and I won’t have any traffic going by. Also: once I get really old and am having trouble with stairs, I won’t have that obstacle to deal with.

    For now, it’s a waiting game. The woman currently living there isn’t moving out until November 15; then, I can have a look at it. Since they’ll repaint, re-do the floors, and so on, I probably am looking at a December move-in date, which is perfect. It faces east, so I expect I’ll have morning light. No way to tell, but it’s a move that has to be made. After fussing for such a long time, I’m greatly relieved to have made the decision. Now, I have to start looking for new places to enjoy the sunsets!

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    1. I’m absolutely thrilled to hear you have made a decision on your new home, Linda. After my experience with the new construction which I’ve talked about so much on my blog, I’m sure you have made the right decision avoiding the traffic sounds. I’m also pleased to hear that you will probably have the trees to observe (for bird sightings etc.)

      You can lighten up the indoors, but if you’re like me, you’ll be so busy looking outdoors when you’re home in the daytime, you won’t notice the darker indoors at all. Dark interiors can be very cosy too.

      I lived in a cold dark un-renovated 1960s apartment for 15 years and the cool was wonderful in the summer and as with my current desk position, I’ve always faced my desk outward toward the trees. Seriously, a Room With a View is a blessing and so much potential for quiet evenings and a feast for the senses. So………about 2 months to go. Hope you’re in the new place by Christmas. 🙂

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      1. Once the people move out mid-November, I’ll be able to get in and take another look at the floor plan. If there’s room to put my computer desk on the wall next to the largest window, I’ll be happy. I think there is. My printer wouldn’t fit next to the desk, but I could put it somewhere else and connect it wirelessly. I’m dedicating an hour a day to sorting and downsizing, and eventually packing. I think December 1 might turn out to be a reasonable move-in date, since they have to paint and such once the people move out.

        If you click this link and then scroll down to the 717 sq.ft. option, click that link and it will bring up and image of the interior. The photo on the left is a different floor plan, probably inserted by mistake, but the schematic and the central image are correct.


    1. I notice there are mixed reviews of your apartment complex, Linda. Just trying to find the address to get down on the ground via Google earth so I can see the surrounding landscape. The apartment looks lovely on the plan, perhaps larger than mine……different and yet…….similar. Looks like very easy to maintain.

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      1. There may be mixed reviews, but that’s why I never depend on online reviews. I’ve been here for about fifteen years, and although I’ve heard other residents gripe about management, etc., I’ve never had a single problem. The maintenance crew is competent and prompt to take care of any issue, the grounds are beautifully maintained, it’s quite secure, and it’s new enough that it meets strict hurricane building codes.

        The apartments are part of a large development that includes the South Shore golf course, conference center, fitness center, and mixed residential neighborhoods. There’s controlled access via a gate (more in the breech than in reality, but never mind that), and residents are carefully screened. We get a lot of people coming through for three or six-month rentals, but they’re generally foreign nationals here to consult at NASA for a time, and their organizations are willing to pay the exorbitant month-by-month rental fees.

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    2. Perhaps the mixed reviews merely reflect the individual relationships between maintenance staff and residents. I always take the time to stop and chat with the cleaning staff in my building and enquire about their day/life etc and they, in turn, go out of their way to look after me. (of course, it does help that the man in charge (?) is a photographer – a very good one I might add – we have great chats about anything photographic).

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