By Thomas Hardy, always good on birds. Perhaps it’s my imagination, but it does seem to have been a good year for sparrows this year.
Shortening Days at the Homestead
The first fire since the summer is lit, and is smoking into the room:
The sun-rays thread it through, like woof-lines in a loom.
Sparrows spurt from the hedge, whom misgivings appal
That winter did not leave last year for ever, after all.
Like shock-headed urchins, spiny-haired,
Stand pollard willows, their twigs just bared.
Who is this coming with pondering pace,
Black and ruddy, with white embossed,
His eyes being black, and ruddy his face
And the marge of his hair like morning frost?
It’s the cider-maker,
And behind him on wheels, in readiness,
His mill, and tubs, and vat, and press.
If you happen to want to see Sparrows spurting from the hedge, then get yourselves down to Little Bowden Recreation Ground, where it’s a common sight. I have tried to photograph them, but the little buggers are too small and fast-moving, for my camera, at least. Here are some slower ones, if you want to be reminded of what they look like –