Wild Lockdown: Beauty in the Ordinary

7 April 2020


I always strive to make the best of any given situation. The current lockdown to confine the spread of COVID-19 enables me to focus on the wildlife close to home, something I always want to do but not often seem to be able to find time for. I am very lucky to have access to a small garden. If you saw it, you wouldn't think of it as a particularly wild place. It is surrounded by a road, a footpath and apartment blocks. It is nevertheless regularly visited by many birds during the day and other wildlife at night.

I have set up a hide in our garden and developed a new routine, replacing my cycle commute to work with an hour in my hide every morning, waiting for birds. In the past few weeks alone I managed to observe fifteen different species, some of them migratory birds that have been arriving from the South.

I find it very calming to focus on our wild neighbours, to get some respite from worrying about the tragedies the current pandemic causes. I hope that by sharing some of these encounters I can inspire you and others to look out for similar experiences.

One of the most regular visitors to our garden, who are around all year, is a flock of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Their name seems to be fitting to start off a series of wildlife observed from home. The house sparrows are easy to observe as they are not shy and are often very vocal, which is why I like this calm picture of a male who decided to visit early in the morning, as it is a nice contrast to the usual encounters.

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