I realised yesterday I had not really put the sparrows in context. Here they are sitting on the ledge of their rather grand home. I made this sketch at about 9.30 am yesterday and then decided it might be nice to show the rebuilding progress ( if any) during the day… mercifully for the sparrows the day was calm.
I don’t think I have ever really watched sparrows building a nest before. They are very funny. At 10.00 am they had a good start. Labour is divided. The male bounces in and out of the nest with twigs and grasses and the female does the building.. or rather some rudimentary weaving. There is a lot of jostling.
The little female repeatedly pulls at the long outlying twiggy grasses, drawing them into the centre of the nest One particularly stubborn twig constantly resisted, springing back, again and again into its original position. It must have been very irritating!
By 12.00, noon, things were shaping up, the nest a-twitch with building activity. At one point the female leant so far over to grab a trailing twig that she lost her balance and tumbled out. No big deal for a bird I guess!
The male was back and forth and back and forth with more building materials.Occasionally I saw him fly off to a nearby tree and shout at another male. I think sparrows are quite territorial and there is a replica nest in exactly the same spot in the next set of pillars down.
We went out in the afternoon, and by 5.30 the sun had moved away from the building and all was in shadow. The nest had become a towering, uncertain structure. The main trouble seems to be the long trailing bits of dead grass or creeper of some sort, which catch the wind and tug at the nest and, if the wind is strong enough, unseat the whole thing.
But, I have just checked this morning and at 8.30am on a tranquil sunny morning the nest is a calm and fairly orderly heap of twigs and grass, trailing strands swaying gently with the light breeze. I wonder how long it will last?
I think I am going to do a painting of this wonderful nest as a tribute to their hard work and perseverance.