I had lunch yesterday in a small patch of green. As I sat down to eat my sandwich, a few dozen pigeons strutted around, eyeing me hopefully. And I thought, where are the sparrows?
Fifty years ago, in the same situation, you would have seen several dozen sparrows, and a few pigeons. Today, not a single sparrow.
So I consulted Google.
In Kensington Gardens, they've been counting birds.
1925 2603 sparrows
So it isn't just my impression, there has been a catastrophic decline in the London sparrow population.
More Googling, revealed that no-one knows why this has happened. Furthermore, no-one, except birders, seem to be at all concerned.
I'm concerned. The cockney sparrow, is part of my heritage; I'm a cockney, born within the sound of Bow Bells, and when I'm relating a story, I often drop into the cockney way of speaking (which isn't merely rhyming slang). And if the cockney sparrow is brown bread, I'm gutted.