A focussed hour at the end of January can reveal so much. Each year the Big Garden Birdwatch invites us to count the wild birds in gardens or local parks and be part of one of the world's largest wildlife surveys.
I first started counting birds when creating my first 'Flock' of sparrows in 2011. The piece was inspired by the memory of large comical groups of sparrows which would descend upon the tarmac in the middle of a dangerous game of British bulldog. At the age of 11 we were easily distracted into chasing off the interlopers.
I am surprised that in today's count no sparrows appeared in the hour. An abundance of cheeky Blue Tits along with a charm of Goldfinches spent an hour harvesting the goods available, but no sparrows.
Where have all the sparrows gone? House sparrows have been on the decline since 1979. This remains a theme I work with today not only in relation to declining bird numbers but also other species including bees, wildflowers and trees. The count is still on until 29th January.