Where Have All the Sparrows Gone?

100_6578So, where have all the sparrows gone? There’s plenty in my garden, a flock of at least thirty. There always have been lots here, mainly because I feed them all year round and they know I chase the cats away. However, if you wonder where all there rest are, I think I’ve found them, some of them anyway.

Rui Monica NerjaThey’re all over in Spain, at least the ones with any sense are, well, in Nerja anyway. I recently holidayed there, in a lovely hotel, the Rui Monica, on the beachfront. The hotel is Y shaped and within its form is an enclosed patio, only accessed from the basement, 3 floors down from ground level. The patio is surrounded by high walls. Growing within are several tall trees including palms, there is a constant supply of water from the dripping air-conditioning units hanging on these walls and, because of its location, is impervious to the many cats, mostly feral, that roam the resort. Thus, a perfect, safe haven for these delightful birds.

It was at dusk, on our first evening at the hotel, we noticed from our balcony, four floors up from the basement and just above the treetops in this area, hundreds and hundreds of sparrows flying in to take roost for the night here. Once they were perched on the various trees, you could not see them, such was the dense leaf cover. For a good half-hour flocks and flocks of them flew in. Once they had all settled, silence ruled.

Until dawn. The cacophony of these little birds was tremendous as they came awake, chatted and chirped to each other before, in twos and threes, they took off to spend the day wherever they spent the day (many stayed around the hotel gardens and outdoor snack bar). We didn’t mind the noise; we enjoyed the spectacle and it ensured during our ten days there we were never late for breakfast or missed the coach on the few day trips out we took.

I had hoped to take a small movie of their dusk decent on my tablet, but after that first evening, we were never there at the right time to capture it. Always a good reason to go back there, of course, as Nerja is lovely.

To read more of my adventures in Nerja, click here

10 thoughts

  1. I have a self-proclaimed “bird nerd” friend who helped count the sparrows here last year. I never did understand how she could count that many flying into a chimney to sleep. Oh, wait a minute, were those swallows? Anyhow, she travels the world to add to her bird list, so I’ve forwarded you blog link to her to read. She’d love this. it sounds like you did, too. And rightfully so!


    1. I love all birds (expect the pesky gulls – which we have a big problem with here – and pigeons). There were so too many to count, but it would be interesting to know how many were there. My brother who does a lot of birdwatching, had never heard of sparrows doing this, starlings yes, but not sparrows. I think he will be taking a trip there so see the spectacle for himself. Thanks for forwarding the blog. I hope your friend enjoys. 🙂


  2. The only trouble with swallows here is that they make a mess of the house and drive. We had a family that built their nest in the peak of the house right over the garage door. I’d wash the drive down every day that first year then I just didn’t let them build it. But it was a constant hosing to encourage them to go someplace else. This year they finally didn’t come back.

    The worse was when they tried to build the nest over the porch light. I doubt if I’ll ever get all the bird poop off of it. Birds are nice but I like them someplace else where I can just watch them. Nerja sounds beautiful.


  3. Funny you talk about the birds flocking around where you stayed, here they disappear for the summer and return for the warm winter. Now I know where they go. Glad you have a wonderful time. x


    1. Thanks, Jo. We thought the spectacle wonderful but several guests at the hotel complained about the noise of a morning and expected the manager to do something to stop the birds flying in! And he couldn’t move them to a different room for 5 days as the hotel was fully booked! In changing rooms, they lost their lovely sea view, which drew more complaints. No pleasing some.


      1. Years ago I worked in an office block opposite the old Bath Bus Station. It was winter time and every evening around four fifteen a huge flock of small birds – a bit like wagtails – would take over the surrounding trees with a huge amount of noise! I never did get to discover what they were. Of course once the bus station was demolished to make way for the new shopping mall they had t find somewhere else to go. Quite a strange phenomenon though!


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