In a good news type turn of events, sitting in the garden of my local yesterday produced at least 30/40 House Sparrows lining up along the back wall and flitting about in the trees poking over the top. The area behind the pub is supermarket carpark, well known throughout the land as prime birding territories, and has a fairly regular flock of Sparrahs who sit by the pavement and perch on abandoned trolley handles.
They even elicited some comment from the regular patrons, not known for their birdwatching tendencies. Things like 'Seems like ages since I saw a Sparrow', and 'It's getting a bit Hitchcock out here'. Contrast this with the 'Stop that you bastard you're getting water on me. Yes you.' aimed at the Starlings bathing in puddles on the pub roof.
Cause for celebration I think. It's one patch I won't mind checking fairly regularly.