I am coming to the conclusion that either University is very bad for birds, or home is very good. In five days at home revising for exams last June I saw all of these birds:
Blackbird ... Wren ... Blue tit ... Sparrow ... Carrion crow ... Greenfinch ... Chaffinch ... Great tit ... Robin ... Pigeon ... Pied wagtail ... Barn Owl ... Starling ... Swallow ... Kestrel ... Goldfinch ... Thrush
At university I have not seen that many types of bird in three years. The only ones I am likely to see on 5 randomly picked days are pigeons, ducks and blackbirds, with a possiblity of crows, starlings, moorhens and swans. So admittedly, it does win on water birds.
But today university won some respectability. A green woodpecker was hopping along the ground, looking into the air for danger, or maybe looking for insects to catch. I followed it across the grass in the brick-walled court, keeping my distance as I did so. I had a duck on each side of me, pecking at the grass, doing the ineffectual scooping motion that they do with their beaks (made for water, I tell you). Then down a tree came a squirrel, which bounded joyfully across the grass. It came so close to the woodpecker that the woodpecker had to jump out of the way, giving a couple of flaps of its wings, just to make sure. It seemed unreal to see animals packed in such a small area in the concrete jungle of university. But for just a moment, university beat home for wildlife