The existence of the house sparrow is now under threat, with 60 per cent of the population disappearing over recent decades.

The loss of insects and increasing levels of nitrogen dioxide are thought to be contributing factors.

The house sparrow used to be very popular around Wanstead during the 1970s. I remember seeing them in the garden, park and many other areas. It is now on the red list of endangered species.

The house sparrow is one of ten species being highlighted by the Endangered in Wanstead campaign (

The campaign suggests putting out water and food for the birds, including mealworms and waxworms. This is particularly important from April to August, when they are breeding.

Encouraging insects in the garden with wild areas and log piles is also recommended - no pesticides.

There are still house sparrows around the area, so there is a real chance to improve the life prospects for this little bird.

The house sparrow can be seen in parts of Wanstead Park, which is a fantastic place to see birds.

Great spotted and green woodpeckers are regularly seen. The great spotted is seen in the woodland, often located hammering on a tree to attract a mate. The green woodpecker is seen on the ground, looking for ants in the grass.

There are a huge variety of ducks that come through the park, including gadwall, shoveler, teal, wigeon, mallards and tufted ducks.

Two elegant goosanders visited on the Perch pond earlier in the year.

It is always a better day when a kingfisher makes an appearance, often just a flash of emerald blue as the small bird darts across the water. You can be lucky though, and see one perched on a branch.

Kingfishers have become more common over recent years, particularly around the Roding and lakes.

Birds of prey can also be seen circling over the park, with buzzards, kestrels and peregrines not uncommon.

Wanstead Park is a fantastic area for bird watching but we all also need to do our bit to protect and encourage species, like the house sparrow, that are on the endangered list.

For more information see