As the sun rises over my garden perch, I watch a juvenile house sparrow flit among bean stalks and the slats of the fence. It chatters frantically against plastic planters and hops this way and that, capable of flight but for some reason appearing anxious to do so. Birds in fuller plumage chirp around it, ruffling their feathers in the morning air. It looks for grubs among the paving slabs to no avail.
A lively chorus gathers volume from nests unseen beneath guttering, rising to meet the sun. I have been sat here for so long, hunched over my journal, that they seem to think of me as part of the garden furniture, flying perilously close to my head, their wings battering air around my ears. I lose sight of the juvenile, but not once see it take to the breeze.