The struggle to record moths while the sparrows had young had become somewhat a war of attrition.
It was the distraction which was causing me the most problems as they would land on the plastic roof of the moth house at the most awkward moments.
I would have to stop the proceedings and tell them quietly and calmly to go away for a while until I had finished which they seemed rather reluctant to do as the general would immediately command them to return.
The consequence of these interchanges meant of course that it was taking me rather longer to complete my task.
What I needed was some assistance in distracting my enemy, so I resolutely sought help from the internet (Googled it).
Over the next few months I purchased and tried a number of the deterrents suggested with the first being ‘bird scarer rods’ which I hung neatly along the washing line that runs parallel to the moth house.
These rods were reported to confuse and discourage birds from landing, but the general just gave them a casual glance, decided that they were merely bunting I had put up for some sort of elaborate garden party and continued to send in the troops.
In this case I had made a rod, or should I say rods to scourge for my own back.
I cannot remember exactly now the order of the subsequent deterrents tried but I think the next one was the owl with the spinning head.
I placed this in a prominent position located on the neighbour’s fence overlooking the area I was protecting.
The general flew down, landed on its head as if to see if this was a better vantage point so not a howling success.
It’s worth mentioning here that because of the thriving population of sparrows, some keen interest had been shown by sparrow hawks which I had not seen around for a number of years.
This fact persuaded me that instead of an owl that maybe a plastic sparrow hawk might do the trick.
After much searching on line the best I could come up with however was a falcon but decided to give this a try anyway.
I swapped the owl for the falcon, but the results were the same with the general treating it merely with contempt.
It probably might have had more success in Malta maybe.