For the more than 35 years I have lived in the middle of West Bromwich jackdaws have nested and roosted in my neighbours’ disused chimneys. Also for all of that time there has been a rookery, with up to 20 nests, less than a mile away alongside the M6 motorway. Late afternoons have always echoed to the ‘chuck, chuck, chuck’ calls of the jackdaws as they fly low over the gardens , returning from their days foraging, to their cosy chimneys to roost.

Over the past few years changes to the habits of both the jackdaws and rooks have taken place. First of all the rookery has become smaller, so that currently there are only two or three nests occupied. At the same time a new rookery has developed 200 yards up the road, in tall trees just inside the local park. Last year eight or nine nests were occupied by both rooks and jackdaws. This winter some of the jackdaws have taken to sitting in smaller street trees opposite my house for long periods, and three or four nests have been started there.

There is no apparent reason why the rooks (if they are the same ones) have moved nearly a mile from one rookery to another. It is also a mystery as to why at least some of the jackdaws have forsaken their chimneys for the trees. It may just be pressure of increasing numbers of course, but if that is so it begs the question as to why numbers have suddenly increased. Similarly, if they just prefer trees to houses then why have they not moved sooner?

This is what makes nature so fascinating: there is always something new happening, and it is often difficult to understand. Another change in the neighbourhood’s bird life is the increasingly frequent appearances of ring-necked parakeets. These are really noisy, but spectacular, birds which bring an exotic touch to suburbia. They have been increasing in number for several years, and there are now are flocks of several hundreds of birds in the south of England.

So much for the person who recently suggested to me that those of us living in towns and cities have to travel to the countryside to experience nature. A lot of us don’t even have to leave the house, nature comes to us.

Twitter: @PeteWestbrom