One of the emails I received from The NZ Garden Bird Survey team around the time of the 2022 Survey had handy info about Dunnocks and Sparrows:
We’re not sure if this is happening with your whanāu, but we’ve noticed ours have definitely caught the birdwatching bug and they haven’t stopped looking for birds! Although there has been a bit of confusion over one species in particular…which is the house sparrow and which is the dunnock?
The dunnock is the one on the left and the house sparrow on the right [in the photo above]. The good news is that it looks like the trend of dwindling dunnock has reversed and last year’s survey showed numbers are fairly static.
I don’t think I’ve spotted a Dunnock for sure. I keep looking though…