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Thursday, 27 May 2010

Sparrowhawk Blues - on 27th May, 2010

I usually thrill to the sight of a raptor, even/particularly if it's in my garden, but today it got a bit personal! All started well when I paid a visit to my latest Little Owl site (No.12) where, previously, I had only had two brief glimpses of departing owls. Today I found two owls at the back of a very dark barn. I didn't enter and disturb them, so only record shots (taken at 400mm, 1/60 sec, 1600 ISO - handheld!) were obtained. I then returned to my car by my LO site No.02 (no owl seen), and took the path beside the nest site. I'd only gone a few metres when I found a whole mass of Little Owl feathers. It seems that my male owl from this site has met his maker - the most likely culprit being a Sparrowhawk. I'm now greatly concerned for the female owl, which I believe is incubating eggs. I hope she (and any hatchlings) survive, without a mate to provide for her.

I decided to try and drive away the blues by taking a country walk. However, twice I turned back when I encountered bulls in fields, one of which hurried towards me, followed by the rest of the herd, as I entered the field. I just couldn't be bothered so decided to leave.

I returned home feeling thoroughly miserable, and as I sat in my study, contemplating the LO feathers, a racket outside my window took my attention to a Sparrowhawk taking one of our baby Starlings, just 3 metres from me! At the moment, I feel it's got personal! I hope that I can soon get back to thrilling to the sight of a raptor!

Little Owl feathers from my Site No.02

Little Owl (a) - at my Site No.12

Little Owl (b) - at my Site No.12



  1. Sorry to read that you have lost one of your Little Owls, I hope too the female will be able to cope without her mate. Last year I had a female Sparrowhawk who visited my garden a few times and I saw her on one occasion with one of my Robins under her feet, poor thing was still flapping its wings, she flew off with it when I banged on my window to frighten her off. I have only seen her once this year, so hopefully she is busy somewhere else.

  2. Thank you for your comments, Sue. I shall keep going back to check on things (at a distance), but so far no further developments at my LO Site No.2. Will report any updates on this site. With best regards. Richard


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