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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Killer In My Garden!! - on 29th October & 2nd November, 2010

On Friday, in the corner of my eye, I caught a movement outside my study window, in the buddleia bush. I looked, and could barely believe my eyes when I saw a Sprawk sitting there. I only managed to get a couple of shots (only one vaguely usable) before it flew off - fortunately without having caught anything.

Sparrowhawk (juvenile male?) - on 29th October

Sitting at my desk again yesterday (2nd November), I spotted a Sprawk again, this time on my back fence. After banging off a few safety shots from my study window (rubbish results), I was able to stealthily creep into the conservatory and take a few more shots before it again flew off empty-handed. From the point of view of composition, the results are none-too-good, but I did manage the clearest images that I have ever taken of a Sprawk. I'd never realized before this how ridiculously long and thin a Sprawk's toes are!!

Sparrowhawk (juvenile male?) - on 2nd November

I originally thought that this bird was a female, based on the relatively dark banding on the breast, rather than the orange of a a male. I now think it is probably a juvenile - maybe a male. It doesn't strike me as being a very large bird, it seems to go for the smaller birds (a magpie just looked at it with contempt!), and the juvenile aspect would explain its low success rate in hunting.

Much as I am quite thrilled at the sight of these birds, I'm hoping that visits to my garden don't come too frequently. Now that the land at the back of my garden is no longer a construction depot, birds on my feeders are at a record level - particularly Goldfinches & House Sparrows.

4 comments:

  1. I've seen that killer some where before.
    Great capture.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you John - she was back again today, last seen going after our Robin! I shall now be looking out to see if he shows up unharmed. I think I'm going to have a problem! Might have to stop feeding the birds for a while.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just seen - Robin's still with us! That's a relief!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have now had second thoughts as to the sex of our visiting Sprawk. My original thoughts were based on the relatively dark banding on the breast, rather than the orange of a a male. I now think it is probably a juvenile - maybe a male. It doesn't strike me as being a very large bird, it seems to go for the smaller birds (a magpie just looked at it with contempt!), and the juvenile aspect would explain its low success rate in hunting. I have now modified the post, above, accordingly.

    ReplyDelete

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