I rattled away at the keyboard whilst the rain pelted down outside my patio window. And then, when I got up to give my eyes a rest, I noticed a grey shape sitting on the fence in our back garden. It was a very damp and sorry-looking sparrowhawk and it was peering down into one of the shrubs. Fortunately my camera was close at hand, and so I slowly reached for it so as not to spook this sharp-eyed predator. I felt like the guy in Jurassic Park who slowly and quietly sets up his gun to shoot a Velociraptor just before one came from another direction and got him - "Clever Girl' he says moments before he's ripped to bits!
|'I'm stalking in the rain, just stalking in the rain'|
Anyway, I quickly set the ISO to 3200 and the aperture to f6.3 to get the best shutter-speed possible for handholding my heavy 500mm Bigma zoom in the gloom. I did manage to fire off a few shots before I saw what it was stalking - a blackbird. It dived for the blackbird at lightning fast speed but didn't catch it and, with a lot of squawking, both birds shot off over the fence and into a neighbour's garden. I quickly ran upstairs so that I could see over the fence through an open window, but although I could see that the Sparrowhawk hadn't caught the blackbird, I didn't have a good view for photographs. After a couple of minutes the Sparrowhawk flew off without its lunch and that was that.
|'Where's that Blackbird?'|
This is the first positive identification of a sparrowhawk that I've made in my garden and I was over the moon to have captured two half decent photos of it, particularly as they were taken through the patio glass.