|First Sight of the Sparrowhawk|
|A Bit Closer|
It's funny, but once you start looking it's amazing what you actually can see in your own 'back yard'. I'd never imagined that I'd ever get a bird of prey in my suburban garden here in Tyldesley. But then earlier this year I saw my first Sparrowhawk as I posted here. And today I saw another, this time a lot less bedraggled from the weather and looking very fine indeed.
One thing I've learnt over the last three years is that with birds, you must take your shots while you can - look away for an instant and they can be gone. And so, to get these photos, I just shot them through the kitchen and later the patio windows, muck and all! If I'd even attempted to open the windows the bird would have flown, and there was no hope of going outside into the back garden.
|Showing An Interest|
I had actually suspected that there was a bird of prey around, because last week I found a large number of Wood Pigeon feathers scattered across my back lawn. Our two cats are always very interested in any birds in the garden, and Wood Pigeons in particular, but I don't think they'd manage to catch one - I also couldn't find any remains of a body, which is what usually happens when they do manage to catch a bird. They play around with it for a while and carry it from place to place, before getting bored with the fact that it's not moving any more. A sad fact of the cycle of life I'm afraid.
|A Bit Ruffled|
So in this case I suspected that a Sparrowhawk had caught it, and presumably taken it away to eat. Unfortunately, like so many garden feeding stations, our feeders seem to have become a Sparrowhawk feeding station too. This bird was sat on the fence overlooking the feeders in exactly the same place as previously, and it may have even been the same indivivual. The largest group of feathers was almost directly below the feeders, and so my guess is that the Sparrowhawk grabbed the Wood Pigeon whilst it was on the feeding table, killed it and then flew off with it leaving only the feathers scattered across the grass.
|A Closer View|
Of course I didn't see any of this so it all just supposition, but I'm fairly confident that's what happened here. So there you have it, a few male Sparrowhawk shots taken through mucky glass, and that said, I'm quite pleased with them.
|A Bee Flies Past|