Sparrowhawk in the rain


We’ve had torrential rain all morning which dashed any plans I had to get outdoors with a camera. Our kitchen looks out across the garden at tree height and just as we were sitting down to a soupy lunch our regular Sparrowhawk dropped in. His behaviour is always rather odd. He flies to the tree where the small birds feed – the small birds that vanished immediately he turned up and who have no plans to return until he has gone. He sits on the same branch looking fed-up for twenty minutes or so and then flies off. He is clearly predating the birds as we regularly find the remains further down the garden and we’ve been in the garden when he has taken a small bird so we are confident it is him that’s predating. The kestrels will take small birds but they tend to hunt further up the hill beyond the woods and the local Buzzards aren’t interested. The experience of a Sparrowhawk flying over your head at full tilt before smacking into the hedge your standing next to is difficult to describe – think crossbow bolt and your probably close. Quite what the perching behaviour represents is a mystery. If anyone has an answer I’d be delighted to read it. I managed to get through the side door and get off a couple of shots without disturbing him. Hopefully the weather will improve enough this afternoon for me, the terrier and the camera to go walkabout.


Author: Hares on the Hill

I am a designer and photographer. I live with my wife and our two dogs in the Welsh Marches, a land full of history, legends, mountains, rivers and dragon's breath; a place where animism thrives. To our north are the Cambrian Mountains, the Elenydd, a vast plateau so ancient that its mountains now have the appearance of steeply rounded moorland hills; to the east is England; to the south stand the Black Mountains and in the west the Brecon Beacons rise around the twin summits of Pen y Fan and Corn Du, the highest mountain in West Wales.

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