Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saved By A Sparrowhawk

No birding or ringing for me in the continuing bad weather but the local Sparrowhawk returned to the garden today. It must have caught prey in a neighbour’s garden and then still holding the meal, flown down onto our winter lawn to finish off the job. The prey wasn’t visible in the leaf strewn long grass but the hawk stood holding its lunch for a good five minutes, time enough for me to open the kitchen window and take a few pictures. Unfortunately the hawk was in the gloomiest corner of the garden, and the day so very dark that most shots are on ISO1600, the best available.

Sparrowhawk – adult male

Sparrowhawk – adult male

Sparrowhawk – adult male

I think the hawk was waiting for its prey to fully expire, and after a while it took off, carrying the victim, a by now lifeless Starling.

I last saw this carroty eyed adult male Sparrowhawk on 23rd and 24th November when it allowed me to walk down the garden towards it, most unlike a normally shy Sparrowhawk. At the time I assumed it wasn’t too well, especially with its plumage all fluffed up and the way it sat with one leg raised. I guess it must have been OK though and perhaps just having a bad day or a senior moment.

Sparrowhawk – adult male

The Sparrowhawk saved a potentially blog free day and if the wind ever drops I’ll get a net up and with luck catch the hawk as well as a few other birds.

Sparrowhawk – juvenile male

Sparrowhawk – juvenile male


Christian said...

You did well to open the Window Phil, usually that sends the squirrels flying in all directions, never mind secretive birds like the Sparrowhawk. Great shots.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the photo of the senior moment, Phil. One leg lifted and the bird thinking, "Now, what did I intend to do here?"

Anna said...

These are some beautiful yellow eyes. BTW the images came out great. If you wouldn't use high ISO you would probably see lot of blur. Phil, I know I have been away, but I am still around. Wanted to wish you happy new year, love and peace. Cheers! Anna :)

Stuart Price said...

Nice shots Phil.

Still trying to get my head round Sparrowhawks being a garden bird. They regularly visit my parents' garden near Preston, this was unheard of when I was a young birder 30 or so years ago........

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oooops, I nearly missed this post! What a grand opportunity for opening up the window and snagging these great images. Hawks all about here perch with one leg raised just about at all times. Always perched on one foot and the other ready to grab at anything that might dive bomb it...Great images!

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