Jun 242012
 

Sadly, yet another sparrowhawk kill this morning. This time I saw him fly in and hit the ground right by our feeder with a sparrow at his feet. I don’t think it’s the same sparrowhawk that was seen earlier in the week.

Now I start to ask myself “am I creating this problem?”. By feeding the smaller birds I might be helping to keep some alive by are my actions leading to the deaths of others? According to Chris Packham (BBC Springwatch 2012), his response to a similar question was that it was a sign of a healthy bird population and this was a perfectly natural phenomenon. Maybe he’s right.

Jun 192012
 

The garden has been lively this week with 8 pidgeons (sadly I can’t keep these fat turkeys away) and up to 16 sparrows, robin and numerous finches at any time. Unfortunately this activity and chitter-chatter was inevitably going to draw unwanted attention.

Today the killer arrived. I missed the strike but came into the kitchen to observe a Sparrowhawk on our fence feeding from a fresh sparrow kill. Sad, but nature is indeed ‘red in tooth and claw’ (Tennyson).

It is an incredibly impressive bird of prey. Having watched some falconry during our recent visit to Exmoor I still find this bird terrifying, more than the birds on display. The eyes of the Sparrowhawk are bone-chilling, lord knows what it’s like when you’re only 3 inches tall!

I suppose his presence at least tells us that we have a thriving and lively bird community.

Jun 212011
 

The first Sparrowhawk of 2011 and the longest day of the year. I thought the garden feeders were quiet. There he was, sat on the fence with orange eyes glaring at me. He took a look in the hedge then flew into the tree close to the feeder for a moment before moving flying off, circling for a while, and leaving empty handed.

Sep 252010
 

The little guy flew in front of my car on my way home yesterday and nestled on the roof of a garage surveying the area. A frequent visitor over the last few weeks. Impressive eyes. Nice to see him again.