Last week we had a sparrowhawk in the garden; a regular visitor and a supreme ambush predator.
The sparrowhawk uses the trees at the bottom of the garden to spot and prey on either house sparrows, starlings and other smaller birds/mammals. Now that the trees are in full leaf it finds it easier to get its prey from the gardens around where I live.
This time of year they look for more food as it’s egg laying time and unfortunately this adult starling was lunch for this young adult bird.
At the end of January each year is the annual Big Garden Birdwatch survey which is organized by the RSPB (sorry this is only available in the UK). It is the biggest wildlife participation event of its kind and if you’ve read this blog before you will know I enjoy it and take part too. 🙂
Yesterday afternoon we had a rare but welcome visitor to our garden; it was rather dreary and pouring with rain, I was actually cleaning my camera (lucky coincidence) and making sure the lens and body were pretty dust-free and clean. All of a sudden I heard a large thump and there on our fence was sat a beautiful Sparrowhawk, it had obviously missed its prey and looked quite dejected in the dreary weather.
I quickly assembled my camera and took a few photographs, not the best but the best I could manage in the short space of time this bird was in the garden on full view.
I was hoping that it would stay in the garden for longer but it then flew into our trees (which are starting to leaf up; good cover for a bird of prey); It stayed up there for about another 15-20 minutes, then flew off. 😦
It took our other birds a good hour to come back to the feeders and start using them again. 🙂
I hope we will see it again this year; although not good for our other little birds that it hunts, its brilliant to see this fantastic bird in the garden. 🙂
Have you any unusual visitors this early on in spring?
It’s been fairly cold in the south of the UK where I live, or at least cold for this part of the country. This has allowed me to get in lots of practice with my new lens over the last week or so even though the light on some occasions has been low and not very good to shoot photographs in.
At the moment the garden is full of juvenile young birds. It’s so great to watch them, see how fast they learn and the antics that they get up to. 🙂
This is a juvenile House sparrow just getting to grips – literally, it had real problems holding onto the bigger branches and kept sliding down until it decided to fly into our old dying apple tree. 🙂 Has anyone else seen this happen with juveniles?