The Geese are finally gone and Swallows and House Martins are alreadywheeling through the skies, shrieking and endlessly seeking flies. Temperatures are up and there is great activity amongst the birds.
I think that is why a silent spell in the garden made me look out the window. A quick shift in direction of grey wing in the bushes looked different, unusual. Looking closer I was surprised to see a male Sparrowhawk that seemed to have come to feed on the nut-feeding small birds.
Having the camera close as I was about to head down to the lake, I got a few pics through the window, trying not to scare him.
The small birds seemed to have taken refuge in a woody bush and were now giving the vocals the full treatment, while himself, perched on top of the bush, seemed to be wondering how to get in or perhaps just hoping that one of the little ‘uns would make a break for it.
He seemed to be very keen on a meal so I had a go at opening the creaky back door a little and was lucky enough to be tolerated while I got some better shots. Such a magnificent creature, albeit built to kill. Eyes, beak clews, wings – all intended to allow sharp movement and precise, lethal hunting.
Its interesting to note the differences between the sexes – the female (see https://cliffsview.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/sparrowhawk-f-with-twig-st-annes-dublin-1732xl.jpg) is larger but duller.
Eventually he got fed up – not literally, unfortunately for him – and flew off low along the old hedge.
Fantastic encounter with a stunning creature.