Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Friday, 22 January 2010

Two strikes

Yesterday morning the garden was full of the noise of birds, happy, one felt, at the return of milder weather and a slightly easier life. The usual mix was there: coal tits at the kitchen window feeder, collared doves and blackbirds at the ground food, sparrows, blue tits, chaffinches, robins and starlings.

Then all went silent and the reason was not hard to discover. There on the buddleia sat another regular: our female sparrowhawk. We watched her for a while before she disappeared into a hedge near the apple blossom tree where some feeders hung. Back to what we were doing, but not for long.

The garden was noisey again, but this time with unmistakeable alarm. The sparrowhawk had ambushed a blackbird for her breakfast and soon only a scatter of feathers remained. She grabbed another this morning and devoured it on the same spot. We couldn't help but feel a pang of regret at the loss of the songsters, but the sparrowhawk takes only what she needs to survive and it is always a priviledge to study and admire this beautiful bird of prey.


Sir Hugh said...

How about a pic of your sparrowhawk if she's a regular visitor?

afootinthehills said...

We do have a few pics but because the sparrowhawk eats her prey under our trees and the photographs are taken through glass, they are not particularly clear.

We also fear disturbing her when the flash goes off so prefer to watch her through binoculars. However, we know she is a regular, by inference - feathers in the usual place.

I've put a couple of pics taken a year ago, I think, on If we get better ones I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

It can be hard sometimes, seeing a sparrowhawk take a songbird or a buzzard pounce on baby rabbit, but the consolation is that a regular visit to your garden probably indicates a healthy food chain from bottom to top.

I'm new to this game and gradually getting around the outdoor blogs. I have to say that the quality of some of the sites people have put together is quite stunning.

afootinthehills said...

Thanks for your comment Hawthorns. We are also new to blogging and it's good to know that somebody reads the posts occasionally! When we actually manage to get out of the house and get on a hill, soon we hope, we'll have more to blog about.