Thursday, 16 September 2010

Not a sparrow in sight

Rosie looked out of the landing window and said "What's That?"  Oh, its just a juvenile Goshawk sitting on our fence.  We stood and watched the bird for a while as it cleaned its feathers and looked around for lunch.  The only birds in sight were pigeons and magpies.  They were just too challenging for a young hawk. This is the third time in a week that I have seen this bird.
The hawk sat for quite a while and allowed me to take a leisurely few photographs.
Goshawks do tend to be a little variable in their colouring, but the size (bigger than a sparrow-hawk) and that distinctive pale flash over the eyes gives them away.  I would love to see this bird when it has its sleeker and paler adult plumage.  This hawk is attracted by the abundance of sparrows in our hedges, but the little birds are wise to its presence and fast to disappear.  They will even scatter at the sight of a magpie flying past - quite a strong survival instinct.  We have not yet seen any sparrow remains in  the garden.

3 comments:

Diane said...

I saw something like this being chased off by crows over my house the other day. You took great photos of it Paul.

Simone said...

What a wonderful sight to see and be able to photograph too!

Paul Pursglove said...

Having done some more research I have discovered that this is not a Goshawk, but an unusually large female Sparrowhawk.
The sparrows in our garden are far too aware and agile for it to catch and they are never far from good cover, so she has now moved on.