Monday, 26 July 2010

Raptor!

Jen and I had a rare privilege on Saturday afternoon.  We were enjoying a glass of chilled rosé at the end of a hard day's gardening when I noticed a bird land high up in a big Norwegian maple tree in a neighbour's garden, though I couldn't see much of it.  I pointed it out to Jenny and said "I want that barred tail to turn into a bird of prey, but it's probably just a pigeon."

At that moment the bird moved slightly to one side and we could see it clearly.  It was a sparrowhawk and we had an uninterrupted view of it from a distance of perhaps 10 metres, for several minutes while it surveyed the scene, looking for dinner.  The picture is not mine, of course.

Jen suggested I get the camera, but I decided the bird would fly away before I got back, so I sat tight.  A few moments later it took off in a low swoop past us, too quick for us even to get up and try to see where it had gone.  The dive was fairly characteristic of a sparrowhawk in pursuit, (I've seen them a couple of times before) so I assume it had spotted a potential meal.

It was brilliant to see that beautiful bird so clearly.  So rare to have one sit still close to where you are so you can get a good view.  Most obliging of it!

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