While gardening this afternoon I was disturbed by a cacophony of noise coming from my Cotoneaster hedge. The Sparrows were making a hell of a racket. Suddenly a male Sparrowhawk appeared from the top of the hedge and then immediately went back into it. A number of sparrows managed to flee into my neighbour's garden. The Sparrowhawk reappeared and stood on top of the fence behind the hedge. A couple of Carrion Crows came in and tried mobbing it but it took no notice of them. Suddenly a Sparrow made a break for it and the Sparrowhawk went of in pursuit. A few seconds later the Sparrowhawk returned and as it was about to land on the fence another Sparrow made a break for it. The Sparrowhawk did an amazing tail spin and within a few wing beats the Sparrowhawk had captured the sparrow in mid air. It landed on the lawn with the sparrow in its talons. It was looking about when the Carrion Crows returned and started mobbing it again. The Sparrowhawk flew of with the poor sparrow in its talons and the Crows gave hot pursuit.
Quiet returned to the garden. The whole episode took about two or thee minutes. In that time I remained completely still fearing that the Sparrowhawk would fly off.
The most irritating thing was that I was next to my study window and my camera was on my desk, and unable to get at it. Most annoying.