A Successful Hunt May 14, 2020 19:43:06 GMT
Post by rowanberry on May 14, 2020 19:43:06 GMT
I was able to witness a dramatic scene today in the garden. I had gone out to check on some young plants I've been keeping in the summerhouse until the weather warms up, and on the way down the path I noticed the sparrows were kicking up quite a fuss. I didn't think anything of it- they are always noisy, but as I came back they were becoming more frantic.
I'd seen one of the jays earlier, and thought this might have triggered them; I'd just reached the house and turned to see if I could spot what was upsetting them- something started thrashing around inside the hedge where I presume some of them are nesting and a sparrowhawk burst out carrying a sparrow in its talons.
It landed on the opposite side of the pond from where I was standing and I froze, doing my best not to move... I could see the sparrow was fighting to get free and the sprawk had to shift its weight to hold onto its prey. This meant it had to turn its back to me, so I was at least able to take a quick breath and blink!
I didn't want to frighten it and have it fly away leaving a mortally injured sparrow so I stood as motionless as I could. It did look over its shoulder at me a few times, but it may have decided I was just a very odd-looking garden ornament.
It started plucking the sparrow, but half-way through (just as my back was becoming quite uncomfortable with holding my position for so long) it took off into the tree in a neighbour's garden, fortunately carrying the sparrow.
At first I wished I'd been lucky enough to have my camera, but afterwards realised it is sometimes good not to be constantly trying to get the perfect photo... all I was able to do was watch and observe, which allowed me to actually see what was taking place right in front of me.
It certainly wasn't a fly-by strike... the sparrowhawk had to have fought its way deep into the hedge, (which is very thick with vines and ivy now) to have captured that sparrow. I'm guessing it had a brood of its own to feed, to be that determined!