Sunday, 20 January 2013

An unexpected visitor

In the depths of the snow and ice, we have been scattering a range of food for our local birds.  The result has been an influx of blackbirds, field-fares and a solitary chaffinch.  We have seen the number of sparrows, coal, great and blue tits increase and the black cap pair at now pretty much permanent residents.

This morning I was about to get the camera, with a view to photographing the field-fares.  They looked stunning against the snow and in comparison with the male blackbirds.  However,  there was huge explosion of birds, leaving the ground at speed.

Quite definitely the male, he arrived at speed but was not able to get at the birds on the ground (we have too many trees for raptors to lift off easily).  Having failed to get breakfast he sat in next doors silver birch for about 10 minutes.  

After a while he flapped off to better hunting grounds, since then we have not seen a single bird back on the feeders.  One or two are coming back to the apple tree but are not brave enough to try and feed yet.
I still hope to get some shots of the field-fares before they leave us, Sparrowhawks allowing.


  1. Your story sounds so exciting! This is a completely unfamiliar side of life that I would want to know! Thanks for the photos!!

    1. Thanks, I miss watching the birds whilst at work, weekends are a chance to catch up with the nature in the garden.

      I so enjoyed your last posting from Africa, what an amazing project you have been part of.

    2. There're moments I can't believe this has really happened to me! It was a very hard, sometimes exhausting work, but the emotions were so intense, that filled me with energy! I'm glad you liked the post!:)

  2. Replies
    1. Isn't he gorgeous, I had no idea the chest feathers were really that pink on the male. Plan to have a go at painting him at some point.

  3. Definitely male, the colouring and size give it away. The female is a lot bigger, can be as big as a Crow. This weather brings all the birds in your garden and the Sparrowhawk sees this as an ideal opportunity! Lovely photos Charlotte!
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  4. such a beautiful hawk!
    you have reminded me to get a feeder to feed the birds
    so glad you didn't have to see a wee bird get eaten....