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Winter kill

December 25, 2010

A female Sparrowhawk (or Spar) has taken up residency in the cutting. She has been there for several days. Presumably because her favoured prey species, various finches, are gathered along the berry- rich thickets which predominate along this stretch.

I say female because of its size, the male (or Musket) would be considerably smaller. This morning she effortlessly shook off the unwanted attentions of a mobbing Carrion crow before flashing through the hedgeline and disappearing. Yesterday she was glimpsed as she shot away with a rapid climbing flight from a perch on a fencepost. The day before she had left the clear signs of one of her victims in the footpath – a trademark circle of blood and feathers and a visible clawed footprint.

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