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Marauding hawk

April 19, 2012

It was the alarm call of a Partridge that drew my attention. Although as a game species they are prone to raising such alarms, this one was clearly serious. It was flying arrow straight, wings whirring and at about 10 ft in altitude over the Town Field. Slightly above and behind the Partridge was the cause of the furore, a large female Sparrowhawk. The Sparrowhawk was intent on it’s prey and it initially failed to notice that it was itself being pursued by a Carrion Crow. But when it did it veered and climbed leaving the Partridge to fight for another day. Small dramas on a quiet spring morning.

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.