I have waited a long time to get a photograph of one of the visiting raptors which frequent the garden from time to time. When I went to the kitchen to make a cuppa I had a quick glance round the garden as I always do. Down the end of the garden partly hidden behind the greenhouse was a Female Sparrowhawk perched on an old wooden frame. At least I hope it is a Female Sparrowhawk.
Not the sharpest of photos but at least I got some shots this time. So as not to scare her away I stayed as far back in the kitchen as I could. I think the sight of a wrinkly pointing a 400mm zoom lens right next to the window would have made her depart rapidly.
She stayed for a short while looking at all the places she knew there should be small birds feeding but as can be expected there was not a sight or sound of the usual visitors.
It seemed to be unusual to see a hunting bird perched less than 6 feet (2m) from the ground. I managed to get half a dozen shots before she took off for pastures new. The one thing which surprised me was how small she was. Somehow I had expected a bird of prey to be larger. To give an idea of her size the horizontal piece of wood in the background is about two inches (24mm) high.
If you are interested and haven't had a look yet at the Peregrine Falcon chicks on Derby Cathedral I think their site is worth a visit. They are very recently hatched and the video of the parent bird being so gentle while feeding the chicks is a sight for sore eyes. It's not too gory and can be seen HERE.
I was only wondering yesterday whether the local Heron had survived the weeks of frozen water in the past winter. Well, I did see one this morning weaving round the sky being hotly pursued by three Rooks.
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