Posts Tagged ‘sparrowhawk’

First trip of the year for Keith and I to the London Wetland Centre.

On arrival, we heard that a Bittern was showing well from Hedley Hide and so we went off in that direction. sadly it had retreated into the reeds by the time we arrived and it was a 60-minute wait until we saw one fly out from the reeds and head across to another section of reed-bed. We did have the pleasure of a Sparrowhawk keeping us company in a nearby tree during our wait.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Our next stop was the Peacock Tower and a search for the resident wintering Jack Snipe and Water Pipit. The latter proved no problem although as soon as I got onto the bird it took flight and disappear from view. Another wait followed before I spotted one on their usual island. We were able to watch it feeding in and out of the vegetation for about 15 minutes before it was lost from view. Then a few minutes later, it or another one, ran across the island. I guess something had spooked it, although we couldn’t see any other bird in the area. keith reacting quickly managed to get a photograph as it passed across his lens view.

Having seen the specialities, there was time to wrap up the commoner species on the reserve.

Tufted Duck (male and female)
Eurasian Robin
Grey Heron (one of last years young)
Northern Pintail (2 males)

On our way to see if there was a Grey Wagtail in the Otter enclosure (our usual place to find them as they feed in the fast running water) we heard that a Bittern was again showing from Hedley hide and so we diverted there and this time we were lucky and it was still in view when we arrived.

Eurasian Bittern

The light was now failing fast and so it was time to call an end to a great day.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Eurasian Bittern [sp] (Botaurus stellaris)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mew Gull (Common) [group] (Larus canus canus/heinei)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Water Pipit [sp] (Anthus spinoletta)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Amazing poto of a Sparrowhawk visiting a garden in Wales.

Via Sue Lewis….this female sparrow hawk has been marauding around Sue’s garden… helping herself to the feeding birds much to sue’s annoyance ..but still a very likeable visitor.

via Sparrow hawk .Llandegley — Radnor Bird Blog

Have only had the same experience once and it was amazing. (See https://petesfavouritethings.blog/2013/09/27/naturelog-thursday-26th-september/ )

 

Sparrowhawk

Posted: May 25, 2016 in Birds, Dorset, Natural History, UK
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The Sparrowhawk is probably now the commonest bird of prey in the UK replacing the Kestrel which seems to have declined significantly over the past decade. Even so it is most often seen in flight, often soaring to a great height. so, it was really pleasing on the recent trip to Dorset to get a chance to photograph a bird perched on  a deserted building on Portland.

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A last minute decision to pay a visit to the London Wetland Centre. There had been some butterflies sighted over the weekend and I was keen to see if they were still around. Unfortunately the warm sunny conditions of the past 3 days were replaced by cool overcast ones and so the prospect of early spring insects was not good. But then there is always the birds at this excellent reserve.

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My first stop was the wildlife garden, but there was no sign of any insects there.

Bug hotel in the Wildlife Garden

Bug hotel in the Wildlife Garden

So onto the hides. The usual waterbirds and Gulls are present although it seems as though the Bitterns have left for their breeding sites as they haven’t been seen for a week or so. The most interesting sighting was a male Sparrowhawk which appeared from a hedge and appeared to try to take something from off of the lakes surface (A behavior that none of us watching had sen before). It was immediately set on by a large flock of Crows which drove it back into the hedge. The Crows all perched on the trees tops surrounding it almost as though daring it to come out again. After a few minutes it flew out and using its superior flight skills evaded its pursuers and flew off to the other side of the reed-bed.

Sparrowhawk hiding in hedge to evade Crows

Sparrowhawk hiding in hedge to evade Crows

Otherwise it seemed generally quiet although some birds like this Coot had obviously begun building a nest.

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Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Ring necked Parakeets

Ring necked Parakeets

Finally as the afternoon was drawing to the close, the sun decided to break through and I saw my first (and only) insect of the day, a single White-tailed Bumblebee.

Despite seeming quite, I still managed to record 40 species of bird on the reserve, so a good days birding.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mew Gull [sp] (Larus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

White-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

Had spent most of the day working at home. The garden had been reasonably quiet during the day with the usual collection of Crows, Magpies and Pigeons. As I was preparing to pack up and get ready to go out I glanced out of the window and first saw a magpie on the grass in the middle of the grass. I was then aware of a larger darker bird close to it. Quickly picking up my binoculars I saw it was the female Sparrowhawk who rather unusually was feeding on a Common Pigeon (Even the larger female Sparrowhawks tend to go for something smaller like a Thrush or a Starling).

Not knowing how long it would be around I quickly grabbed the camera and took some photos and video.

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After a couple of minutes it flew off with the pigeon still in its talons (only just above the ground) into the secluded area at the back of the garden and was lost to view.

A Sparrowhawk comes to call

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Birds, Natural History
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At Home all day. The snow has stopped and it is becoming brighter as the day goes on. A bit more activity in the garden today and mid-morning a Sparrowhawk flies over. Probably one of those that are sometimes seen traveling between the grounds of Eltham Palace and the Golf club. Occasionally see it distantly from my study window, but rarely does it come down this way. Must be looking for new feeding sites in the snow covered landscape.