Sunday, 28 February 2010

A nervous place

With a female Sparrowhawk making repeated visits to the garden feeders this morning the other birds are understandably looking nervous. Completely oblivious to this are small group of Siskins who have just arrived. I have noticed in the past that they don’t get the jitters the same way as the other birds. They seem quite comfortable being the only ones at the feeders.

Good luck Ladies and Gents… at a guess the hungry Lady below that has been visiting this morning is very likely to return… real soon!


Clicking on the photos will enlarge them.


She waits a while and looks to the ground below.


She listens for chatters from birds hiding in the hedge.


My favourite shot out of this group.


Hopefully the weather will be dry enough later to get out with my camera and take some end of the month shots… a nervous time for me too ;-)


The photos above were taken in my garden on 28th February 2010, through a window.

12 comments:

Gigibird said...

Shortly after we moved here I was so delighted for the first time we had birds to feed and admire....then one day a sparrow hawk made a call and ate one of my visitors....although I was appalled I couldn't but be in ore of the beauty of the hawk - those yellow eyes and matching legs are just so mesmerizing. And of course it’s nature…and he or she ate everything up!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Beautiful sparrow hawk, Shirl! I get frequent visits from the Cooper hawks. Thankfully they are lazy hunters and I rarely see them get anything!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shirl - funny we should go posting on the same subject on the same day - your photos are much better than mine though - they really are stunning birds... seeing them in full flight swooping is something else - the speed they go at and such precision as well. Hope you've had a good weekend - take care Miranda x

The Early Birder said...

Nice shooting through the window. Interesting that so many of us are getting similar visits recently. Just watching the head turning slowly with the eyes and ears seeking out any movement or sound was a magical moment for me. FAB.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Wow - amazing! When the sparrow hawks pass through our garden they don't linger - just grab a sparrow and go.
Great shots Shirl
K

shirl said...

Hi again Gigibird, thanks for stopping by with a comment :-)

Yes, I agree with you completely. Although, I have to confess to still feeling a little sick when I see one about to devour its prey in my garden. I saw a male last week (previous posting) and uncomfortably caught some video too see here.

I also caught a female hanging about the feeders for a while just before... long enough for me to find a video and set it up on a tripod. See here.

shirl said...

Hi there Robin, she is quite pretty isn’t she. I’m wondering if she looks perhaps like your Cooper hawk female as the males look similar.

Oh… the Sparrowhawk is definitely not a lazy hunter. It is regularly seen hunting in gardens here in the UK. I’ve seen a few successful take-a-ways with cats too. I have to say I’m more understanding of the hawk than the cat!

shirl said...

Hi again Miranda, yes I was thinking the same. I couldn’t believe it when I saw your post. We are having so many Sparrowhawk visits at present so my chances of getting photos and video have got good odds. You can see links to a previous posting with video above.

Yes, once again I agree with you. Although I do wince on behalf of the birds at the feeders when one swoops around them… they are excellent flying machines!

Thanks, we did have a good weekend. Looking forward to the next couple of days as after this afternoon my daughters Prelim exams will be over… phew! Shopping and snowdrops are the plans for this week… weather pending of course!

shirl said...

Hi again Frank, thanks, as you’ll know with reflections from inside the room there is always a greyness to photos taken from behind a window. They’ve been the best shots I’ve got so far though so I was pleased.

Yes, they are relentless in their visits at the moment. Yes, they are very expressive birds if you watch them closely… those eyes though!!

shirl said...

Hello there Karen, I’m guessing you popped by for an end of the month posting last night… I was still working on it when your comment came in! You’ll remember, I too burn the midnight oil ;-)

I’m delighted you enjoyed the photos of the hawk. There was a time when they didn’t linger here either but they have become a bit too familiar with my garden now. The males aren’t often spotted, although I caught video of a male a female the other day which you can see through the links in my reply to Gigibird above.

Last year I caught video of a female visit (bit shaky) that lasted over 10 minutes!! This time my tripod had been in the car and I was able to get and set it up. I watched a while before I even considered taking photos or video as I fully expected it to fly off when I was moving about inside. Nope… it was too intent in waiting for the birds to appear back again. She behaved like the Jackdaw looking for peanuts – it was like you could see her thinking her next move. I even opened the window and she didn’t leave.

I began to get worried for some unsuspecting bird arriving at the feeders. I didn’t want to see what was going to happen next if she stayed much longer. I went outside with my tripod and walked round the side of the house thinking it was a win, win situation… I’d either get really good video or the birds would be safe as she flew away. Either way she wouldn’t surely stay around if I was outside! It was the later. I’m guessing she must have been really hungry though.

sweet bay said...

Beautiful captures!

Juliet said...

Lovely pictures, Shirl. Like Karen, we get the occasional one passing through, but never stopping long enough for photos.