A Hawk Hunting
The hawk whipped round the side of the house too fast for me to even register its approach. Also too fast for the greenfinch pecking at peanuts in a feeder hung by a wall just outside the kitchen window. The speed of the sparrowhawk’s attack was so great that its momentum carried it on a few feet to crash into the window with a loud crack and a flurry of feathers. Standing maybe eighteen inches away at the sink I flinched at the noise and the sudden blur flashing into my face. Unhurt the young sparrowhawk turned and flew off round the side of the house. Knowing that a favourite perch was on a bird table outside the living room window, where I had photographed it less than half an hour earlier, I moved slowly and quietly into view. The bird was there, gripping a still struggling greenfinch in its talons. After a few minutes the hawk took off, slowly now, and flapped steadily away into the nearby woods. All was quiet. The drama, the violence was over. On top of the bird table a few soft feathers fluttered in the breeze.
The photo shows the sparrowhawk on top of the bird table shortly before the hunt. Photo info: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EF 80-200mm lens @ 180mm, f5.6 @ 1/200, ISO 400, raw file converted to JPEG and processed in Capture One Pro.