Sunday 5 February 2023

Excitement in the Garden! Sparrowhawks and long-tailed tits.

After last week's rather subdued Big Garden Birdwatch this Sunday produced some unexpected and unusual excitement.

It started with a male sparrowhawk perched in a bush just outside the kitchen window. We see sparrowhawks quite often but they rarely stay long. Usually they swoop in and either catch of chase a small bird and then fly off. Sometimes they may perch somewhere for a short while if they've failed to catch anything. This sparrowhawk was there for over half an hour before flying away so were able to admire it's beautiful plumage and brilliant yellow eye for much longer than usual.

Not long after the sparrowhawk left a flock of long-tailed tits appeared on one of the peanut feeders. This was exciting as we hadn't seen these beautiful little birds for many months and were wondering what had happened to them.

The long-tailed tits had barely arrived when a sparrowhawk flashed in and scattered them. It chased one into the wire netting enclosure protecting a crab apple tree from rabbits and roe deer and was flying round inside this after the long-tailed tit when another sparrowhawk flew in and attacked the first one. The two then rose into the air fighting before one flew away pursued by the other. We've never seen two sparrowhawks squabbling before. 

A few minutes later the long-tailed tits came back.

You can't beat garden birds for entertainment!

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