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CHJ

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Dropped in for afternoon visit and stayed for a bite to eat.
Not the best of images but could not move to get nearer without the two layers of double glazing and only an old 'phone camera to hand.
Sparrow Hawk.jpg
Sparrow Hawka.jpg
 

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Lons

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Looks like a big female!

We have one regularly takes a pigeon in the garden and you can get within a couple of yards and she won't leave the kill until she can carry it off. Hisses like mad at you if you get too close.
 

CHJ

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This one has a habit of sitting on the gate under the rose arch in the second image & waiting until Wood pigeon & Doves return, then leaves quietly in opposite direction only to return at speed over the hedges shortly afterwards.
 

MikeG.

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Excellent! We've got a number around here, and have had a few kills in the garden.

I've seen a merlin a number of times recently, always in the same place. It's also a bird-eater, but a good deal smaller than a sparrowhawk, more the size of a thrush.
 

Lons

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Ours is the same Chas, sits on the gate and fence next to the conservatory then flies in like a jet fighter about 3m off the ground, gets a hit in every 3 or 4 attempts.

Doesn't seem to affect the pigeon population too much and I don't mind as they're just flying rats, don't like it much when she gets a dove though.
I've only once seen a male sparrowhawk in the garden. ( Geordie speak when I was a kid was "spuggie killer" :) )

The local garden centre used to have a couple of bird tables next to the cafe windows until the sparrowhawks realised it was a restaurant for them as well! Customers didn't like to see that served up with their coffee and cake! #-o
 

Lons

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MikeG.":3bro92w9 said:
I've seen a merlin a number of times recently, always in the same place. It's also a bird-eater, but a good deal smaller than a sparrowhawk, more the size of a thrush.
Lucky fella Mike, I've never seen a Merlin or if I have didn't recognise it.
 

CHJ

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There is a Merlin that occasionally passes through, comes down the plot at high speed, often through that archway & passes low between us and the next property hogging the side of the Beech hedge, often only know after the event when the shock wave hits you.
The Sparrow Hawk rarely attempts the small birds around the dozen or so nut & fat feeders around the property, many of them are in squirrel cages or close to bushes so Hawk gets frustrated at the dozens of ****, Sparrows etc. that lie low in an instant.
Does go for the Chaffinches, Sparrows & Yellowhammers at the ground feeding trays and spilt seeds but rarely has any luck because of the readily available cover for them to shoot into. Hawk almost looks embarrassed when spread-eagled against a Beech hedge.
 

MikeG.

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Lons":1bwpyynl said:
MikeG.":1bwpyynl said:
I've seen a merlin a number of times recently, always in the same place. It's also a bird-eater, but a good deal smaller than a sparrowhawk, more the size of a thrush.
Lucky fella Mike, I've never seen a Merlin or if I have didn't recognise it.
I didn't either. I thought it was a Hobby initially, then spoke to some birders who put me straight. Actually, I thought it was just a juvenile sparrowhawk to start with, then I saw it in the winter and thought......."it should have grown up by now"!
 

Quickben

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We used to live up in Morayshire, loads of Buzzards and Red Kites around Elgin. The only places you don't see them are close large concentrations of crows. Used to regularly see battles being fought in the sky above where we lived.
 

Lons

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Quickben":2a9abtd9 said:
We used to live up in Morayshire, loads of Buzzards and Red Kites around Elgin. The only places you don't see them are close large concentrations of crows. Used to regularly see battles being fought in the sky above where we lived.
It's only in the last few years we've had buzzards around us but now they're nesting locally and regularly roost at the bottom of our field. Big when you get close to them.
We've have a red kite program just south of Newcastle for years but never saw one until last year when we had the caravan on site near Gatehouse of Fleet.
 

Robbo3

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Twice last year I watched a sparrow hawk with its kill. The first in an orchard over our back fence & the second on a stretch of cut grass by the road.

Red kites quarter the area daily, buzzed by crows but take no notice unless there is contact. I put their proliferation down to the St Tiggywinkles hedgehog rescue centre near Thame who care for then release many injured birds. I have seen as many as ten whilst driving down the M40 towards High Wycombe.
 

Lons

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Like busses Robbo you don't see one for ages then loads at once. Been away for a few days with the motorhome in Knaresborough and kites were circling the site in the mornings. Stunning birds.
 

marcros

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we get a lot around that area Bob, there is the big breeding centre at Harewood House. A relatively rare bird (I expect), and yet I have seen over 2 dozen in the sky at a time on some days driving from Leeds to Harrogate.
 

Benchwayze

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I have a raptor using my Japanese Maple as a feeding post. I keep finding the remains of pigeons (Usually just feathers) on top of my big 'mound' Acer. Not seen the bird yet, but I suspect a sparrowhawk; although I did see a buzzard around last year. Do buzzards take pigeons?

I don't like foxes overmuch, but then I tolerate them in my garden, as i don't keep chickens! I quite like sparrowhawks, but can never manage to get a photograph that's of any use! I did see what I thought was a peregrine falcon on my fence, one morning last year, but again, it didn't hang around long enough for me to be certain. It definitely wasn't a sparrowhawk. Anyhow, I tolerate them all; they are Nature's creatures, so I leave them be.

The sparrowhawk has perched on my garden seat from time to time, and I was surprised how much bigger it was, than I had thought. He can't perch any more though, as the seat has fallen apart. Seems iroko doesn't last quite as long as teak! :mrgreen: I must repair the thing (Or rather rebuild it!)

John (hammer)
 

Lons

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If the sparrowhawk was large it was most likely a female John, the males are quite a bit smaller, at least those around here are.
 

Benchwayze

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Thanks Lons. This fellow (ess) was easily 18 to 20 inçhes high with wicked orange eyes. To get a decent photo I would have needed to open the nets, which would have startled the bird
So I contented myself with watching. :)

John
 

Lons

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Benchwayze":qnoks3d8 said:
Thanks Lons. This fellow (ess) was easily 18 to 20 inçhes high with wicked orange eyes. To get a decent photo I would have needed to open the nets, which would have startled the bird
So I contented myself with watching. :)

John
I have a few photos of sparrowhawks and a peregrine in our garden, will post if I can find them. One of the female spuggiehawks a few years ago had a pigeon and was eating it alive, I poked it with a broom handle and it just hissed at me and kept on eating, you're right about the eyes. :lol:
 
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