Saturday, 23 April 2016

After a bright start, cloud built up throughout the morning and a cold wind developed again.

I did a four hour full patch walk this morning, finding a good tally of 47 species, despite not seeing a Treecreeper or Coal tit. The highlight of the visit was finding my first LESSER WHITETHROAT (86,71) of the year singing from a large garden adjoining the Greenhouse Grounds, where a pair of COMMON WHITETHROATS were seen back on their territory. BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF and SWALLOW were the other summer species recorded.

A small group of HERRING GULLS flew over, with them were a lone LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and 2 BLACK HEADED GULLS, a skein of 7 GREYLAG GEESE also flew over but nothing else of note did.

A BUZZARD and the male KESTREL were up and about hunting, plus a female SPARROWHAWK was seen catching it's prey - an unfortunate COLLARED DOVE. The MISTLETHRUSH nest was checked, all is well, with the mother incubating eggs, but one of the CANADA GEESE nests over on the lakes looks have been deserted, however the MUTE SWAN nest look to be safe so far.

As I wandered along the edge of the Scrubby Woods, I was just thinking to myself how few the photo opportunities have been recently, then whoosh! In comes the Sparrowhawk and drags a Collared dove from a bush, she immediately started to devour the dove some 30 meters from me, but I managed to sneak up and get a few images  ;-)

I took over 100 photo's ! All the action was taking place in a rather dark shaded area, so I had to keep changing the camera settings, especially as the sun was continually going in and out.

A bit gruesome, but that's nature

I'll post a few more images on tomorrows blog 


Marc Heath said...

Although not nice for the Dove, a superb sequence Warren, probably your best yet, well done.

Derek Faulkner said...

Bloody Sprawks, be nice if it was the other way round for a change.

Warren Baker said...

At least it was a common species that got eaten!

Warren Baker said...

Doves with big sharp claws and hooked bill, nasty !

Gravel Pit Birder said...

Cant see the problem with Sparrowhawks myself...survival and all that...always loved watching one catch its breakfast of Pied Wag at a winter roost where I used to work (I didnt actually work in the roost!)....great pics...always hate reading stories of how people 'saved' a Wood Pig or Dove from a Sparrowhawk without a thought for the hawks survival...
Glad you have got a Lesser White too....fab little birds....!!

Warren Baker said...

Quite agree with your comment there GP birder ;-)