Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Grumpy Sparrowhawk!

Hi

A trundle around at Harrington Airfield this morning provided an opportunity to again witness visible migration with passerines passing over the airfield in a southerly direction.  The most dominant species were Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Swallow and House Martin.  Other species moving in smaller numbers included 'alba' wagtail, Tree Sparrow, Siskin and redpoll sp.  No particular birds of note were seen but there were at least 24 Golden Plovers in the fields.  Two Ravens were cruising over Hanging Houghton during the late morning.

Whilst at home today, anxiety calls from the garden birds announced the arrival of the usual male Sparrowhawk.  He was on the lawn with prey in his talons, 'kneading' an unidentified victim in the way they kill small birds.  However it soon became clear that he actually had a sprig of ice plant in his talons and no bird!  I assume he had impacted with the bird and the ice plant at the same time and thought he had both.  After realising his mistake the now grumpy Sparrowhawk walked around the border looking for his anticipated victim, but I don't think he found it and it had long gone!  Please see the images below.  The bird was ringed and although four males have been caught and ringed in the garden over the years, it is likely that this bird was DB92870 and originally ringed as a yearling in 2005 and retrapped in 2011.  He is now very much a mature male.

Birds off the yacht club at Pitsford Res this evening included the Black-necked Grebe and the 4th year Caspian Gull.

Regards

E & N



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