The early Sparrowhawk catches the early Blackbird. Well that's what happened in our garden this morning. At 6.20am there was that awful 'distressed Blackbird' call that I have heard all too frequently over the years. An adult male Blackbird had been captured by a/the male Sparrowhawk. Male Sparrowhawks are very good at catching Blackbirds but they are just not strong enough to quickly dispatch large prey which are destined to be plucked and eaten alive. Quite horrific and a terrible quirk of nature. The regular piles of feathers in the garden suggests we lose a Blackbird out of the garden to a/the Sparrowhawk about once every two weeks.
Talking of Blackbirds, it seems to me that they have been slow to sing this spring. I have been listening to Song and Mistle Thrushes giving it everything for a number of weeks now, but the only consistent Blackbird song has been the last few mornings.
Birding opportunities were limited today but the usual 'winter finches' were still in situe at Kelmarsh Hall and Harrington Airfield. Two Woodcock were flushed at Scotland Wood (Kelmarsh Estate) this morning.
The garden supported less birds in the dank wet conditions today, but with cold north-easterlies forecast in a couple of days time I guess they will be back!