A few minutes ago I was just going to walk through the gate when I heard a ‘squealing’, a rush of wings and also branches moving
Then, actually at my feet, landed a sparrowhawk with its talons round a blackbird. I was so shocked to see the death throes of a blackbird just where I was standing.
I had never been so close to a sparrowhawk. I was looking down on it and at the blackbird that was caught up in the Sparrowhawk’s talons.
The blackbird was ‘squealing, struggling’ and trying to get away but there was no chance.
The sparrowhawk did not have it’s it’s wings outstretched and had the blackbird ‘pinned’ to the ground with it’s talons round the blackbird.
Sparrowhawk - a bird of prey
I did not take the photograph of the sparrowhawk
Blackbird – a garden bird
I moved slightly and the sparrowhawk suddenly let go of the blackbird. It flew upwards and into the hedge – it must just have seen me.
I think up until then the sparrowhawk was oblivious to me.
The blackbird, leaving behind a lot of feathers, ran and hopped into the base of the hedge and disappeared.
I shouted and shook the hedge, trying to frighten the sparrowhawk away. Then I realised I might frighten the blackbird out into the open, making it easy prey for the sparrowhawk.
The hedge was a laurel hedge. A laurel hedge will not keep out sparrowhawks because it does not have thorns to keep the sparrowhawk out. Sparrowhawks cannot take the chance of damaging their feathers on thorns so they never go into bramble bushes etc .
There was nothing I could do. For a moment I became involved with nature and wildlife which we don’t seem to have any control over.
What else goes on in my garden that I’m not aware of. Who does the garden belong to – me or the birds.