We’ve had the first hard frost of the season overnight – Winter is most definitely on it’s way! I’m off work this week, and when I blearily glanced out of the kitchen window this morning while refilling my coffee cup, I was in for a bit of a surprise. There on the lawn was a beautiful female Sparrowhawk, tucking into her breakfast.
I have such mixed feelings about this one – after all, I feed these small birds and love seeing them visit the garden, so I think naturally I am quite protective of them. It’s hard to see them die. However, the Sparrowhawk needs a meal too and has no other option. Also, it gives me confidence that the garden is becoming a good little eco-system in it’s own right – once predators start arriving it shows that there is a sustainable population of the prey species.
I’m not familiar with birds of prey, so once I’d grabbed this picture I booted up my laptop to try and identify it. I quickly learned that ‘it’ was in fact a she, a Sparrowhawk – and a youngster, signified by the white patches on her back.
She’s definitely not something I expected to see this morning, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for her as the Winter draws in.