A fantastic bird-spot yesterday afternoon: the fierce and majestic Sparrowhawk. I glanced out of the kitchen window and saw it, skulking, head down, on a fence post, eyeing up next door’s garden. I wasn’t 100% sure what it was at first – not being a hardened birder-from-birth like my friend and birding mentor Dave Keech – but I noted its slate-grey body, lighter underparts and hawkish beak. When it took off, its wingspan was impressive. I leapt on my bird books for identification and there it was. (I emailed Dave and he confirmed it. We are like Caine and the all-wise Master Po off of Kung Fu in the 70s.)
More details on this gorgeous killer of smaller birds (hey – it’s his gig) at the RSPB website. I’ve seen one once before, but not in the town.
By the way, I prefer to illustrate with exquisite RSPB drawings, as if I borrowed a photo from Google Images of a Sparrowhawk your immediate assumption would be that I had photographed it, when in fact, I couldn’t even get to my binoculars quick enough to give my Sparrowhawk a proper look, let alone a camera. And tripod.