Early Sparrowhawk

July 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Long Tailed Titl

The three young Sparrowhawks on this week’s photo are about to fledge from five that somehow have survived the days of heavy rain. I have spent two days during the last week filming the female feeding her young on prey provided by the male . At one point prey was captured at the rate of one bird per hour. Sparrowhawks time their breeding so that there is a maximum number of juvenile birds around when their own young need them but this pair must have laid their first egg on the 28th April, which is the earliest I have ever known.

The garden still provides many birds with food especially on the rainy days. Redpoll and Reed Bunting fly in from Hopwood to feed and join the multitude of young Great Tits on the feeders. Two Carrion Crows are also daily visitors but have no young this year.

A one hundred and sixty mile motorway journey recently produced sightings of nine Kestrels and eight Buzzards. It was pleasing to see the Kestrel back on top.