Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Ever felt you are being watched

As it was such a sunny day yesterday I decided to get out in the garden.  My summer pots are all but spent so it was time to renew them for the autumn/winter.

As I feed the birds there is always bird song in the garden. They don't show any fear of me or Stan and carry on at the feeders even when I'm quite close

 As I busied myself changing over the plants in the tubs by the big pond to the sound of bird song

I suddenly realised there were no birds and no bird song. I looked around and finally spotted the reason. Can you see him at the back of the arch seat.

A closer look with the zoom

It's a young sparrowhawk that visits once a week. An ambush hunter, he will hide until he spots his prey and then launch himself to catch them. He's learning his trade and misses more than he catches but he looks healthy enough so must be doing OK. We used to have a huge female visit who I assume was his mother. They came together a few months ago but we haven't seen her since

She was a prolific hunter who also wasn't that bothered about us being in the garden. My closest encounter with her was when I was pegging out washing and she dropped off the shed roof after a sparrow. She flew so close to me that I felt her wings brush my cheek. It was one of hose moments I felt very blessed.
I know, as I've seen the letters in the gardening/wildlife magazines that many people don't like these birds as they take the "pretty" birds. Some people are even calling for them to be shot. I am not part of this. I love my sparrowhawks. Yes they take the birds out of the garden, but that's nature for you. Somedays they win and somedays, like yesterday, they go away empty handed. I feel  extremely privileged to have them hunt in my garden.


  1. Your garden looks magical! Thank-you for sharing.

  2. Now that is something else, thank you for sharing

  3. It is indeed a privilege and a blessing to have birds nesting and feeding in your garden. Enjoy

  4. Love this post Gina and I 1000% agree with you. I am a vegetarian, so I don't eat meat, but I understand some people and animals do, and to take away their inherent right is just wrong. Mankind is responsible for the loss of most of our songbirds, not birds of prey. Since we moved here, I haven't got my husband to put out a birdfeeder, (due partly to the abundance and persistence of squirrels) but this post has spurred me on to get after him to help me find a good squirrel-proof feeder and get it up. Are those evening grosbeaks in the first photo? They have a beautiful song, had them in Alberta. Love the orioles too, and the red-breasted grosbeaks' song brings a lump to my throat it's SO gorgeous...oh I could go on...having that sparrowhawk come that close is indeed an incredible event to have experienced. Thanks for this post; am saving it. :-)

  5. Great picture of the little sparrowhawk Gina. I am always too slow with my camera to get any good bird pictures. Lovely garden pics too. xx

  6. You certainly have a great variety of birds Gina! Love the Sparrowhawk, thank goodness you zoomed in or I would never have seen him! Please tell me what those pink balls are in the bird feeder? Thanks for linking in at Fun Friday Favourites on Cath@Home

  7. Beautiful birds and garden!

  8. Love your feeding station. Tell me about the feeder hosting the woodpecker. It looks very interesting....I've never seen anything like it. What's in it? I have a Sharp-shinned Hawk that frequents my feeding station. While I hate serving up my birds to him on a silver platter, like you, I realize that's just how it works, especially on winter when the hunting is limited.


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