Saturday, 22 January 2011
Look who's coming to dinner...
After a day getting some decent landscape photos but with precious little wildlife to be seen, we parked up the car feeling a twinge of dissappointment. No sooner had we stepped out of the car than a robin flew out of some nearby bushes at such a speed and unusual flight pattern that it looked like it had been picked up and kicked out.
The reason for its sudden flight soon became clear as a raptor followed it out of the bushed and landed on some wooden trellacing. I managed to fire off a few shots before it flew off and our suspicions about its identity were confirmed - it was a male sparrowhawk! The robin had had a very lucky escape, and we had a very fortunate view of this fairly common but very secretive bird.
We walked over to the bird feeders, which were eerily quiet and noticed a fluffy little ball of feathers stuck to a nut feeder. It didn't move, and we both thought it had killed a long-tailed tit. On closer inspection, it was actually alive, but absolutely terrified (with good reason) and trying its utmost not to move a muscle. I took the photograph below and then moved away, then
suddenly all the long-tailed tits came out of their hiding places and converged on a nearby tree, chattering madly about the close call they had just had.