Sunday, 23 December 2012

10,000 UP

Yeh, the 10,000th visitor has just read this blog. Thank you everyone of you who has checked in for a look. That makes it all worthwhile. It is good to share experiences and news, and it's good fun.

Meanwhile, the other day while sitting on the veranda  I was thinking that I hadn't seen any sparrowhawks, or evidence of their kills, in the garden yet this post-breeding season. And what happened yesterday while I was out talking to the chickens, a beautiful hen Collared Sparrowhawk came swinging in through the shrubbery, over the chickens' heads and grabbed a House Sparrow. She then flipped over and into the neighbours' garden where she mantled her prey.

She stood there for a few minutes with the sparrow in her grasp, ensuring that it was definitely dead before she began to pluck it. Never releasing her grip all that time, she clearly held it tight in a constricting hold, so that it died of suffocation.

She was a stunning full adult, with a slate-blue back and head, rich red collar and belly stripes. The females usually take larger prey  such as Starlings or Common Mynas, and the smaller males take the sparrows and wrens. But, now she knows the sparrows are around the chicken house, where there are always food scraps, she will be back. And others will pass through too I'm sure.

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