It’s been a while since I wrote something for the blog and today seems a good day for it – with wildlife teeming in the woods on my walk today. I was heading up through the woods, on my way to take out a few Himalayan Balsam plants that survived the cull of last year – I heard a determined and high-pitched mewing from the Scots Pines and looked up to see two young sparrow-hawks calling to their parents from to top of the tallest tree. They can fly now but seem to prefer to beg for food (as a parent of teenagers I have sympathy). As I stood there the parent dived past me into a flock of tits that were calling from the hazels. I don’t think they managed to catch anything and the young continued calling.
I continued on through the woods to the open fields and flushed a peregrine from her spot at the top of one of the ancient and straggly hawthorns which must have once been part of a field boundary. She looked to be carrying a small furry thing in her tallons and quickly disappeared, presumably to somewhere more private to finish her meal. She presumably was the same bird who, one day in Spring, struck terror into the hearts of the garden birds, by stooping from the sky onto a couple of pigeons feeding on grain spilled on the ground. Although no kill was made on that occasion, the birds didn’t return to the feeder for sometime after that.