New house, new garden. I’m still getting to know my new avian neighbours. House sparrow, chaffinch, blackbird, siskin, wren, robin, blue tit, coal tit… the garden is constantly abuzz. Well not today it isn’t, as I’ve had a special dinner guest come round.
Until about five minutes ago I only had one bird in the garden – an immature male sparrowhawk. About two hours ago I spotted this fella sitting under the hedge, tucking into what looked like an immature dunnock. We’re having dismal weather today, and my windows are not the cleanest, so apologies for the poor quality of the shot.
This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to watch a sparrowhawk eating. He was clearly enjoying his meal, taking his time and savouring every mouthful. I’m not going to give you the details though – some things are best not dwelt on.
After watching him for 15 minutes or so I had to dash off for a work teleconference. I was sure he would be gone by the time I finished, but I still felt disappointment when I saw he wasn’t under the hedge. Then I spotted him happily and hopefully sitting under the bird feeder.
He could be naively hopeful of catching a second meal, but I like to think he’s contentedly digesting his meal while looking forward, in that self-satisfied way shared by all predators, to his next meal. I was reminded of a cat sleeping on top of an aviary or lazily watching a goldfish swimming in its bowl.
As I started writing this post he was still sitting under the bird feeder. I’m sure he’d still be there now, but the postie has just been round and scared him away. I’m happy that he’s visited, but I hope this dinner guest doesn’t come round too often. The garden is a lot quieter without its usual crowd.