Friday, 20 June 2008

Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw *

An unoriginal title and one I suspect I will use often. For those, like me, of a soft disposition this story has a (relatively) happy ending.

Glancing out of the kitchen window whilst waiting for the kettle to boil I realised we had a young male Sparrowhawk on the grass. I grabbed the camera but it took a couple of seconds for me to realise that the hawk had supper under its feet. Only one picture and I ran outside. The hawk immediately flew off leaving behind a surprisingly large male baby Blackbird which seemed unharmed - I think the hawk was a youngster who did not know how to swiftly despatch dinner and had just been standing on the fledgling.

Glad to report that the baby Blackie ran off into the shrubbery and didn't seem to be limping or moving awkwardly. Sparrowhawk has gone to hunt in someone else's garden. Hey ho, if I want to encourage wildlife then I must accept there is a food chain, even if I don't much like it. Damn pleased with the one hastily taken photo though!

* Alfred, Lord Tennyson,, from In Memoriam A.H.H. completed in 1849

Edit: 10.00pm. Info from SewAli's husband who is a very experienced birder: "he says it's definitely a male and not a youngster because of the slate colouring. He says the youngsters are browner." In which case young Blackie had a lucky escape. I have rummaged through the shrubbery and have not found any small bodies - so either baby Blackbird has survived or he keeled over somewhere else.

1 comment:

  1. The blackie, however, is still young enough to have that impressive yellow 'gape' - you feel that, like the big snakes, they could swallow a donkey! He must have been yelling his little head off.


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