Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Last 8 Seconds

Last Sunday Bryony and I spent an hour counting the birds visiting our garden as part of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. This is something we've done a number of times before and this year we saw the usual suspects; Robin, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Starling, Sparrow. We also had more interesting birds such as Goldfinches, Long Tailed Tits, Bullfinches, and a Siskin (which interestingly we've never seen before in this garden although we have seen during a Big Garden Birdwatch at our previous house). We also had a Sparrowhawk make a passing appearance. Unfortunately the Sparrowhawk decided to reduce our Bullfinch count by one! These two photos were, according to the camera, taken just eight seconds apart.


Now firstly from these photos it is clear that I need to clean the windows and use a faster shutter speed, but just after I'd taken the first photo the Bullfinch went right, straight into the path of the Sparrowhawk and became lunch. Now I have no problem with the Sparrowhawk needing to eat but why couldn't it have gone for one of the more numerous species? A Sparrow maybe? I'm sure they would taste roughly the same!
31 January 2012 at 21:45 , GB said...

I loved your last comment. I suppose that's like comparing organic chicken to pheasant for us. I'm told that they don't taste even similar. I don't think that I'll try distinguishing between sparrow and bullfinch though! I suspect, by the way, that the sparrow population would accuse you of discrimination!

31 January 2012 at 21:48 , Mark said...

My original draft included a "(probably chicken)" comment but I decided that actually for once it probably wouldn't have been true!

2 February 2012 at 05:21 , Scriptor said...

Bullfinch has a certain fruity piquancy while Sparrowmeat is a bit gritty and muddy tasting - at least, so a Buzzard once told me.

20 February 2012 at 04:31 , Katherine said...

Wow. Primal nature right in front of your eyes. We have a falcon but it's rather rare. Our Australasian Harrier Hawk is much more common but is usually a scrounger of roadkill.

20 February 2012 at 10:21 , Mark said...

The Sparrowhawk isn't a regular visitor to the garden but we probably see them maybe once a month flying through. This is the only time I've seen a kill but she did sit on the top of the feeder surveying the garden on one previous occasion.

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