Male sparrowhawk with a fresh kill, Peak District National Park. I was driving down a quiet country lane when I saw the sparrowhawk standing over a fresh kill, this large wood pigeon. I slowly rolled closer and painstakingly edged the car door open. Inching out of the drivers seat, I crawled to lie underneath using the door as cover. Not bothered by me at all he continued to tuck in and I was able to photograph it for 20 minutes before another car came along and I had to back away to let them pass. One of the most amazing wildlife experiences I have had to date and something I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t chosen to take that route!
About the Sparrowhawk:
Sparrowhawks (Accipiter Nisus) are small raptors with a broad wingspan and thin yellow legs, built for speed and agility rather than strength and power. The smaller males have grey backs and wings with red cheeks and a barred chest. Females are much larger with brownish-upperparts and less barring than the male. The sparrowhawk is now a relatively common sight in woodland and urban parks and gardens, however, until a few decades ago it was more or less extinct in many parts of Britain. These localised extinctions were largely down to persecution, but farming practices and the use of pesticides meant that a build up of harmful chemicals was thinning the eggs and many of the young were unable to hatch successfully.
You can find more about Sparrowhawks here.
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