Thornhill Head, North Devon

Over last few days on or around our feeders (as well as usual residents), 2 yellowhammers (M+F), 2 siskins (M+F), 2 nuthatches (think M+F), 2 bullfinches (M+F) each visiting as pairs, lesser redpoll (F) and today a very vocal willow tit (not uncommon on Thorne Moor) but scarce in our adjacent garden. Swallows now in garage. Chiffchaff flitting about. Sparrowhawk dropped 3/4 eaten collared dove from one of our tall leylandii trees and made my wife jump. The visiting male is very recognisable with 2 parallel rows of white feathers evenly spaced (like dotted lines) from back of head to rump. Have watched him ambush an unfortunate robin by hopping along the bottom of our leylandii hedge about foot off the ground. This seemed to be a deliberate ploy - when the Robin flushed from near the top of the hedge, which is about 4 feet high, the sparrowhawk somehow whizzed out, up and over to catch it. Incredible speed and agility. Then took 20 minutes to pluck and eat it!

Posted April 12th, 2018 at 5:14 pm by Mark West in Bird News