Friday, 3 February 2017


Wildlife has the ability to give us amazing moments and put a smile on our faces, and so it was this week.

Recently, as you will have read in a previous blog, I had a close encounter with a Kingfisher in a local park. I didn't have my camera with me, and so I just stood and watched the beauty of the bird in its natural habitat.

On Wednesday this week I was returning home after finishing work for the day on a small rental apartment I've just bought. I parked my car outside my own apartment, which is in a dead end street that leads down to the sea, and wandered back round to the main road again to speak to a neighbour.

While I was gone something spectacular unfolded.

I wandered back, turned the corner, and immediately noticed something on the ground, half way down the street. I stopped, then slowly edged closer. To my amazement it was a female Sparrow Hawk, and in its grip was a newly caught Collared Dove!

I retraced my steps and ran round the block to approach my apartment from the lower end, thus avoiding going past the hawk and not disturbing it. Grabbing my camera, I rushed to the first floor window and captured footage of the action. After a short while I took the camera outside to get a lower perspective. Satisfied with those results I decided I wanted to get some head on shots, and so once again ran round the block to approach from the other end.

As I filmed, from a closer position than the first time, I noticed the hawk was un-phased by my presence. I edged closer. Still it was not concerned. Then annoyingly a neighbour returned home in her car, pulled round the corner, headlights flooding the scene, at which I thought that would be the end.

Then my camera ran out of power.

So once again the only option was just to stand and watch. My neighbour had pulled to a stop beside me, but it was clear the bird was going to finish its large meal, and she wanted to get to her house. She slowly edged the vehicle forward, but the hawk didn't move. In fact, she got the bumper to within one foot of the bird, stopped, and still it plucked away at its catch! For me it was even more spectacular a moment, as I was by now stood within just one metre of this magnificent bird. After a few minutes the car slowly edged forward several more inches, then the Sparrow Hawk rammed its talons into the carcass, and took off, flying fast and low down the street, with its dinner hanging below its body.

A rare treat in the middle of my suburban street.

Not the meal, the sighting.

I end my blog today on a more cutesy animal moment. Yesterday was Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow, saw his shadow, and predicted, there would be six more weeks of winter.


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