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Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus
Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus

From time to time I come across a Sparrowhawk that has just caught a pigeon and started to feed upon it. It is always a pigeon. I assume because if it was smaller prey it would fly off with it. A pigeon is too heavy and it eats it where it dropped. It happened again two days ago while I was waiting for the heron. The hawk did not have time to feed before I disturbed it. Speed was essential. I grabbed a hide from the boot of the car and had it up with 30 seconds. The benefit of these pop up hides. I placed the hide against the nearby hedge so it would not stand out too much.

Stool and cameras were thrown inside and I quickly banged a tent peg though the pigeon into the ground so the hawk would not be able to drag it away. Inside the hide I set up the tripod and camera and only just in time as the Sparrowhawk came back within minutes. Then I had 30 minutes of photography or ripping and tearing. The bird only returns like this if it has not fed. If the pigeon was half devoured it is unlikely I would have been successful.

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