Sunday, 20 September 2009

The St. Mary's Sparrowhawk

Just got back from St. Mary's. Wanted to check out the waders and other birds. The tide was right out so the waders were quite far out as well. We saw redshank, dunlin, turnstone, curlew, ringed plover and a possible whimbrel. My dad also saw a manx shearwater out at sea but we only had one pair of bins, so I didn't see it! As we sat down to eat our chips, a massive flock of golden plover flew over glinting in the sun. The black-headed gulls and starlings ate most of my chips, but what's the seaside for?? We watched the red arrows fly over a couple of times as well while we were eating. On our way home, the highlight of the day arrived. I was scanning the waders when a big brown bird flew in front of my view at a massive speed sending all the birds up. I thought it might of been a peregrine until I watched it's hunting technique as it took out a starling and landed in the rocks. We searched for it and finally saw it flap it's wings and then discovered that it was a female sparrowhawk. I went down onto the rocks and walked along towards it. It let me get within 10 feet of it producing great views and photos before flying off about 100 feet with the starling still in it's grip. A brilliant end to the day! Sparrowhawk Starling Black-Headed GullRed Arrows

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