Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Window Watching in the Rain again!

Another dismal dreary day with constant rain showers has kept me indoors today. While catching up with the action at the Winter Olympics (Vancover 2010) I kept half an eye open for any activity through the window.
Robin enjoying the coconut fat feeder.
Collared Dove waiting for a friend.
House Sparrow takes a brief rest from feeding.

Greenfinch and House Sparrows were the main visitors plus an ocassional drop in by a single Starling, Blackbird, two Blue Tits and one of the female Blackcaps. At one stage a pair of Magpies patrolled around the bottom of the garden pushing the smaller birds high into one of the nearby trees but they soon resumed their feeding activities once the corvids moved on to create havoc elsewhere. 

Later this afternoon while catching up on some reading my peripheral vision indicated that a larger shape had just landed and I turned around to find a male SPARROWHAWK had alighted on the perch above the Hibiscus. (Another garden tick for 2010.)  As you can imagine everything else had very promptly disappeared into cover. The hawk sat perfectly still with his deadly tallons gripping the perch and just turned his head in every possible direction with those fearsome eyes searching for any possible movement.
It was difficult to contain my excitement but as I clicked away with the camera I called out to loudly for Anita to come and see him. He must have heard me call her name as he stared directly at me for a brief moment before resuming his search for a possible meal.
He hung around for what seemed ages but in reality was only a few minutes before moving up on top of the ivy that covers the clothes post to make a further search of the garden before flying off to perch again for a minute or two in a nearby tree.
Once I have sorted through the rest of the shots I hope to find a few better pictures of this accipior to share with you.  FAB.

30 comments:

  1. Wow a sparrowhawk in your garden! Amazing!!! And it is a gorgeous raptor (that I've never seen). The second shot you got from him is splendid! Look at these eyes!

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  2. What a great garden tick Frank. I can imagine your excitement with that one. A real beauty.
    Excellent shots too.

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  3. Oh my, Frank, the Hawk photos are simply wonderful! Nice going. In response to your comment on my blog re: the Sigma Lens. Once I put the new flashcard in my camera, I began getting much better IQ. To be perfectly honest, the Sigma is nice, but not quite up to the quality of the Canon 100-400. The Canon focused faster and more quietly. But for the price of the Sigma, I think it'll work out quite nicely. I can hand-hold it, but it's heavier than my Canon 100-400. We usually hit the backroads, and I can rest it on the rolled-down window to stabilize it further. I wouldn't want to hike very far carrying it though. I think it's about a pound heavier than the Canon. Hope this was helpful. If money's not an issue, get the Canon.

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  5. Your posts are so delightful. The Sparrow Hawk is amazing.
    One afternoon, a couple of years ago, all bird activity at our feeders suddenly stopped and the birds just disappeared, which was odd. I looked up in the tree and there was a Sparrow Hawk. That's when I learned to always keep a camera handy!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures.
    Sunny :)

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  6. Great Robin Picture Frank. And by the way, great Hawk picture also...lol. It's all about being at the right place at the right time.

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  7. OMG - what a garden tick lol.
    Beautiful photos too.

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  8. I can just imagine your emotions while snapping away at the Sprawk Frank. What a fantastic moment. I'm sorry your better half didn't get to see him!

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  9. Great shots, love the SparrowHawk. The robin and dove are really cute!

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  10. Brilliant pictures of the Sparrowhawk:-) Last year a female Sparrowhawk was one of my regular visitors, she even had the cheek to sit on my fence and preen herself as if she owned my garden:-)

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  11. Such a handsome hawk..!! Wow, you really caught some great images of him! He really is pretty. So glad you were keeping an eye on your yard..he's one you wouldn't have wanted to miss..
    ..coconut fat feeder??? where does one find this or did you just buy a coconut and slice out a piece? I have several robins hanging out in my yard eating berries off of my Winterberry Holly bush..soon tho those berries will be gone and I would love to find something else that might attract them to continue visiting!!

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  12. Your photos are superb, EB. I especially enjoy seeing your astonishing close-ups of the sparrowhawk, and your header is pure art. I'm delighted to have found your blog via your comment on Bill S's Idaho blog.

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  13. I adore your Robin! Love all the photos..but well i have a soft spot for the cute little Robin..

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  14. Great capture of the beautiful Hawk! Your other photos are very good, too! I really liked your coconut feeder idea!

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  15. Great post. Looking forward to seeing more.

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  16. Beautiful photos of the Sparrowhawk. So far any such visitors to my garden have never stayed long enough to photograph.

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  17. Fantastic shots of the Sparrowhawk, we have one visit occasionally too but it never hangs around for very long.
    Pam

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  18. Fabulous shots of the Sparrowhawk Frank. I can well understand your excitement.

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  19. Even the birds look dreary Frank, all except the Sparrowhawk of couse who has a constant eye out for food. I am sure you are sick of the cold and rain by now but soon it will be over and with the rain, everything will bloom overnight with just a little bit of sunshine.

    We have had quite a bit of rain here this summer but it has been nice soft rain which has soaked in and I am loving it.

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  20. A really majestic looking character Frank and very well captured. I watched or more correctly tried not to watch one eating lunch in my garden a while ago. I can usually tell when there is one around as the feeders take much longer to empty.

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  21. Great shots Frank. You must view having a Sparrowhawk in your garden with mixed feelings...I know I would.

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  22. Nice one Frank.
    You can keep the Sprawk though. Ive had my fill of them in my garden. :-)

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  23. I know I've said this before - but I really like your Robin - so much prettier than our American Robin. (Don't tell him I said that though - lol!!)

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  24. Hi "Early Birders". Many thanks for all your appreciative comments and I'm just pleased to be able to share the Sparrowhawk's close but totally unexpected visit. FAB.

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  25. Mary. I'm delighted that you dropped by and joined the "Early Birders". I will fly in and look over youe blog very soon. Cheers Frank.

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  26. Hi Tina. The 'Coconut Fat Feeder' was purchased through my normal seed supplier and appears to be quite popular with a range of species.

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  27. BREATHTAKING....magnificient Hawk..
    (...actually I do have some wonderful memories; as my husband and I found a wounded Hawk, cured him with the help of a veterinarian and could happily let fly him again after a few weeks..!)
    Have a wonderful weekend!!
    ciao ciao elvira

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  28. Hi Elvira. Whow..nursing and returning an injured Hawk back to the wild is a wonderful memory.
    Enjoy your weekend. Ciao FAB.

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  29. Wow Frank, that Sparrowhawk is something else. I'm sure all the other birds made a mad dash to get out of there when that fella showed up. Incredibly wonderful shots you got. Cheers!

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  30. Hi Heather. They must have disappeared in a flash because I didn't see them depart. I bet their heart rates were higher than mine!

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