Lots of Swallows noted around Strumble today.
It has been a gardening day today but still managed to end on a cracking bird.....
After lunch I returned to the garden to find a number of fresh feathers around the greenhouse. Thinking that a bird had struck one of the windows I followed the feather trail. This led me round to behind the shed where there was a larger pile of feathers but still no sign of the donor.
I peered over the fence that runs behind the shed and under the hedge on the other side I flushed a brown backed raptor. I couldn't identify it as it was obscured by the hedge but instantly assumed Sparrowhawk. I found the donor of the feathers.....a headless Collared Dove. (This bird has been around the garden for a few weeks).
Returning to the lawn mower I proceeded to mow all of the lawns but was thinking to myself that the Sprawk would return to a big prey item like a Collared Dove - it would not give it up that easily.
At 4pm I finished the lawns and retrieved the carcass from under the hedge and placed it out onto the lawn. I set up my camera and covered myself with some camouflaged scrim netting and waited....
Didn't have to wait long! After just 15 minutes I heard the tell-tale alarm calls of Great Tits and Chaffinches and knew that a predator was incoming!
Well what a surprise when the killer landed on the Dove carcass. This was not a Sparrowhawk!
Female MERLIN !!! (Pics to follow later in the week - got 600 to sort out - gulp!)