Sunday, 13 November 2016

Oh dear... murder most fowl on the breakwater!

My offer of a chance to come out on the breakwater to try and see the Snow buntings was taken up by Dave and Fran. After a stormy night it seemed likely they might have moved on. Having all got into my car I drove slowly along the breakwater all of us searching hard for a sign of the buntings. Sadly my eye was soon drawn to a little scattering of pale feathers.

Sadly, closer examination of the crime scene left little doubt as to who the victim was...

Especially as a moment later we saw the female, sadly it appears that the victim was our splendid cock Snow Bunting

The jury is out as to who the killer was. I have (not so far as I can remember) seen a Sparrowhawk actually hunting the breakwater but one often shows above the harbour. I guess Kestrel would also be a likely suspect and they hunt there quite frequently. I doubt any other of the raptors that frequent the area such as Buzzard, Peregrine or even Red Kite would be so likely to have killed it but I suppose you could not definitely count them out.

It remains to be seen if the female will stay or even if she will become a second victim of the mystery killer, but this little episode illustrates the fact that being a flashy male has its ultimate downside!