Bird's Eye View of Bute

Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk (1)
Sparrowhawk (1)
Sparrowhawk (2)
Sparrowhawk (2)
Sparrowhawk (3)
Sparrowhawk (3)
Sparrowhawk (4)
Sparrowhawk (4)
(5) Sparrowhawk
(5) Sparrowhawk


The Sparrowhawk


If you have the Buteman propped up at the table to read as you eat, may I recommend that  you do one or the other, as there are parts in this article with  gory details in them, which may put you off your meal.



On the eleventh of March this year,(2008) I was heading for home along Montague Street ,and I usually went on to Bridge Street, but I got the whiff of Hamburger with onions coming from the direction of the “The Dairy” in Bridgend Street, so with stomach now rumbling away, I headed there to get a roll with this savory in it. In several minutes time, I was back on the street with it between my mitts and starting to enjoy as I entered Hillhouse Road when I saw to my disbelief, a Sparrow Hawk that had just plucked a Pigeon  from the skies, and landed with a thump just across the road from me. A local lad who stays in the same terrace as me , also saw the action, and he asked me if the bird was alright, as he could only see the hawk, I said yes, and he then asked me if I would look after it, and I sad yes to that also, so he went on his way, but he did not realise that he had witnessed a Sparrrow Hawk kill.
Burger with Onions stuffed back into the poke and shoved into my pocket, then unloaded my big camera from its carrying case and proceeded to take snaps of it .  Well it had landed with its prey a bit further up the road, but as the poor pigeon fought for its life, it was moving downhill, in more ways than one, what with blood spurting from the effects that the Sparrow Hawks talons has when it hits its prey with great force, sometime causing instant death as the talons entered the birds main organs, but at other times like this, death may take a few minutes, like it did  that day, so the Sparrow Hawk covers the prey with  its wings thus prohibiting any escape.
Well , this fight went on for only a few seconds more, as the pigeons life giving blood was making its mark on the pavement, and now the end for it arrived.  No more struggling.  Well the Sparrow Hawk still had a big problem ,ME! I was getting nearer and nearer, trying to get even more better shots of it, and it was not amused, so it let go of its meal and flew away.
I am now stuck with a dead Pigeon, and a pool of blood outside a close door, and if any of the tenants came out this door, they would think that someone has been badly injured and was lying somewhere.
Well I carried the remains of the bird and put it amongst bushes  further up the road, and then went to the Police Office, and told them about the blood, in case someone phones them. Well the next morning , all that remained of the pigeon was a pile of feathers, proof that it had been eaten by that Sparrow Hawk or another, so the death was not in vain.
Up the road , and downloaded the images onto my commuter, and I was delighted with the results, then I found my half eaten Burger ,with onions in my pocket, stone cold, and was I worried, not in the least, I was still on a high, so it tasted great
The story doe's not end here.

I was much impressed with my images of the Hawk and it's prey, as were many other of my friends so I was persuaded to enter what you now see in the Buteman into the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” competition, run by the Natural History Museum..  Well I had to wait until now to see if I had won anything and was not allowed to enter them into any other Competitions or newspapers or magazines until they had made their decisions, and now as you see the in the Buteman, it means that I have won nothing.
Nothing ventured nothing gained.
At least I can now show you my best and favourite images of 2008.
You can now go back to your meal that you may have put aside,so, “Bon Appetite”

First published in the Buteman 19-09-2008


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