Two blackbird snatches in less than 5 minutes suggests there had to be a least two male Sparrowhawks hunting over the garden yesterday morning. There have been regular, flight path practising by Sparrowhawks recently too explaining the quiet bird feeders on cold, snowy days.
I guess it comes as no surprise that a black bird running along white snow is going to attract the attention of a bird of prey scouting gardens. A Blackbird would also provide and bigger meal than many of the smaller, faster birds like coal tits that bravely make quick snatches of peanuts and sunflower hearts to eat them in a safe, sheltered spot.
Video screen grab, one of yesterday’s Sparrowhawks with Blackbird meal.
He was high up, on snow topped hedge, not bothered by me getting close.
Although very unpleasant to see the messy table manners of the Sparrowhawk (feathers everywhere) I do understand that this bird needs to eat for winter survival too. Over nine years of blogging, I’ve tried to come to terms with this sight. That’s the reality of nature for you – there is an animal food chain and that includes the worms that we gardeners need to aerate our soil so the roots of our plants grow well.
When (carefully) driving, I’ve see Buzzards (a bigger bird of prey) pull large worms out of the grassy, motorway verges. Back in the garden, it’s the Thrushes that I’ve seen take worms. Blackbirds are part of that species group which include our tiny Robins too. I saw quite a few worms going into our Robin nest last year – those four chicks were well fed!
It’s not all winter woes today, winter is a great time to see birds in the garden that you may never see at any other time of year. Last week we had a garden first with a female Bullfinch that came in with a good sized group of regular Chaffinches. I couldn’t reach for a camera in time then, or when I had a suspected sighting of a Goldcrest in my pine tree a few days before.
Shy, Song Thrush blends well with plant stems keeping it safe (video grab).
Monday’s surprise return visitor – tricky to follow with video camera.
It’s always a delight to see the Song Thrush in the garden. It never hangs around out in the open for very long so I was very happy to capture a tiny bit of video. A few minutes later, coat on, walking out the door and something catches my eye out of the window – the Song Thrush was perched on top of my bird table seeing me away! I guess I should have expected that.
What I didn’t expect, blog browsing late last night, was a quite different winter, snow related surprise. One bulb of the snowdrop, galanthus ‘Wendy’s Gold’ to be precise! Last week fellow blogger Anna at greentapestry had a draw for everyone who commented on her post about this special snowdrop (that she has been nurturing for several years) and my name was picked out. So that’s properly blown away any Wednesday woes 🙂
This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in January 2016.