Wonderful interruption just happened … Mrs Sparrowhawk just came and hunted (successfully) in one of our hedges. For a moment she actually perched on a bush, so I got a really good view of her before she dived in and came out with a great tit. Only a small meal this time but I’m glad she didn’t go hungry for the energy she expended in her hunt and, likely. She may still have fledging chicks not too far off although mid July may be a bit late. Been seeing her (and presumably him) hunting our garden for several years now, there’s a good piece of woodland about a quarter of a mile off where they live. Wonderful that they think we have a suitable ecosystem in the garden that’s worth their effort.
I’m pretty sure this was the female as she was quite large and had brown back and wings with brown bars underneath from what I could see. Adult male sparrowhawks are bluish-grey on the back and wings with more orangey-brown bars on chest and belly. I did get just a glimpse of her bright yellowy-orange eyes while she was sat in the bush, and long, yellow legs as she made off with her lunch.
Neither of these pictures are mine, both were taken by Stephen Burch – see more of his photos at www.stephenburch.com