Sunday, May 18, 2008

Choose life

On Tuesday night, there was a commotion in the garden:
'A carrion crow was sitting on the outer branches of the ash tree, ducking its head as the parent jackdaws divebombed it. As it flew off, I saw what the crow was carrying - a naked jackdaw chick, yellow beak open. Shortly afterwards, the crow returned and took another, like a baby-carrying stork gone bad.' More...
This morning, I heard another commotion from some Starlings outside. I couldn't see what the fuss was about initially (or the Starlings), but then it became obvious: on the lawn was a crumpled Goldfinch with an adult male Sparrowhawk on top of it.

My initial thought was 'the poor Goldfinch!' At this time of year, it's possible that it's feeding chicks or a mate on a nest. I'd been watching it eat dandelion seeds earlier (much appreciated). And it's very pretty, after all.

So's the Sparrowhawk. The hawk was a stunner: all slate-blue-grey and golden-orange eye, and there are probably white, fluffy Sparrowhawk chicks in a twiggy nest a short distance away.

When I inspected the scene later, all that was left were two secondary feathers, black with a white spot, and some downy feathers rather like the windborne seeds of a dandelion.