A Thud on the Window

There was a thud on a window downstairs.  We all looked at each other – the dogs and I – and then we thought we ought to investigate.

I was lucky because, for once, the dogs didn’t bark to repel borders.  The one time ever.

I was amazed to see a sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) (pretty sure that is what it is) eating its prey – a starling, I think.  I have never seen one before let alone so close to the house.

I was fascinated and the dogs followed me while I crept round the house trying to find my big camera, put in a memory card and find a place to take photos where the raptor (right lingo!) wouldn’t see or hear me.

I stayed indoors and luckily took some close-up photos, though that window needs a good clean.

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If it isn’t a sparrowhawk, please let me know.

You may be interested to know that the Shetland dialect word for sparrowhawk is actually sparrowhawk.  I have this on the best authority.  Ditto for starling.

I am going to clean that window tomorrow.  I bet I never see another exciting bird out of it again.

Addendum:  Female sparrowhawk and male blackbird, I have been told by those that know!

4 thoughts on “A Thud on the Window

  1. Terri

    Amazing! One less starling for a murmuration. “It turns out that the beauty of a murmuration’s movements often arises purely out of defense, as the starlings strive to put distance between themselves and the predator.” (i.e., a falcon)

    We once saw a peregrin falcon swoop down and catch a small bird at our bird feeder (hanging by the kitchen window) and fly off with it. It happened so fast, we could barely believe our eyes — all the other birds scattered immediately and stayed away for several hours. Peregrin falcons can reach speeds of 200+ mph.

    Your photos of the sparrowhawk might be very valuable to a Shetland wildlife or ornithology organization. Well done. (…and “good dogs!”)


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