Tag Archives: sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk

I’m falling well behind with blogging. I’m due a fox update and also got a really nice set of horse-racing pictures that I should post (including some nice shots of this year’s champion jockey). But those are being put to one side (yet again) as when I got home late this afternoon a sparrowhawk was on the grass outside our back window devouring some prey (probably a pigeon).

I do occasionally see sparrowhawks come very close to the garden and in 17 years have seen one land on a fence or tree here twice, so being down, in the garden, and with prey was something very unexpected. The shots were taken through the (dirty) double-glazed back door so lack some clarity, but they certainly give an idea of what we spent a good 10 minutes watching. Assuming the prey is a pigeon this is most likely a female.

Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk devouring prey in garden

Sparrowhawk with what appears to be a pigeon’s feather

Sparrowhawk with feathers strewn around

We didn’t get to see it finish its feast as it was disturbed by noise from one of the neighbours. But a special few minutes, for certain.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Posted in Bird of Prey, Birds, Wildlife

Peregrine at Moulsecoomb

Well I’ve finally kicked off the 2018 blog, with entry just squeezing into January. Other than the foxes I’ve not been taking too many pictures but I did get out briefly today in the sunshine. ‘Out’ being standing between some of the buildings at work, which just goes to prove that you really don’t need to go far to see wildlife.

It started with a buzzard…

buzzard

Buzzard over Moulsecoomb, Brighton

Nothing very fancy about that. There were two of them, gliding high overhead while the gulls circled.

Next up came a sparrowhawk. This one was on its own…

sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk over Moulsecoomb, Brighton

Again, a very basic shot; but if there are buzzards and sparrowhawks about I keep looking. And sure enough, high among the gulls another bird appeared: a peregrine falcon (actually a pair). Being mobbed by a gull!

Peregrine falcon and gull

Peregrine falcon and gull

Peregrine falcon and gull

Peregrine falcon and gull

Peregrine falcon and gull

Peregrine falcon and gull

Peregrine falcon

Peregrine falcon over Moulsecoomb, Brighton

On the home front Pretty is still visiting regularly, and we can hear other foxes nearby. This is a recent shot of her to close.

Pretty Vixen finds a 'markie'

Pretty Vixen finds a ‘markie’

Camera note: all bird photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. The fox photographed with the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens.

Posted in Bird of Prey, Foxes, Wildlife Also tagged , , |

Up in the Sky

I’m still playing around with the 7D Mark II and spent some time today calibrating the 400mm lens, which had felt a bit soft. I’d had to do the same with the previous camera and my method of calibrating is none too exact, though making the in-camera adjustments is easy. It may take me a few attempts to get the lens working to its maximum capability. That said, the settings are not too far off.

The first sequence (with the uncalibrated 400mm lens) is a sparrowhawk flying over the garden this morning, startling (but not attacking) a small flock of starlings.

sparrowhawk and starlings

The sparrowhawk flies close to the starlings

The starlings wheeled away. The sparrowhawk was searching, but not hunting. It hung over the garden for a while longer.

sparrowhawk

sparrowhawk

sparrowhawk

The next shot, of a helicopter, was taken with the 100-400mm lens.

Helicopter

Now a herring gull (I’d calibrated the 400mm lens by this point and was using the 1.4 extender).

Herring gull

There’s one other regular feature in the sky that is hard to miss. It appeared mid to late afternoon.

Moon

Moon before nightfall – 400mm lens

And it was still there tonight.

Moon

Moon after dark – 400mm lens + 1.4x extender

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II. Lenses are the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens, EF 400mm f/5.6L USM and Canon EF 1.4xIII extender as indicated.

Posted in Bird of Prey, Helicopter, Moon, sparrowhawk, water birds, Wildlife Also tagged , , , , |