Warning - for squeamish visitors some gory photos below ...
I am sure a good number of readers get Sparrowhawk's visit their garden to pinch the odd finch feeding in their gardens and we here in Grantham are no different.
This morning on a gloomy wet day I spotted from our kitchen window one beginning to feed in a tree at the bottom of the garden, I took a shot through the double glazing of our side porch to record this and after a brief view through the bins also confirmed its Sunday lunch was an unfortunate Goldfinch.
The bird was very engaged with its own feeding activity so I decided to venture out into the rain to see if a closer shot could be obtained, I hid behind my garden shed and snapped away, the image below being the best from this viewpoint.
The Sprawk looked at me a couple of times and carried on feeding so I gathered this may have well been its first catch in a while as it was clearly more interested in the Goldfinch than me! So I moved closer and closer and still no reaction at all to me from the bird.
I ended up about 10 feet away and watched as it carried on feeding totally unabashed with my presence and managed a few pics fighting the unclear view through the tree and the poor light too.
Is the Sparrowhawk eating the brain of the Goldfinch?
As the bird was not worried about me and I was getting a lot of dark images I thought I would fetch my flashgun and see if I could get a photo using this to battle the light - this bit of kit is not something I use when photographing birds but managed this one below.
The Sparrowhawk continued to feed totally ignoring me and i then left it to finish its dinner in peace, about 30 minutes later after much beak wiping on the branches it flew off.
To be honest I am pleased it took one of the local and plentiful Goldies and not a winter visiting Lesser Redpoll, Siskin or Brambling.