Friday, November 13, 2009
During another woodland birds' photography workshop yesterday, proceedings were interrupted when a sparrowhawk again made a deadly attack run through the feeding birds before deciding instead to take a bath in the in the shallows of the pond in front of the hide. This gave me the chance to grab just a few reasonable shots like this one before she sunk down behind the rushes to bathe properly. The shot shows that it is a female which is interesting because most of the sightings at Scrag, 95% I would say, are of male sparrowhawks especially in winter. This is actually the third time in as many weeks that I've observed sparrowhawk bathing in exactly the same spot, so it has given me the plan to maybe set up a small temporary hide at the pond edge in order to get that all elusive perfect portrait of wild sparrowhawk. I took one several years ago on transparency and have been endeavouring to do the same on digital format. My plan is to provide a natural perch close to the pond edge; a sparrowhawk is more likely to want to perch on something solid and upright before taking a bath - you can see in the image that she has perched on this log laying next to the water's edge. Raptors are vulnerable from attack when they bathe and I have noticed they often choose very small, quiet ponds to bathe in. Anyway, it looks as if this pond has been chosen as suitable, so with perch, hide and potentially a very, very long wait I may get the shot!