Wild Witham

19th September 2012
I was enjoying my nutty muesli this morning when there was a loud bang at the back door. As I looked up I saw feathers flying and a dove sliding down the glass and landing motionless on the gravel. Bang, splat, what on earth? Just as I was thinking “stupid bird” I saw the reason that the dove was distracted and not looking where it was flying. A Bird of Prey was chasing it.

As the dove sat motionless at my back door with stars whizzing round it's head, I looked around for the BoP and there it was, sitting on the fence, just a metre away from me. The dove's concussion and immobilised state clearly saved it as the BoP lost interest. Good news then for the dove. Not such good news for the blackbird that was happily hopping around my neighbour's garden looking for worms. Happily hopping that is, until the hungry BoP spotted it, took off, caught and killed the blackbird in seconds. Amazing to see but it did put me off my muesli.

While all this was happening I was on the phone to Dennis giving her a running commentary on the Wild Life in Witham. We decided that Chris Packham should come round to see it for himself, so Chris, consider this a formal invitation.

The dove was on my mind while I was at work today. My main concern being: what would I do (or rather who could I call) if the dove was dead at the back door. I'm really not very good with dead things. When Laura was here she had to put a dead sparrow in the bin for me. As it happens, the dove from above was gone when I got home, but for future reference, and in anticipation of further drama, please let me know if you're available for dead bird removal duties. I really don't like spiders either.

Update: My friend Sue (she who knows everything there is to know about these things) tells me the BoP in question is a Sparrow Hawk. She also says they're common in urban and rural areas, although I prefer to think of it as rather an unusual event that one turned up in my garden.