It’s been a great summer for birds (as well as the butterflies and bees). Today from the windows at work we watched green and spotted woodpeckers – 2 families fledged a few weeks ago. The photo shows a crowd of goldfinches at the bird feeder looking for an easy meal – we got 12 in the pic (you probably can’t count them – where’s a decent camera when you need one?). And on tea break Freya spotted a young sparrowhawk just outside the kitchen – his fierce stare met our surprised looks and he gave us the evil eye (very yellow), unperturbed – only 2-3 metres away, his wings spread wide as though hiding something. Very handsome, though not long fledged himself: vivid markings and a tightly hooked beak. So we released the crazy collie to investigate and turns out he was about to eat a sparrow (they fly around in noisy flocks of about 40 birds). Sparrow rushed off to tweet about it to his friends. Hawk will doubtless return – they do fly-bys several times a day to see how the sparrows are growing.
We counted 16 or 17 goldfinches in total on the ground and the seed feeder. Not sure how many eggs a goldfinch usually lays – perhaps it was two families.