Sparrowhawk by the Pond

FujiFilm FinePix S6800

I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY to try the zoom on my new camera, the FujiFilm FinePix S6800, the day that I bought it (14 August) when a Sparrowhawk made a kill in the back garden.

At full zoom, 30x, I struggled to keep the camera still but as the Sparrowhawk seemed so intent on picking up every scrap of its kill I had time to get a tripod set up and I took about 20 minutes of film.

I missed the kill itself and missed filming the moment when the hawk finally flew off, perching briefly in next door’s sumac. It left only a few feathers, not enough for me to guess what its prey had been.

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  1. This is amazing, when I was living in the West Riding 35 years ago I could only dream of seeing a Sparrowhawk, to have one in my garden would have been unthinkable. The only raptor I used to see regularly was the Kestrel. I saw a Sparrowhawk once and that was a fleeting glimpse from a bus window just as it was about to strike an unfortuante bird. It made such an impression on me that I can still replay the event in my mind’s eye. It looks like raptors are making something of a comeback in the UK. I bet you are very pleased with your new camera!

    1. Yes, I remember counting Kestrels on motorway journeys in the 1980s and Sparrowhawks still being something special. My theory is that the habitat has changed, it’s much greener now with more trees and bushes but that means less rough grassland for the Kestrel to spot voles, but more suitable places for Sparrowhawks to ambush their prey.
      Confession time: I’ve already bust my new camera! I’m going to phone Fuji customer support when they open again after the bank holiday tomorrow. Hope I get away with a slapped wrist. But I do wonder if there’s a bit of a design flaw with it.

      1. Sorry to hear about the camera. Hopefully it is nothing too serious and can be repaired easily.

        1. No problems at all, as it was such a recent purchase Fuji suggested I take it back to the retailers, Currys, who replaced it with a new one. While I was in town I called at the library to borrow Doug Sahlin’s ‘Digital Landscape & Nature Photography for Dummies’. Expect great things!

  2. Hello Richard
    A lot of interesting things on your blog! I wished I had the opportunity to attend your session on nature journaling. And a sparrowhawk in your garden…!!!! Here in Holland we are already exited when we see kestrels in the dunes or in the fields. I also bought a new camera to take with me on nature trips and I’m eager to learn what you think about the book you have borrowed at the library. And of course I am looking forward to see the results on your blog or twitter account. I wish you splendid moments in nature.

    1. Hello Monique,
      The new camera is quite an inspiration for me, although at the weekend I jammed the lens and had to take it back to the store. It’s got to go out with me so I’ve taken out Curry’s ‘Whatever happens’ cover, but hopefully I’ll never have to use it again. The Dummies guide is proving valuable, explaining things about the camera that I really ought to have known about the different settings.

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