wiltshire wildlife encounters – a death in the forenoon

Our flock of starlings is starting to recover. 18 months ago one of our neighbours grubbed up the patch of shrubs and brambles where several hundred would roost at night. Presumably they found somewhere else to rest and we saw very little of their spectacular pre-bedtime aerobatics, and things were quieter, last year.

This year they have been more prevalent again, but yesterday morning one fell victim to a sparrowhawk who, having stunned its prey, managed to catch it almost outside the bedroom office window, almost colliding with the house and having to land and re-group. Its mate arrived seconds later and looked on before they both went off the devour their catch.

With the prevalence of kites and common buzzards along the highways we frequent, having now had a peregrine and an pair of sparrow hawks in our urban garden it is almost like my childhood days in the country for birds of prey.

I like all sorts of the wildlife that surrounds us, but starlings are one of my favourite birds with their irridescent colours, even if their behaviour is somewhat scandalous with all that noise and bickering. Sad to see what die so brutally in some ways, but it is a fact of life that there is a food chain in nature and that survival is all about competition.


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