Sparrowhawk over Sherston

1 Aug

OK I know they are record shots and have limited/no technical BUT they do show that there was a Sparrowhawk over the village this evening. They do occur fairly regularly around the village.

They were taken at 400 mm then severely cropped from the image!!







After a bit of self induced confusion it seems this is indeed a Sparrowhawk!


12 Responses to “Sparrowhawk over Sherston”

  1. Nick H August 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    we had a pair fly directly over our house 2 years ago, making a huge racket!

  2. cotswold water park bird sightings August 2, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Geoff, Sorry to disappoint you over the Peregrine but this is a hawk. Having said that I think you have actually got something better than a Peregrine.

    This is either a female Sparrowhawk or a Goshawk. It is always difficult in flying photos but looking at the apparent bulk of the bird, the rear wing shape and the white under tail coverts my view is that this is a Goshawk and quite rare (or under reported) in Wiltshire.

    I think you ought to report this to the WOS recorder who will advise either way.

    Bob Philpott

  3. Nick H August 2, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Why is not a sparrowhawk? I have to admit I didn’t look too closely at the pics first time!
    There are loads of SH around Sherston and Luckington

    • sherstonwildlife August 2, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      Hi Nick,
      Have a look at the comments from Bob Philpott – have contacted the county recorder.

      • Nick H August 2, 2013 at 10:32 am #

        But it’s still a Sprawk… 🙂

  4. cotswold water park bird sightings August 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Geoff, It is often difficult on photos, you don’t get the speed, agility etc and the lighting conditions can do all sorts to appearances. I am quite happy to be wrong and it will be interesting to see what Rob thinks.

    • cotswold water park bird sightings August 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      I have just seen you have put the photo on Bird Forum and looking at the replies I am likely to be proved wrong. You can’t win them all.

      • sherstonwildlife August 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

        Hi Bob, I haven’t posted it on Bird Forum – maybe someone else did….mmmmm

    • sherstonwildlife August 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      Response from Rob Turner (Wiltshire County Bird Recorder):

      I am certain the bird is a Sparrowhawk. The diagnostic feature is the underwing barring which is very bold on both the secondaries and the primaries…..Gos underwing is very much less marked the barring being indistinct and diffuse. There are good comparative illustrations on p264 and 255 in raptors of Europe and Middle east by Forsman. The bird is I believe a fairly mature female, the iris appearing quite reddish orange indicating an older bird, rather than having the bright yellow iris of the younger ones. I also think the wing is short for Gos which should also have a distinctly narrower hand than arm.
      Very difficult couple of species if only seen withoiut size comparison and probably easier in the field than from single photo…the ones I have seen in the Forest, usually annually, have quite a distinctive flight jizz but they are usually soaring and give quite good prolonged views rather than the quick fly by usually encountered!

  5. Nick H August 3, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    I put it on BF as I have always found the knowledge on there pretty reliable


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