Staring into the eyes of a killer

I took my son over to south Yorkshire today to see a friend of his. This left me free to go birding for the day so I headed off to my usual destination RSPB Blacktoft Sands. It’s a great site for ducks and waders plus the ever-present Marsh Harriers. I arrived to find the place flooded out by an overnight high tide. The paths were all closed. End of visit. It’s a good job I have a sense of humour about these things having escaped the worst of the flooding that we’ve just had on the west coast!

My fall-back reserve over there is RSPB Old Moor. It can be really good but today was just downright boring with really bad light and just the usual suspects to add to my imaginary year list (I don’t actually keep one).

As the late afternoon light deteriorated and rain became even more likely I retreated to their feeding station which can be excellent. I managed to pick up my first Long-tailed Tits of the year and a real bonus in the form of a Willow Tit which is one of the site specialities but the feeders soon went dead – not a bird to be seen, except this one which was watching the feeders from high in a tree but just at the last moment swooped down and posed for me only 20 feet away. That murderous eye!

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(It’s a male Sparrowhawk btw, for anyone who might be unsure)