Living and working in the country is often quite tranquil, but this morning the calm was shattered when this male sparrowhawk dropped in for an impromptu visit.
Suddenly the background harmony of birdsong was replaced by a cacophony of anxious alarm calls as blackbirds, swallows, house sparrows, chaffinches and tits all screamed their warnings. Trouble had arrived!
The male sparrowhawk is a consummate compact killing machine. Not much bigger than a mistle thrush everything about it screams of pent up power and deadly potential. It’s fierce countenance, the piercing yellow eyes, needle-sharp talons and poised alertness deliver a package that really is the “Ronseal” of Irish bird world. The sparrowhawk, perhaps more than any other Irish bird, does exactly what it says on the tin!
Explanation for overseas readers: Ronseal is a well known outdoor wood treatment / stain brand. Their long-running advertising slogan “Ronseal: it does exactly what it says on the tin” is well known throughout Ireland and Britain.