Anorak News | Sparrowhawks Of War

Sparrowhawks Of War

by | 15th, November 2006

GOOD news for Brian’s Zoroastrian community.

Vultures have been sighted in Norfolk, Snowdonia, Bodmin Moor in Cornwall and London.

Zoroastrians, who place dead bodies on a dokhma (Tower of Silence) to be exposed to the sun and eaten by vultures, must be delighted. Ravens less so.

The fabric of British life is changing. And the Times spots another bird, the red-rumped swallow making a home for itself in this changing landscape.

One has been spotted in Lunan Bay, Montrose, on the east coast of Scotland. There’s the little feller stood on a spindly branch.

Usually at home in the Mediterranean, the swallow has been turned onto the delights of Scotland in the winter.

It’s good to know that global warming and the evils of mankind not only cause all manner of flesh-eating bugs and parasites to invade this land but all kinds cuddly creatures, too.

It is no surprise that many bird watchers want to see the little critter in the flesh. So off they go, binoculars at the ready, sharpened pencils poised over notebooks, beards.

And here comes the swallow now. Look at him go, flapping his little wings as the finest example of hirundo daurica in the UK flutters hither and thither over the beach.

The swallow pauses from his aerobatic show to perch on the roof of a farm building.

And here comes a native sparrowhawk. It’s seen the sparrow. It swoops down, crushing the visitor with its powerful talons. The sparrow is eaten like so much tapas.

And this is no isolated case. Eileen Alexander, of Dundee, recalls her delight at seeing a rare Australian black-throated finch in her garden.

And no sooner did Eileen look at it then the bird “nosedived into the mud”. Dead. Two native sparrow looked on unmoved.

That’s the bad news. The better news is that neither foreigner was believed to be carrying avian flu, and twitchers can now tick them off their list.

Now for the vultures…

Posted: 15th, November 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink