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Birds Of Prey
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Scorpion


Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2005
Post: #1
15-11-2007 06:24 PM

Yesterday, while at home, in the morning, near Thorpewood Avenue, I heard a few Crows outside (usual) noisier than usual, then, also heard some Magpies joining in with the cacuffle (sp?) The noise got so bad that I knew something was "wrong" with them and looked out the window and saw some kind of bird of prey, with a (dead) pigeon, on the ground, surrounded by crows and magpies. It did not seem to be that bothered, sat atop its kill for a minute or so and then took off, with booty in claw, swiftly followed by at least 12 crows/magpies, making an awful noise. I don't know if the severe caw-ing was due to "Oi! we want that meat!" or "group protection" etc but it was a very interesting sight.
I am not sure what the bird causing all the annoyance was (it was brown and almost the size of a small crow) but I did see one around here a few years ago, so am thinking it may be the same one or part of "the family" - maybe. It was NOT a Kestrel ( I know what they look like) or an Eagle or an Owl.
Just wondering if anyone else within SE23 has seen any other Birds Of Prey around?

Sue

PS I like BOP. Also, other birds and animals that I see around here, like Woodpeckers, Squirrels and Foxes - kinda takes me "away" from the "big bad city" :o)

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colhig


Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #2
16-11-2007 01:30 PM

Sounds as if it could be a female Sparrow hawk. They often take pigeons and feed on the ground. It sounds as if the crows were mobbing it and maybe hoping for some scraps. We've seen a pair up at Sydenham Hill Wood this year

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
16-11-2007 05:45 PM

I am told there are peregrine falcons at Battersea power station. I heard this from a cricket commentator explaining why there were no pigeons at the Oval cricket ground.

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
16-11-2007 08:44 PM

There's also a bird of prey of some sort that nests at SELCHP, the incinerator opposite Millwall football ground. They provide it with special nesting boxes. Apparently, the high, bare walls look like the cliffs that are its natural habitat!

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #5
16-11-2007 09:11 PM

On the tellybox the other day, they were saying that there's an increasing number of Peregrine Falcons moving into London. Apparently their fave food is pidgeons.

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Woody


Posts: 61
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #6
16-11-2007 09:23 PM

According to a BBC article nearly a hundred breeding pairs of sparrowhawk have been recorded across Greater London, including eleven in Inner London. Among London's other birds of prey are upwards of seventy breeding pairs of kestrel and five breeding pairs of peregrine.

Ooperlooper Wrote:
On the tellybox the other day, they were saying that there's an increasing number of Peregrine Falcons moving into London. Apparently their fave food is pidgeons.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
16-11-2007 10:49 PM

Years ago there were many birds of prey in London. They were killed during wartime so that homing pigeons would get through!

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PVP


Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
18-11-2007 02:54 PM

Maybe we can invite fat boy slim to a honourary concert, opening with 'bird of prey' ay the horniman gardens? FH could then lay claim to the title of Brighton gateway. I think the Horniman gardens would make a suitable venue given its slope.

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Scorpion


Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2005
Post: #9
20-11-2007 03:03 PM

Thankyou Colhig and all.

I have looked up Sparrowhawks on the net and after looking at pics, I really cannot say whether or not it was one of those. I think not though, but, I did not see it head on. I was behind it and did not see a white/light chest, so can't say for sure. It was definitely brown on the back. It was quite large though - like I said, ALMOST the size of a smaller crow, bigger in build to a magpie though (who are smaller and skinier than crows) one of those.
It didn't seem to be a Peregrine Falcon either.
Out of the two, for colour (from the back) I would go with the Sparrowhawk.
I will be keeping my eyes open, as usual, and hope to spot it again.

I see, that, through replies from yourself and others here that there seem to be people more than just I, who are interested in general Wildlife, and thats great.
I hope to someday attend one of the "Bat Walks" or similar, in local woods etc.
As someone who has always felt she is trapped inside the city (through circumstance) but who would love to break free, I must admit that daily sightings of local Flora and Fauna please me immensely. I've constantly seen and been very close to:- foxes, squirrels, stag beetles, frogs/toads, woodpeckers, ducks and geese (all of these have been in my surrounding area, whether temporary - ie flying over and stopping off - or living locally and who I share my "patch" with)

Very nice :o)

Thanks all, for your input.

Sue


colhig Wrote:
Sounds as if it could be a female Sparrow hawk. They often take pigeons and feed on the ground. It sounds as if the crows were mobbing it and maybe hoping for some scraps. We've seen a pair up at Sydenham Hill Wood this year

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Triangle


Posts: 133
Joined: May 2007
Post: #10
21-11-2007 12:14 PM

I've seen a couple of Sparrowhawks in my garden and the thing I noticed most was the bright yellow eye. however, I understand that in older birds the eye can be more orange in colour. If the one you saw had a pigeon then it was probably a female because the male is smaller and will normally only tackle songbirds. The Sparrowhawks I saw had both taken blackbirds. They find a suitable place (which can be on the ground) and literally rip the feathers from their prey before eating it... it's not a pretty sight. I've also noticed that they are quite happy to sit in one spot for some time, which is great if you have some binoculars at hand. Interesting that the one you saw was being mobbed because when I've seen them, everything else was hiding!

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Micksy


Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #11
25-11-2007 06:29 PM

I think something big enough to take small squirrels frequents the Fermor Road area. Last year I had the remains of a squirrel (body minus guts and tail) lying beneath my kitchen window. It looks like whatever had taken the squirrel attempted to fly off holding the tail which parted company with the rest of the squirel in mid flight. As it fell the body of the squirel smashed against my kitchen window leaving a big splat of blood and fur for me to clean off - nice.

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #12
16-10-2008 10:17 AM

Standing at my back door this morning, looking into the garden, watching a pair of collared doves. Suddenly, they take off, there's a streak across the sky and one of them disappears in a cloud of feathers.

It was all so fast, all that remained was a gentle snowfall of feathers fluttering down. Whatever it was would have landed in a garden two away from mine, so I couldn't go and investigate.

This was in the Dunoon Road area - the previous sighting was Thorpewood Road - quite a way away as the sparrowhawk flies - don't know how big their terrritories might be....

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Ghis


Posts: 321
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #13
16-10-2008 12:29 PM

There was a bird of prey chasing pigeons at the HOP train station this morning.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #14
16-10-2008 01:33 PM

Thank goodness we don't have any vultures in SE23!

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sawbill


Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #15
16-10-2008 09:56 PM

I watched a sparrowhawk eat another bird on my garden table a few weeks ago. I couldn't believe what i was seeing.

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davey2


Posts: 17
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #16
17-10-2008 05:35 PM

there is a bird of prey over the waste ground on that sainsbury's in bell green i see it most mornings.
not sure what it is as i am sitting at the lights at the bottom of perry vale waiting for them to change.

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china girl


Posts: 35
Joined: May 2008
Post: #17
22-10-2008 07:55 PM

Last year we were lucky enough to have a sparrowhawk sitting on a tree in direct eyeline about 15' from the back window. What made it so distinctive, as already mentioned, was not only striking lemon yellow eyes - but also sunshine yellow legs (to be technical!). I shall look out for birds of prey around the Bell Green Sainsburys. Maybe that explains why I noticed yesterday that all the starlings seem to have abandoned the car park - to be replaced by crows!

Incidentally, for anyone who is keen on birds, I've just finished a great book - 'Corvus' by Esther Woolfson, published by Granta. It was serialised on Woman's Hour recently. Makes you see corvids in a different light.

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