Black and white and unfortunately red all over

A sparrowhawk was sitting in the middle of the lane to Combrook this evening, just after the turning off the main road down to Compton Verney. Striking black and white feathers were scattered over the tarmac and we stopped to check. As we initially feared it had caught a juvenile great spotted woodpecker which, having been badly torn and now badly bleeding, was sadly twitching and struggling to breathe.

The red plumage on the head was prominent but not quite fully formed and the patch below the tail was a lovely pinkish rose red. The black and white feathers on the road were really eye catching – black with large white spots (could have been from a Boden catalogue!) – you don’t normally see these even through binoculars. Poor thing, but we had to leave it in the hope it might quickly pass away. We guess an adult gsw would have a bit more guile and could have easily avoided predation.

Two hedgehogs in the garden at 10pm tonight and a cinnibar moth passed through this afternoon.


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