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Sparrowhawks dropped in for lunch….


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  • Published: 20th November 2019
  • Categories: Blog, Community & Volunteer, Clanfield

    Sparrowhawks dropped in for lunch….

    I wrote an article earlier this year saying that we were letting the grass grow in our small back garden to see if this made any difference to the visiting wildlife. Say no to the mower

    The answer to that question is a definite ‘yes it did’.  Grasses, clover and wildflowers thrived, and the number of spiders, insects, bees and butterflies increased dramatically.  We did cheat a bit, mowing a path around the edges of the lawn so we could make full use the garden but otherwise we left nature to get on with it.   

    We also noticed the increase in the number of birds visiting this year.  We’ve always put out bird seed and have a small pond, so birds were attracted to the garden anyway but this year there has been a difference.  Small flocks of sparrows or starlings would search the long grass for seeds or insects, and they were joined by robins, blackbirds and doves. 

    Of course, smaller birds can attract larger predators and so it proved.  I can recall one day in September hearing birds alarm calls and seeing 8 sparrows flying into a large shrub followed by a male sparrowhawk – only 7 flew out!  Then last week a female sparrowhawk caught a collared dove on the lawn and she spent nearly an hour tucking into her meal leaving only a pile of feathers and a few well-picked bones as evidence of her visit. Nature is red in tooth and claw….

    We mowed the lawn at the end of the growing season once the seed heads had gone over, removing all the cuttings so the soils wouldn’t be enriched.  Will we do the same again next year?  Most definitely!   








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    Sparrowhawks dropped in for lunch….

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