Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A visitor to the garden

Hubby and I were in the kitchen yesterday when we heard a loud THUD in the family room.  I went out to investigate to see if the dove (it's always a dove, I don't think they're very smart) that had careered into the small round window high in the wall had flown off (usually), or was wandering dazed around the garden (occasionally), or worse, had not survived impact and was lying on the lawn (once). As it happened, the dove HAD survived the impact, but not the encounter.  This is the amazing sight that met my eyes through the windows.  Luckily, the camera happened to be at hand!

We are pretty sure it's a Brown Goshawk.  

It sat for a good five minutes or more, waiting, I presume, for the dove to give up the struggle.  Its prey is almost as big as it, I didn't see how it would get off the ground with it.

However, eventually it took off, albeit rather shakily, and only just cleared our fence (just seen in the foreground) and landed on the neighbour's roof.

We've seen these around, chasing the odd dove, on and off over the years, but never this close.  Sadly, this type of encounter is becoming more and more rare, given the amount of Development (AKA total destruction) that is happening in our suburb.  Just beyond the house roof in this photo, there used to be a couple older houses with large trees that could be seen over our fence (in fact, you'll probably see them if you look back through my blog at old garden photos).  Just a few weeks ago the bulldozers moved in, and everything was brought down, including the magnificent large gum tree that, as we saw in disbelief once all the lower branches had been cleared, had a large nest of sticks in the crown.  The tree loppers cut the whole lot down without a second thought, tree, nest AND the bird that we could see still flapping in it.  It was probably a crow, BUT the description of the Brown Goshawk nest I found on the web quite well fitted it too.  Those plots of land will now be filled every square inch, with ugly units and no gardens, and nowhere for our local endangered birds to live.  It saddens me beyond belief.

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