Twice today I’ve seen one of the local Sparrowhawks after pigeons. Close to the house a sparrowhawk was trying to get airborne with a pigeon it had caught. They both flopped onto the path, the hawk was on top of the pigeon with its talons imbedded in its prey. The sparrowhawk was about 6 feet away from me and reluctant to flee. I moved a little closer and it decided to fly off but not before it glowered at me - my imagination here or are birds of prey capable of a nasty scary look? Mrs Gurnmeister had experienced a similar situation recently with a hawk dropping a pigeon almost at her feet, in both instances the pigeons recovered after a quiet spell in a box in a shed and when released they flew away. I’d heard recently of a similar situation in the Fishertown where a hawk dropped a pigeon virtually into the lap of a delighted cat.
Later on I saw a hawk (maybe the same one) swoop on another pigeon along the riverbank, there were a few feathers in the air but the pigeon got away with the hawk in hot pursuit, The bird of prey was distracted by a nearby Jackdaw, also in flight, that turned angrily on the hawk. Seagulls that had witnessed the commotion alerted the entire town centre seagull community and soon they were flying angrily overhead and perhaps with good reason, someone told me recently how they witnessed a few years ago a hawk take a young seagull from a nesting area on a roof in the town centre. This type of seagull commotion seems to be a daily occurrence in the town centre with seagulls and crows perhaps providing security for the hard-pressed pigeon colony?