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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Tunnel of Silence, where is the Sparrowhawk?

I was teaching a lost track drill session while over in Sweden last week. When I became aware of a flock of song birds singing joyously in the tree tops, I suspected they were Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra). As Peter got close to locating one of the lost tracks, the birds suddenly fell silent, so silent it was deafening.

I stepped back and looked up expecting hoping to see a Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) sailing through the air, in hot pursuit. Nothing, I looked around and in the distance I clocked a flash, plugging into the long grass on the far side of the bank.

Photo by Miguel Lasa

As it took off and turned towards our side of the track it was clear for all to see, it was of course a Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). I have never experienced the tunnel of silence with a Kestrel, only ever with a Sparrowhawk.

The silence remained for a long time. And only after the Kestrel moved off from its tree top advantage point, did the songs begin again.

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