Youth Team Star
- Dec 7, 2019
I'm still working full-time, at my job in a college in the centre of Oxford.I was sat in the back one night last week watching a pigeon take a walk across the lawn, when suddenly a bird-of-prey type bird swooped down and carried the pigeon over the fence into next doors garden. By the time I went out to have a look over the fence there wasn't much that could be done for the poor pigeon, but looking at the mess I was just glad it wasn't in my garden.
I Googled the attacker, it was a hawk or a sparrowhawk. Either way, I've never seen one round her and wonder if these types of birds are getting more brave and venturing into unknown territory due to it being much quieter than normal.
A sparrowhawk has been getting rich pickings here since the lock-down, too. Back in the first couple of weeks of lock-down, it disposed of four pigeons in our quad that we know of (and I'd guess more in surrounding colleges, too). The remains have been gobbled up by a fox that has also been making itself at home. Last week, the sparrowhawk was back again, picked off two more pigeons and chased some others through an open window into a student block where they made a hell of a mess.
On my nightshifts, I've also been lucky enough to see regular appearances of a large barn-owl (usually between 3am~4am), which has been been having a merry old time catching mice in the graveyard. I suspect that the lack of noise and disturbance usually caused by students and tourists has given the pigeons and mice a false sense of security.
Also, the dawn chorus of blackbirds and other songbirds at about 4am is louder than I've ever heard it before.