Barbel Angler

Author Message
Offline
PostPosted: 02/02/11 21:43 
User avatar
Sr. Member
Joined: 01/11/07
Posts: 316

A few weeks ago I was being driven into Bracknell by Micky ( to get some plumbing bits for his new kitchen) when about 250yards ahead of us a bird of prey of some sorts attacked a pigeon.

Micky stopped the car and we witnessed a most amazing sight, the bird of prey followed the pigeon from a tree and hit it in mid flight about 30ft up and took it to the ground and both hit the road flapping with a few feathers flying about.

By now, traffic was coming from the opposite direction and the prey bird flew off leaving the pigeon looking very poorly in the road.

The prey bird was about the same size as the pigeon and was light to mid brown in colour.   

From my very basic description, do any of you lads know what sort of bird this could have been?  Thanks for your help

Tony


Top
Offline
PostPosted: 02/02/11 22:26 
User avatar
Member
Joined: 23/07/07
Posts: 218
a daft and not very efficient Kestrel. Eyes bigger than his stomach and all that;though perhaps that particular pigeon was presenting in some way as a potential easy meal.

If you felt you saw a good flash of dark orange or red (as appeared to you), then it was a Sparrow Hawk.

Regularly get both coming down to my garden feeders (not together mind) nicking Blue and Great Tits...

Top
Offline
PostPosted: 03/02/11 18:14 
User avatar
Sr. Member
Joined: 22/01/08
Posts: 1304
It does sound like a Kestrel, there are a few Hobbies in the area too though that look similar.........more grey than brown though.......

Top
Offline
PostPosted: 07/02/11 13:46 
User avatar
Global Moderator
Joined: 31/10/05
Posts: 2237
Almost certainly a Sparrowhawk.  Master of the surprise attack and the same size as a Pigeon.

Kestrels will not take anything as large a Pigeon.  Hobbys are summer visitors.  If they were here in the winter they wouldn't attack anything much bigger than they are. 

Roy

Top
Offline
PostPosted: 07/02/11 19:14 
User avatar
Member
Joined: 21/11/09
Posts: 229
Yep, i would say its a Sparrowhawk.

I have had a female Sparrow hawk take pigeons and black birds from my front garden several times. It is an awesome sight or blur as hey 'hit' their prey at full speed.

Top
Offline
PostPosted: 07/02/11 21:18 
User avatar
Member
Joined: 16/05/06
Posts: 104
okay a few pics may help a little.......firstly i dont think it was a hobby, as roy says, theyre a summer visitor, the pic here also shows the red on the thighs and the black and white contrast nicely, its upper surfaces are grey however. it takes its prey in flight. i wonder, would it take a pigeon?...... but most have gone by september.  
Image

Top
Offline
PostPosted: 07/02/11 21:26 
User avatar
Member
Joined: 16/05/06
Posts: 104
kestrel is a good suspect, heres a couple of views to show the markings.....but i dont think a kestrel would take a pigeon in flight as described. my moneys on the sparrow hawk unless of course...........it could be a peregrine..........they live mostly on the coast, but also use very high buildings in the same manner as a cliff, they are prolific at the heathrow hangers for example....and one of their fav foods is pigeon,  which they take in flight at high speed. 
Image

Image


Top
Offline
PostPosted: 08/02/11 16:45 
User avatar
micky holtom - owner
Joined: 27/04/05
Posts: 8085
Quote:
unless of course...........it could be a peregrine
Great photos Steve, I think it could have been a Peregrine Falcon , they have been nesting in the old 3M building
for several years.

I remember it having large talons and very big starry eyes.

Micky

Top
Offline
PostPosted: 10/02/11 09:57 
User avatar
Global Moderator
Joined: 31/10/05
Posts: 2237

I was thinking of Peregrine but I don't know the location.  If it's near the centre of Bracknell, it could probably be one.  More and more of these splendid birds are taking up residence in high buidings in town centres.  There's been reports of the Peregrines on the building opposite Reading railway station entrance swooping down on pigeons in broad daylight. 

Didcot Power Station was the first place I saw Peregrines away from the coast.  One of the mechanics at the Williams Racing Garage close to the power station told me the birds sit on top of the cooling towers waiting for pigeons to pass through and they swoop down at a terrific speed taking them in mid air.  Must be an amazing site.

However......If the bird of prey in question that Tony saw came out of a wooded area chasing a pigeon, then my money's on a Sparrowhawk.....because that's how they chase their prey.

Good discussion this.

Here's a photo of the Peregrine that took up residence at the Newbury Telephone Exchange building a couple of years ago.


Image

Roy


Top
Offline
PostPosted: 11/02/11 22:09 
User avatar
Sr. Member
Joined: 01/11/07
Posts: 316
Thanks for the reply's lads and the picture's - really good

To be honest the whole thing happened so quickly that unless you have a good understanding of these types of birds (and i don't) it is difficult to say which it was.

From memory the road had some large house's set well back from the road with  high tree's near the road. these did not complete a full canopy.  Being a local boy I'm sure Micky will be able to name the location better than me.

The pigeon came from the trees; but where the bird of prey came from is a bit unclear.

Thanks

Tony

Top
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group