The fine blue sky weather continues, and so does my encounters with our local Sparrowhawks. It would be no exageration to imagine that our female Sparrowhawk seems to be prospecting and on the wing for most mornings this week. Despite flying high she's still easy to spot against such an uninterrupted and tranquil sky.
So, earlier in the week I'd noticed how Sparrowhawks have a distinctive display flight involving fanning out the white undertail covets (just the female?) and then performing a number of stoops and climbs and occasional slow stiff wing claps. Today, I discovered that once the female has encouraged a male to join her (at some height to), the two birds can then perform a talon clasped display in the manner of perhaps larger birds of prey such as Buzzards and Eagles. If someone had told me that Sparrowhawks were capable of such exhilarating display, I probably would have had some doubts without seeing any images... ..so lets have a look at the quick burst of images I captured.
Good but distant views of our female Sparrowhawk white undertail covets on display showing well today. Image below is a compilation of our resident 'pair' pirouetting just moments after.