The flock of 30+ goldfinches that visit my garden were chased off today by a small bird of prey that was either a hobby or a peregrine. It had the same black/blue moustache pattern, was kestrel sized and had very pointy wings. It had pretty strong wingbeats but short wingbeats but was swallow-like when chasing. I didn’t manage to take a photo as it happened pretty quickly. My book doesn’t make it much clearer. Does this behaviour and description wise sound more like a hobby or a peregrine? Thanks
In reply to Richard G B:
While I can't comment re ID, and Richard is right that the most likely flock raider is a garden is a Sparrowhawk, ellis's description doesn't match a Sprawk, for me, particularly the two comments on wing action.
I've lived (sometimes very) close to nesting Peregrines for around 15 years, but have never seen one in a garden. Hobbies I have seen in our own garden, if very rarely and very briefly.
In reply to Dave - CH:
Our herring gulls are red listed birds. Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.
In reply to ellis187:
ellis187 said:I definitely distinctively remember the black moustache
Whenever I've seen a Hobby close up, personally I've been struck by the Tipex blob they have on the face. I think "the" guide refers to a "shining white cheek".
In your shoes, I'd record it as a maybe, and keep watching. Sometimes maybes are the best sightings of all, as they have us going back for more.
Re Common Kestrels, I find that they can make an extraordinary variety of silhouettes. So can be tricky. If I had a tener for every time we've turned the car around, got out, and checked, only to find that we're looking at a Kestrel, I'd be retired already.
Helpfully though, Kestrels, Peregrines, Sparrowhawks, and Merlins all fly differently. I'd do a bit of reading up on that if I were you. Not sure if Dick Forsman has anything helpful up online, for example.
All the best -
Just had look and found a few photos online, which look identical to what I saw. Read an article on regarding the flight, including the chase, it sounded very alike especially the ‘anchor’ shape. Thanks
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