I have ringed quite a few birds over the years but this weekend I got to ring something new, sparrowhawk pulli. Although we regularly catch fully grown sparrowhawks in the mist nets at Whitburn, I have not found a sparrowhawk nest before and not one that was so accessable. The nest was found during a ringing session at the coastal park, however they decided to nest right above one of the walkways between the nets. When the nest was originally checked there were 4 cold wet eggs in the nest and we had obviously unknowingly kept the female of the nest. I didnt have much hope for this nest at all, however we checked the nest in late june and heard chicks calling in the nest which was a huge surprise. Again I was hoping one or two of the eggs would hatch after the eggs got cold but this must of been only a few days after they had been laid as all four eggs hatched. Amazingly after all the wet and cold weather we have had up in newcastle, all four chicks had made it to 2 weeks old.
John and trainee Andy joined me to ring these chicks. There was a single male and three females which were clearly much larger than the male.