Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Sparrow Hawk

After writing the last blog I became rather caught up in various other aspects of my life and as a consequence needed some R & R to collect my thoughts. I am pleased to say that I have recharged and am back into blogging again.

I wish all of my readers A Very Happy & Peaceful New Year for 2012.

A Sparrow Hawk

This morning, 1st January, I looked out of the front window at the clear blue sky and noted that none of the small birds were at the feeders. On looking around the garden I saw a brown bird sitting on one of the shrubs, I did not recognise it at first and then realised that it was a sparrow-hawk and before I could reach for the camera it spied me and flew off in a westerly direction.

This then gave me inspiration, it being the day that was in it, that perhaps we need to take a feather of an idea and journey in the same direction as the hawk - to the West of Ireland!

The harbour at Kinvara

One of our favourite & closest places is Kinvara (Irish Gaelic : Cinn Mhara meaning "head of the sea") in Co. Galway. It is roughly a two and half hour drive through some very scenic countryside crossing the River Shannon at Portumna and onwards, across the high points of the Slieve Aughty mountains then dropping down to the small town of Gort, which I by-pass by using a narrow country road, twisting and undulating to our destination.

I could write a blog on each of the places that we pass through.

I have had a romance with Kinvara ever since my first visit in 1987 and she is like a lot of beautiful women, in that I am not certain I could live with her permanently. I choose instead to make several enjoyable visits a year. I believe that I am right for on some occasions in the summer the place is over flowing with visitors and I'm not a lover of crowds.

After having taken a few photos and gazed at the seascape for sufficient time, a cup of freshly made coffee was called for and as our usual cafe was closed, we tried another. We chose a table by the window that looked out across the harbour. Mrs H started up a conversation with the proprietor having both lived in northern English cities; as they chatted I peered out of the window with my back to the other customers, then a couple stepped out of the cafe and passed the window in front of me. Lo and behold I recognised them as a pair of ancient associates of mine, G & N, who own a B&B a few miles south of Kinvara. I rushed out to intercept them hotly followed by Mrs H and they like me were also pleasantly surprised.

Evidently G had kept looking at Mrs H while in the cafe thinking that there was something familiar about her and then inwardly saying "no"; G has to be forgiven for Mrs H used to be a red head and several pounds heavier.

After saying goodbye to our friends, with promises to visit, we made our journey home to light the fire and sip tea in its' warmth.

For this wonderful day, of which most was spent in sunshine, we can thank the Sparrow Hawk.


  1. Bliain úr faoi shéan is faoi mhaise daoibh

    from Kath x

  2. A lovely blog to read.Heron how great to unexpectedly meet up with old friends like you did. A Happy Peaceful New Year to both you and Mrs H

  3. Happy New Year to you, Mel, with nothing but the best for 2012! Great read, inspirational birds, and looking forward to reading you over the following twelve months.
    Take great care of yourself :-)

  4. A beautiful day to start the year.. here are to many more pleasant surprises to come. Happy New Year.

  5. What a nice picture as well
    All the best for 2012

  6. Happy New Year, the hawk was magnificent.

  7. Always a thrill to see the Sparrow Hawk, but Oh! the carnage they occasionally leave in my garden.

  8. Sounds like you had a wonderful day! We need as many of those as we can get :) Debs

  9. How lovely, Mel. County Galway is a part of Ireland I have not seen but would love to visit. It sounds incredibly beautiful. I liked your comment about Kinvara's beauty and not wanting to live with her/it. There are many places like this, and while I sometimes wish my own 'places' were a little more beautiful, I also love them for how they have grown on me despite their lack of glamour and superficial loveliness!

  10. Happy New Year to you Mel - what a lovely way to start the new year. Kinvara looks lovely and actually the sort of place that I would be quite happy to live in - a harbour, water and boats - my idea of heaven :) xxx

  11. May the new year be gentle and kind to you and yours, and may blessings abound! Lovely to see in and around your area. Lizzie -

  12. We have a resident Sparrow Hawk here (at least I think that's what he/she is). He seems totally oblivious to humans, and just goes about his killing business (usually small lizards) as if we weren't here. He even seems to get on quite well with the Buzzards. Beautiful bird, and beautiful flight.

  13. Belated good wishes for a Happy New Year to you and yours, Heron!

  14. What a delightful post - you came quite near to us, Gort being our closest 'large' town (I use the word loosely)! Super photo of Kinvara. What a splendid Sparrow Hawk too. We had a visiting Kestrel a couple of years back. He used to fly into our old barn and try and catch the swallows. I think he thought it was Supermacs!


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