Several members of the group have recently seen sparrowhawk in the garden. Some of the birds have been particularly gregarious, staying around and seeming almost curious around the human occupants, maybe young birds?
I tend to see sparrowhawk in the garden more often in the autumn than the rest of the year, this is the case for many people. It believed to be caused by young birds looking for their own territory coupled with the number of small birds being drawn into garden feeders so maybe the desire for food and lack of experience with humans makes these autumn and winter garden visitors appear braver than usual.
The individual filmed here (through an upstairs window) was initially drinking from the pond, flew up onto the garage and then perched on the bird bath. Unsurprisingly, all other birds were absent, until a small group of feral pigeons flew over, when the sparrowhawk flew off. With its slim stance and rufous chest, this is an adult male, so will be hunting for small birds. The females will take larger prey, doves, pigeons and have even been known to take grouse or partridges.
It was one of the best encounters with this species I have ever had, and I am keeping a good watch on the garden in case it comes back!