16 Jul

The restroom at my work is a shack a short walk away, down a dirt track in the middle of some fields. Today, as I emerged from it, I got to see a full drama unfold in less than a second.

A couple of dozen house sparrows were noisily bathing in the dusty mud; rolling about, occasionally squabbling over the best dirt and generally adding yet more sunshine to an already beautiful day. Suddenly, from over the adjacent hedge a sparrowhawk shot towards them, daggered-claws first. A passerine cloud erupted from the dust. But before the assailant could snatch a snack, from behind me an enraged kestrel plunged down on the hawk, presumably defending his territory. With a series of screeches the raptors sped out of sight in deadly pursuit, leaving a sudden still silence behind them where moments earlier there had been so much loudness and life.

I couldn’t really appreciate it though, on account of the stench from what I’d left in the lav. Made your eyes sting.


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