Den (dewhitton) wrote,

Peewee Alarm

I was woken by the peewee alarm this morning. Alarmed peewees have a distinctive call that is loud and piercing, enough to drag me out of a sleep the clock radio couldn't penetrate. So 7am saw me standing in the back yard wearing just a shirt and undies, and looking for the cause of the alarm. The birds were looking up at something. I looked up. Circling above us was a brown falcon, possibly the one that has been visiting here over the years, on the hunt for young birds.

As I watched, the falcon did a wing-over and went into a dive. He swooped low and fast over the neighbour's yard, cleared the fence and came lower and faster over my back yard. The peewees let out their diverse alarums but the falcon wasn't after them. He pulled up right under the bottle-brush tree and crashed through the outer branches, sending the flock of sparrows hiding in there scattering all over the place. The falcon tore through the tree and out the top, performed a negative-g dive over the top of the tree, and scooped up a sparrow who had broken cover at the wrong moment.

I've hung a blanket in front of the peewees so they can't be freaked out by the predator. Poor little maniacs are flighty enough as it is.

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