As is always the case at this time of year, sparrowhawks have suddenly become absurdly conspicuous. I saw two on a short drive to check my traps this morning, and I have now seen at least one every day for five consecutive days. Unfortunately, this boom has come at grievous cost to a cheery little dunnock whose tasteless but jovial tune lit up my daily tramp uphill to feed the cows each morning. I found a puff of feathers beneath his favourite elder twig, and the hill is marginally less noisy than it was before. I caught a glimpse of the culprit yesterday morning – a blue bird with a marmalade breast slashing between the whin bushes like a greased pinball.