Sparrowhawk in an art studio

Local Patch Reporter Robert Fuller got a surprise when a greenfinch flew into his studio, followed by a sparrowhawk.

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I was sitting at my easel putting the final touches to this kestrel painting when a greenfinch flew through the open studio door with a sparrowhawk hot on its heels!

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The two birds literally flew right over my head and then the sparrowhawk snatched the greenfinch just as it passed the back of my head. I didn’t move.

The sparrowhawk, its prey clutched tightly in its claws, then swung round to fly out of the window. But it smashed straight into the pane, falling stunned, at my feet!

I picked them both up. The greenfinch was already dead but the sparrowhawk soon recovered and I took it outside to let it go.

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Talk about getting your painting subjects to come to you! I have put a lot of effort and time into turning my garden into a wildlife haven so that I can watch my painting models from my window, but I’ve never actually had one come into the studio!

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Read more exciting nature blogs by BBC Wildlife local patch reporters

BBC Wildlife wanted to find a new way to share some of our readers’ natural-history diaries with other wildlife enthusiasts, and Local Patch Reporters was born. 

Our 20 Local Patch Reporters for 2014 are aged from 10 to 64 and live from Dorset in the south to Shetland in the north.

Throughout this year they will be exploring and reporting on nature in their neighbourhood via online blogs.

Robert Fuller is a Local Patch Reporter from North Yorkshire. 

Robert’s nature patch: Yorkshire Wolds

Robert’s wildlife aims for 2014: See adders at a nearby common, encourage long-tailed tits to nest outside my studio window, monitor barn owls and photograph kingfishers.