Bird’s eye view of a sparrowhawk’s nursery at Sculthorpe Moor near Fakenham

Martin Hayward-Smith filmed sparrowhawks nexting high in a tree on the reserve, near Fakenham. Pictu

Martin Hayward-Smith filmed sparrowhawks nexting high in a tree on the reserve, near Fakenham. Picture: Martin hayward-Smith. - Credit: Archant

In a tangle of twigs high up in an alder tree, a female sparrowhawk tends her brood.

Norfolk-based wildlife camerman Martin Hayward Smith perched his camera on a scaffolding tower to get a view of the nest at Sculthorpe Moor nature reserve, near Fakenham.

Mr Hayward Smith discovered the birds while he was shooting a new wildlife film called the Enchanted Forest.

'It was a bit of luck,' he said. 'I was down there one morning at 4.30am, doing a dawn chorus, when I noticed there was a large nest. I scrabled up the tree and there was a sparrowhawk's nest.' Mr Hayward Smith spent eight days building a scaffolding tower to film the birds from.

'That was my high-rise office for several weeks,' he added.


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He captured the female returning to feed her growing chicks, battling the elements as five young gradually reduced to one.

Nigel Middleton, conservation officer on the reserve, run by the Hawk and Owl Trust said heavy rain early in the breeding season meant the parent birds could not always fly to hunt for food for their young.

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