It turned out I’d rather underestimated how close the sparrowhawk chicks were to fledging. Although sporting quite a lot of down then spent a lot of time preening and there were clouds of down being pulled out and floating about. Within a day of first seeing them, two of the chicks progressed from jumping and clambering about branches to flying to nearby trees. A day more and the eldest two spent most of their time in nearby trees returning when the adults came into feed. By that second day, the third chick was flapping around the nest tree and the youngest was clambering about but seemingly getting first share of food brought to the nest.
Inside the five days this week the four young were pretty much out of the nest. Here are a few additional pictures.
Not a great photo but the one below is just for the record to show there really were four chicks in the nest, you can just about pics them out in this image. If you look carefully you may be able to spot the different levels of development of them.
So, that’s pretty much it from the sparrowhawk nest. They are likely to hang around the nest for a while yet but seem to be content to hide out in the tree tops and practice flying between the trees. It’s difficult to tell if they are being fed outside the nest (I suspect so) because the action is now largely out of sight. Having been born over 10 meters from the ground, the young seem content to stay up there for the moment. Incredibly difficult to photograph and even with the hide, I had the camera lens at an elevation of about 55 degrees! But spectacular just to watch.