Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Photo Credit: Paul Sheers
We're setting up the sign on for the ViCiOUS Velo race when Claire points to the track and shouts out "That bird is eating another bird!"

All spin round and stare, to understand what she's rambling on about. It was in fact a Sparrowhawk pinning a Pigeon to the start/finish straight and was trying to peck it's head off.

The Pigeon managed to wrangle itself free and flew directly towards the ViCiOUS gaggle that had clustered. With the Sparrowhawk in close pursuit we ducked at the prospect of the on-coming talons. A little bit of wee probably came out for Matt Hinse and Ben.
The Sparrowhawk accelerations and shear power straightaway closed the gap on the Pigeon and it took it down again onto the grass where the parking spaces are at Herne Hill 'drome. More deadly pecking followed and we finally figured out what was going on....nature!
The Pigeon wriggled its way free yet again, but this was going to be for the final time. As the Pigeon headed towards the fabled track entrance the Sparrowhawk swooped in and went for the kill. All ran down the bank to see the final blood bath and in that short window when the birds were out of our view, the final chapter of the story was written.
A cat clutching its' prize trotted back from having snatched it from the talons of the bird of prey, before  disappearing into a neighbours' garden. All agreed, those two minutes of action was one of the most epic things any of us had ever seen!

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