Sparrowhawk attacking rat

On Tuesday 3rd November at about 08:30, I happened to be looking out at my back garden (which backs onto Weaver’s Field in Warden Hill, Cheltenham) when I spotted one of the brown rats that live in the area on my (now bare) vegetable patch.   The rat was picking up grain left by my chickens.  As I was watching, a sparrowhawk (a locally resident one) swooped in from my right and tried to snatch the rat.  The rat escaped by virtue of being close to a fence and because it happened to be looking in the direction that the hawk came in from.  I’ve never witnessed this type of activity before and don’t know if its typical of sparrowhawks.  I wonder whether the hawk was actively targeting the rat or whether it just saw something ‘small, brown and tasty looking’ on the ground!

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