Originally Posted by Capercaillie71
I have quite often seen sparrowhawks quartering wild bird cover crops in the winter when there have been large finch and bunting flocks in the crop. In these situations, the sparrowhawks fly fairly slowly and hesitantly a couple of metres above the crop canopy waiting for some small birds to flush in front of them. In open farmland the sparrowhawk doesn't have the benefit of tree or shrub cover to ambush prey, so I suppose they have to change tactic.
Saw exactly this for the first time today! Sparrowhawk, like me, flushed only Linnets and Skylarks though, and sadly no Lapland Buntings.
PS: I observed the "car as cover" trick four times last year.