Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Mastery of the Thing

Although it is our most common Bird of Prey, seeing a kestrel always excites me. I guess the comparative scarcity of predator species, predicated on the supply of more numerous and therefore more common species lower down the food chain, gives them a rarity value,  but there is also something primally exciting in the combination of talons, flesh-tearing beak and mastery of the air. Throw in the fact that they are so easily identifiable even from a moving vehicle and I still delight in calling out 'look - kestrel!'

A local pair hunt on fields between our house and Claxton, and I am learning to predict their movements. These ones seem to hover in their hunting less than many, by making use of a series of telegraph poles that give them a perfect vole-spotting vantage point - presumably less resource-intensive than hovering, no matter how impressive. 
I took these photos on my phone from the car (I pulled over - I wouldn't recommend driving and shooting), hence the quality. You can see the female here, but I have seen the more colourful male in the same place, swooping low to hunt before resuming his watching post. I shall attempt to get better shots over coming weeks.

I shall also aim to get shots of the barn owl that we saw hunting in the meadow opposite on our return to the cottage this evening, but that is for another day...

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