Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Kestrels

Kestrels can be like buses around here. You don’t see one for days and then several come along one after the other. That’s how it was today, so I came home with more pictures of Kestrels but not much else. 

The morning started at Fluke Hall, breezy cool and cloudy and not many birds to be found, just a single Redwing feeding with a couple of Blackbirds in the hedgerow and a dozen or so Tree Sparrows, a few of which were visiting nest boxes. Male Tree Sparrows are known to display at colonies in the autumn as a means of reinforcing ownership of previous nest sites. First year males do it also as a way of finding new sites of their own for the coming season even though it is months away. It's known as "recrudescence" and other species do it too, including the humble Robin  but please don't ask me to name them all.

Tree Sparrow
There was a good sized party of titmice moving through the wood, mainly Long-tailed Tits again, and it’s rather strange that this, the most fragile of the tit family seems to be the most numerous of the lot this year. As I watched them move through the wood a Sparrowhawk shot away from the trees where it had must have been lying in wait for a passing meal. 

Further along the road at Damside I logged the first Kestrel of the day close to their regular nest box. On the wet fields here I counted 1400 Lapwing, 42 Redshank, 35 Curlew and 30 Golden Plover. 


I drove across Piling Moss and clocked 2 more Kestrels, a Little Owl, 15 Tree Sparrows, 20 Whooper Swan, 2 Yellowhammer, 40 Fieldfare and 1 Redwing. After the late October rush there are still a number of Fieldfares searching the rather scant hawthorn crop, with Redwings much harder to find at the moment. 

The Fieldfare's name is reckoned to come from the old English "feldefare" which probably meant "traveller through the fields".



The two Kestrels were hunting the stubble fields, using the roadside telegraph poles from which to spot prey below, the wind across the open moss ruffling their insulation feathers. 



For a short while the sun came out and the wind seemed to drop as I tried to photograph the second Kestrel as it warmed up for a dive to the stubble below. Click the pictures for a full frame slide show - that Kestrel really means business.




I journeyed on to Rawcliffe Moss for yet another Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 2 Jay, 35 Chaffinch, 30 Tree Sparrow, 8 Goldfinch, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Tawny Owl and a mighty flock of 400+ Woodpigeon. 

There’s rain forecast for tomorrow which might entail a morning out shopping with my better half, but with luck Another Bird Blog will be out again soon looking for more Kestrels. If so be the first to read about it here by logging in soon.

This week Another Bird Blog is linking with Anni and Stewart again, plus Weekly Top Shot


Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

It's hard to think of the kestrel as a bird of prey because they're so small and cute. These are wonderful captures.

Kay L. Davies said...

I was hoping for a photo of a titmouse, but the kestrels won out.
I love that sparrow with its almost-auburn head.
We're going to be in Europe again next week (although not in the UK yet) so we'll have to watch for birds.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, amazing shots of the Kestrel! They are pretty birds, I love seeing them, usually perched on wires along the road. Great post, happy birding!

Rohrerbot said...

WOW!! Phil these are great shots. You're practically making out with them in those shots. I have yet to get that close. You are absolutely right about the Kestrel. Days, Weeks, don't see them and then out of nowhere....and everywhere, there are Kestrels. Lately we've been seeing them at all of our parks and my posts will be reflecting this over the next week. Last night one was attacking a Harris Hawk non stop. I laughed a bit because it's such a small raptor compared to the bigger ones:)

And the Fieldfare is stunning. Would love to see these out in the wild....and a Tree Sparrow. Beautiful birds all.

Russell said...

Gee,I'd be happy with such a fine bucket of kestrel pictures. They are mighty birds. Love the English naming for birds. Maybe that's why I speak it. The weather here is telling me I have to spend the day shopping with the better half tomorrow too. Summer here is find but no birds and the autumn rain and birds.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Tree Sparrow image, stunning! The Kestrels...oh to have even a glimpse of one that will stay put long enough to grab a photo. As I said earlier, the header/banner image and the ones in your posts...all grand!
Happy and blessed weekend to you and Sue and family~

Isidro Ortiz said...

Maravillosas capturas Phil.Un abrazo

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Great shots.. Congrat.. Have a nice day.. Ciaooo..

Misty DawnS said...

Spectacular! I think Kestrels are such gorgeous birds!

DeniseinVA said...

Such a beautiful bird. Great shots!

TexWisGirl said...

such beauties! great shots of the kestrels!

Anni said...

Beautiful....I love the images that show the soft wind blowing the beautifully marked feathers!!

Gemma Wiseman said...

A gorgeous collection! Beautiful tones in the kestrel's feathers! Especially love the touch of wind blown feathers in these photos!

Brian King said...

Gorgeous shots! I especially like the kestrel photos since I'm partial to raptors! Nice work!

Stewart M said...

Nice pictures of the Kestrels - like your "like buses" description.

I saw Ring Necked Parakeet in Oman last week (hence late reply!) and its an introduced species as well!

Thanks for the comment on my blog.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Anni said...

Beautiful....I know one thing, since I became obsessed with birding, I've learned a lot about how precious nature is!!!

Thanks for linking up this week at the Bird D'Pot!!!

Marie said...

Your kestrel photos are wonderful!

purethoughts said...

Wow!! what gorgeous shots of those beautiful brown birds!! I have not seen anything like those here in Thailand.

Madge Bloom said...

Amazing shots, wish I could get good bird shots like yours... Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot #56!

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