Monday, 28 July 2014

Kings Of The River

Not much I can say about the Kingfisher once you see the flash of blue your hooked really.

This year has been a lot harder to work with these birds than previous, but as last year the first nesting attempt got washed out and I have only seen one juvenile this year from their second attempt at breeding

I will only do static shots at the moment although I have caught them in flight and when they are diving naturally, but some shots you just have to save for yourself!!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Kestrel III

Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege to see these young Kestrels from their first time they ventured to the edge of their nest site to peer out into the unknown to watching them taking their first flight.

For some it was more of a flutter and run than an actually flight but I am glad to say that all four young flew the nest to be looked after by the adult birds.

With looking at the few pellets I could find I can still only determine that the main food source was Short tailed field Vole, and didn't they do well!

Here are the last few shots that I took.

This is the oldest of the four young and of course even out of the nest he was determined to get the food first so he would fly to the highest vantage point on the building and would call the loudest as the adults came in.

Two well fed and contented young!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Kestrel II

I have been fortunate to be able to visit this pair of Kestrels and witness their young grow on a weekly basis, and how they do come on. I have visited in the early evening but the nest site is deep in shadow so early mornings up to late afternoon have been just fine .

There are actually four young in the nest site, unfortunately the maximum I ever got to see was three, mainly because the nest site entrance was very narrow, ok you might say well they look all-right now but believe me when food came it was chaos.

On most occasions this is the scenario, the largest of the young (stood at the back in picture above) see's the adult coming in with prey, as soon as the others start to call he just muscles his/her way to the front, shoving his siblings out of the way, and sometimes even out of the nest site!

Then of course when the adult does get to the ledge he/she his first in the queue, nearly every prey item that has been given to the young has been a Short tailed field vole.

Shot of the male just about to offer another vole to the young

This last shot was taken when two of the young where near to fledging and the other two were still a few days behind, even though the younger chick looks taller (must be on tip toes)!!

I will soon post more pictures of when the birds have fledged

Monday, 7 July 2014


Kestrel's were once our commonest bird of prey, at one time you could not go on a journey without seeing the site of a hovering bird, but sadly in recent years the numbers are getting lower.
Kestrel numbers fluctuate from year to year and are closely linked to vole numbers.

Last year the nest's that I monitor through work or in my own time was a disaster only two successful pairs bred that I knew of, this year vole numbers must be good at least a dozen pairs have bred having three and four chicks each.

It is reckoned that only twenty per cent of young will survive two years to breeding age, the biggest threat is starvation in their first Autumn and Winter.

Female Kestrel with what looks like a Short tailed vole

Ever thought of what happens to these prey items??

Well first of all find one hungry chick

And give it a vole!!

Not quite gone yet

Nearly there

One nicely fed young Kestrel

I have been watching these young Kestrels for a few weeks now just wait and see what happens in a weeks time.