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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Close Encounter Of The Bird Kind - on 12th November, 2015

I was out with pal John for our (not quite so) regular Thursday session (these days), and we'd had our picnic lunch in the company of a Little Owl at my Site No.34. It was our third and last owl on a rather windy day.

We'd just set off afterwards, and were heading up a rather rough single-track road when I spotted what, on first impression, looked like a clod of soil being thrown up and dropping down again on the other side of the fence about 70 metres up the road on my side (I was driving). I stopped the car to see if I could see what was going on, and a Kestrel flew up from the bottom of the fence and landed on a fence post, maybe 50 metres away. It then flew down again before landing on a nearer fence post around 30 metres away. I was just starting to open my door so I could lean out and take a photo when it flew down again. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to close my door again and it flew up and landed on a post about 4 metres from my head! I had to wind back the lens from full 500 mm to 340 mm in order to frame the bird (the header is uncropped in width). Sadly, I did not have time to adjust my settings from my last attempt at photography that day - they were totally inappropriate. However, although I could have done better, the results are not too bad. I can see from the image metadata that it stayed for just under 3 seconds before departing into the distance.


Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) (female) - near Somerby
I've not been out birding since then, primarily due to poor weather, but hope to put that right tomorrow.

Thank you for dropping by,

20 comments:

  1. Ahhhh the weather!!! I'm so used to AZ weather being pretty much always awesome....but the past two months have been challenging. Especially the wind! Gorgeous photos of this bird......these aren't bad at all...in fact, pretty great. Hope you see more sun or kinder weather:)

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    1. The weather more recently has been pretty desperate, Chris. Last night we had damaging winds, and I'm expecting to go out tomorrow and find that the nest tree at my Little Owl Site No.41 is no more!

      Thank you for your kind comments. Best wishes to you and Micheal - - - Richard

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  2. Two fabulous shots,you did well to catch this one,they don't hang around Richard.
    Super job.
    John.

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    1. It was a lucky encounter, John. Fortunately I didn't stand much of a chance of another vehicle disturbing us so was able to switch off my engine whilst stopped in the middle of the road. In these parts I find that Kestrels are a bit more confiding than Buzzards, which usually take off as soon as you stop!

      I hope that you've not had problems with the high winds. Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

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  3. I know a good photograph when I see one Richard, and these are two excellent images of your Kestrel, unadjusted settings or not, a beautiful little falcon.

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    1. Thank you for those very kind words, Pete. I hope that you've weathered the strong winds without problems. Best wishes - - Richard

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  4. What luck you had Richard that this bird came so close. With me it is always the opposite. Love the details and action. Whising you much luck tomorrow.
    Regards,
    Roos

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    1. Thank you for your kind wishes, Roos. I hope that you are fully recovered from your ills, and are managing to get out and enjoy nature. Take good care of yourself - - - - Richard

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Margaret. It was pure luck!

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  6. This is too good to be true. The best Kestrel shots I've seen.

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    1. Coming from such an accomplished photographer as yourself, Adrian, your words are much appreciated. Thank you.

      I've not felt able to comment on your own last two posts as I don't want to get involved with all the angry comments from various people on the subject of political and religious matters associated with the cancer that is terrorism. I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you which showcase your artistic and technical talents.

      With my very best wishes - - - Richard

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  7. Great shots, Richard. I am glad to hear that you and John are resuming your walks together. I am sure that four eyes will discover a lot more than two. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thank you, David. I wish you a great weekend too!

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  8. Cracking shots Richard. Funnily I've got a Kestrel that does something very similar. My one does it when it's worming.

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    1. Thanks, Doug. I think that this one was doing something similar. I believe that it has a beetle's wing case dangling from its bill, although I can't be certain from my images.

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  9. Sorry I forgot to say, foes it have a slightly larger/longer lower bill?

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    1. I'm certain that it's just something hanging there, rather than a bill deformity, Doug.

      Have a great weekend - - Richard

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  10. Lovely pictures Richard of a lovely bird :-)

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I too agree that Kestrels are rather special. They're quite common in these parts, but always a delight to see.

      Best wishes - - - Richard

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