April 24th, 2011, 10:31 AM
Happy Easter All.
Here is a picture of a bird that has been over my house for 4 days straight.
The picture say's to me "Kestrel"...male. (thus the smaller,the female is slightly bigger)
The single black tail bar and wing pattern match up with my "Collins" and other my other pictures of Kestrels. (I have taken hundreds of Kestrel pictures.)
However, what does not add up is the size of the bird.
The first time I saw it I thought it was a sparrow hawk,,,because of its size and the way it would soar.
I watched it for on 4 occaisions and it acted more like a buzzard or a sparrow hawk. Finding a wind or thermal uplift and steadily rising in a circular fashion.
During these sightings on two occaisions there were buzzards in the background, (again I have hundreds of Buzzard pictures and the terrain outside my house is well known to me.)
Because of the relation of distance and size, I again thought it was a sparrow hawk. (I have much fewer sightings and pictures of sparrow hawks I just know they are bigger than kestrels and smaller than buzzards.)
The distances I have seen it travel are up to 800 yards or more in a straight line (ish) and will soar to good heights,,way way above the tall trees.
Then one day I was leaving the house with the camera, looked up and there it was,,low,,,I messed that up but got him on the rise.
Again I thought it was a sparrow hawk because of its size and again,,it went upwards by soaring and not flapping its wings.
When its wings do flap,,it is a slow movement. Not what I am used to seeing with Kestrels that have fast wing movements.
Next day whilst telling a friend and keen bird watching he told he had seen a kestrel but it was too big to be a kestrel.
OK,,thats the story and I have written this because its really bugging me and the fact that it does NOT make sense. Colin Key two years ago taught me not to make knee jerk comments but after 4 sightings in as many days I thought I would ask the community there opinion.
Thank you all.
April 24th, 2011, 02:00 PM
April 24th, 2011, 02:42 PM
Yes - a nice picture of a Kestrel, Rod! Size is always difficult to judge, especially on a lone bird and even more so against the sky, and most birds of prey will soar when the opportunity arises (i.e. as in the recent run of still, hot days). It's an energy way of gaining height on the rising air - the bird can peel off the top of the thermal and then glide considerable distances with barely a flap.
Yesterday I had a kestrel gliding low over a reedbed, just like a sparrowhawk, which goes to show that birds can and do do the unexpected.
April 24th, 2011, 03:05 PM
Thats the bit that has irratted me,,,I have never seen one soar like this.
You have and thats great news for me. I can put it to rest now.
Thanks for your help Micheal,,much appreciated