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Birds, Insects & Bats in flight (outdoors) Page 26

Image Taken on 09 Oct 2008 at 09:44    Image of day on 25 Oct 2008

We are normally pleased to see just one jay fleeing from us, but here 3 flew by some 10's of metres away. The one on the left was not quite so well aligned, so we couldn't resist tweaking his position.

Ref: 20081025_dc1_20081009_0944_002 3 jays in flight (web version)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image of day on 21 Oct 2010

We have often wondered what happens when the Kestrel and Sparrowhawk happen along together. Well it turns out to be an extended fight - here are 8 time ordered pairs in a chaotic montage, moving from dark blue sky overhead to pale haze lower down but further away. All these are at the same scale.

Ref: 20101021_df1_20100903_1235-1237_070+106+183+188+220+252+254+255 kestrel & sparrowhawk fighting in flight 8 selected from 68 (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 20 Sep 2015 at 12:49    Image of day on 21 Nov 2015

After several attempt this Jackdaw finally sees off the Kestrel. We notice the Kestrel's claw lowering in the last 2 frames, but have no idea why.

Ref: 20151121_df3_20150920_1249_195-202 kestrel and jackdaw in flight 1-8 of 8 (close spaced montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Oct 2009 at 10:42    Image of day on 04 Nov 2009

But the TOP view of the blonde bird is much more striking than the bottom.

Ref: 20091104_db1_20091002_1042_162 kestrel blonde female flyover (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Dec 2020 at 10:48    Image of day on 25 Jan 2021

The female Kestrel decides to make a landing on a conifer twig, but for whatever reason has difficulty getting balance after touchdown.

Ref: 20210125_d73_20201224_1048_043+045+046+1029_075 kestrel female bad landing in conifer & flies away 01-04 of 11 (montage leftward)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Dec 2020 at 10:49    Image of day on 25 Jan 2021

She stays only a few seconds before flying back the way that she arrived.

Ref: 20210125_d73_20201224_1049_076-080 kestrel female bad landing in conifer & flies away 05-09 of 11 (accurate montage @ 10fps)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 27 Feb 2011 at 10:17    Image of day on 31 Mar 2011

An un-forecast sunny morning brought out a number of 'old friends' we hadn't seen for many days. This female Kestrel graced the skies for a minute or two and we have montaged 2 fly-bys. Images were taken about 150mS apart but the featureless sky prevents alignment using real spacing so both are 'artistic interpretations' undoubtedly much more closely spaced than they should be.

Ref: 20110331_df1_20110227_1017_124-127 kestrel female banking in flight at 7fps 1-4 of 4 (arbitrary montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Apr 2020 at 14:50    Image of day on 24 Apr 2020

Surprise of the week for us was watching the local female Kestrel flying around jinking in flight as if trying to catch something. Here is the photo evidence of this Kestrel successfully catching insects (presumably 'bee' sized).
We had expected that the catch would be made in the beak like swifts and swallow. But no - the insect is grabbed in one of the claws before being swung forward to the beak to eat.
Yes this bird really was flying backwards as she kept manoeuvring to grab the evading insect. This is about two thirds of a second of action.

Ref: 20200424_df3_20200407_1450_172-176 kestrel female catches insect in talons in flight & eats it 01-05 of 10 (accurate montage @7fps)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Apr 2020 at 14:50    Image of day on 24 Apr 2020

A detail from next to bottom of the above montage.

Ref: 20200424_df3_20200407_1450_175 kestrel female catches insect in talons while in flight & eats it 04 of 10 (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Apr 2020 at 14:50    Image of day on 24 Apr 2020

Another detail of the insect held by the tips of the talons

Ref: 20200424_df3_20200407_1450_182 kestrel female catches insect in talons while in flight & eats it 08 of 10 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Apr 2020 at 14:50    Image of day on 24 Apr 2020

About 1 second from the end of the first montage her prize is swung forward to eat it, all in half a second, too quick for the eye (our eyes at least) to catch.

Ref: 20200424_df3_20200407_1450_181-184 kestrel female catching insect in talons in flight & eats it 07-10 of 10 (accurate montage @7fps)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Jul 2015 at 09:27    Image of day on 13 Sep 2015

This female Kestrel made a nice circle of the house probably using the heat from the dark slates as a mini-thermal.

Ref: 20150913_df3_20150711_0927_132-192 kestrel female circling (selected) 01+03+06+08+11+17+20 of 20 (impression montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 15 Aug 2019 at 13:51    Image of day on 03 Oct 2019

Here the female Kestrel flies to another hunting hover. We didn't see her drop to the ground before she vanished hundreds of metres away.

Ref: 20191003_df3_20190815_1351_052-054 kestrel female flying between short hovers over harvested crop 1-3 of 3 (close spaced montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Feb 2015 at 10:48    Image of day on 02 Apr 2015

Finally attacking her target, the female Kestrel never actually touched down. Here is her upward flight from near the ground into the nearby Black Poplar tree where she rested for a minute or two before flying off.

Ref: 20150402_df2_20150218_1048_121-126 kestrel female flying from failed stoop to land in black poplar 1-6 of 6 (accurate montage @5fps)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 29 Dec 2019 at 10:44    Image of day on 30 Jan 2020

The female Kestrel has been hunting intensively over the farm's fields. Here she turns a hover into a dive to the ground, but presumably her prey 'did a runner' and the bird pulls out of her dive.
Unfortunately photographer has already 'lost' her against the hedge and carried on panning downwards to the landing that didn't happen, so losing focus on the bird as she flies away.

Ref: 20200130_df3_20191229_1044_071-084 kestrel female hovering + diving + pulling upward 01-14 of 14 (montage accurate 03-14)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 10 Nov 2019 at 10:15    Image of day on 20 Dec 2019

Several sightings of Kestrels this week have been mostly whoosh and gone. But this bird is intent on a hunt over the sprouting crop.

Ref: 20191220_df3_20191110_1015_028-030 kestrel female hovering 1-3 of 3 (vertically separated montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 18 Feb 2015 at 10:43    Image of day on 02 Apr 2015

The local female Kestrel spent a couple of days intensively hunting around our patch.
Here are 3 images vertically spread of her hovering. She spent about 5 minutes in a hover near the farm entrance oblivious to the traffic, dropping down in steps over what was obviously a 'beak-watering' prey.

Ref: 20150402_df2_20150218_1043_003+027+028 kestrel female hovering 1-3 of 3 (vertically spread montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 22 Aug 2020 at 14:59    Image of day on 04 Oct 2020

An hour later the female Kestrel surprised us by momentarily hovering about 2m above the back 'garden lawn'. The photographer just pointed the camera and 'fired', and was surprised to find even 2 frames with reasonable pics of the kestrel on it. Long-live Auto-focus!

Ref: 20201004_d73_20200822_1459_243 kestrel female hovering 2 metres high over back garden grass 1 of 2 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Jan 2019 at 14:26    Image of day on 05 Feb 2019

... and rose up for another hunt. All in 2 minutes.

Ref: 20190205_df3_20190101_1426_089+087+090 kestrel female hovering 4+2+5 of 6 (vertically spread montage)(r+mb id@432).jpg

Image Taken on 01 Jan 2019 at 14:25    Image of day on 05 Feb 2019

... turned (into the wind of course - she is also know as a 'Wind Hover') and Hovered ...

Ref: 20190205_df3_20190101_1425_067-064 kestrel female hovering 4-1 of 4 (montage spread upwards)(r+mb id@432).jpg




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