Tag Archives: bird of prey

Kestrel, New Year’s Eve

Friday 31st December 2021, 2.10pm (day 3,781)

Kestrel, 31/12/21

Out on a walk on the hillside above our house, and my father-in-law Dave acted as the ‘spotter’ for this one, pointing out the kestrel that was hovering above the grassland, hunting for mice or sparrows. Obviously wanting its profile done, it then landed and obligingly waited on this lamp-post for a minute, so I could get the shot (that’s the old, ruined Heptonstall church behind).

A Happy New Year to you all. I mention no politics here; I will merely say that had the shot of another bird-of-prey, the hawk on 5th March, been just that little bit better in focus, that would have been my favourite shot of 2021. However, instead I will give it to the minutes-old lamb captured on April 11th.

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The hunter and the prey

Friday 5th March 2021, 7.55am (day 3,480)

Hawk with prey, 5/3/21

Walking down to the station in the morning I noticed a commotion by the side of the road, heard desperate cawing. I thought at first it was a bird with a broken wing, flapping around, maybe having been hit by a car. Then I saw what it actually was. It will be forever regretted that the focus ended up on the wall and not the hawk; I only got the one shot off before it picked up the starling (I think) in its talons and flew off to enjoy its breakfast. But other than that slight lack of focus I can’t complain too much about this one. Surely there is a detectable look of pride on its face. I am also reminded of this picture: which William Blake/Thomas Harris fans will recognise.

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Geoff, the falcon

Sunday 27th October 2019, 2.10pm (day 2,985)

Peregrine, 27/10/19

When we arranged to go to Haworth this lunchtime to celebrate Clare’s birthday (a day late) I did not expect that this would also lead to coming face to face with this very handsome creature. Not to mention several other of his fellow raptors — owls, mainly — in a marquee in the pub beer garden. A photographic opportunity too good to miss. This peregrine falcon is called Geoff, apparently. I wonder how he feels about that.

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Red kites feeding

Thursday 14th May 2015, 3.00pm (day 1,358)

Red kites, 14/5/15

For the second Thursday in a row I went off on a trip outside England and into another nation of the UK — this time Wales, its first appearance on the blog. I am visiting a colleague in Aberystwyth, a town with more books per head of population than anywhere in the world, apparently. Later in the day she took me to a place in the hills above the town, a centre devoted to maintaining the population of red kites (Milvus milvus), handsome birds of prey. The birds gather to be fed every day at 3pm. This was my best attempt at capturing the flock as they came down and feasted on the bounty, they all move damn quickly and I don’t have the equipment to freeze their movement in the way a pro would. But I like the one on the bottom left, caught looking at the camera.

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