Thursday, 31 January 2013

KESTREL ON A POST

 I had a fantastic day today, spent about two hours in the company of a Kestrel that was showing off a different style of hunting I had not really seen too often. It was very windy at times today but I had some fantastic light.
I photographed the Kestrel on two fence posts which wasn't to easy as they were both by the side of very narrow lane, it had a couple of spots I could pull the car into and shoot images from the window with out blocking the traffic, I didn't have to worry about traffic, I didn't see another car or person for the whole two hours. The first two images are on the first post and has a tall of row trees subduing the great light on offer today and images three and four are on the second post and not only had it not got the tall trees subduing the light but is on more level ground.
 As you might see in the second image above the Kestrel was fascinated in what was on the ground below the post. It had a straight line of these fence post (about 40!) to drop onto, I watched as it was travelling from one post to the next post, dropping down from the post onto the ground sometimes popping up with large worms, sometimes empty talon. Each time getting one post closer, each time it got closer I thought it would fly off, for a change it didn't.

At one point I had to switch over memory cards and as I relocated the Kestrel in the viewfinder I thought it had either lost it's head or just got a bit camera shy!
But no it just carried on as normal staring down at the ground, dropping onto it's prey. So even the wind was to strong for the "wind hoverer". Photographing from a car can at times be a bit cumbersome and not much room to swing a cat nevermind a big ol'prime lens but often the results can out weigh the cons, the vehicle offering up a great mobile hide that is often better then an "on foot" approach. I would never had been able to get as close as I had nor the bird stayed put. As you can see in the very first image, the "headless" shot and the image below the bird was quite confident enough to preen itself....brilliant day. In the end the bird was still there when I drove off.

12 comments:

  1. Birding in relative comfort, and cracking shots too.
    A beautiful bird Doug, and you've captured his beauty perfectly.
    If you're like me, you'd have taken hundreds of pictures. Not often you get the chance to be so close to a great bird like that.

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    1. Well I managed one 4gb card, shooting in RAW that was 300 and on the secon I got 65, cloudy today so had loads to sort through, made a pleasant change.

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  2. A wonderful wonderful hour or two.

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    1. Thanks Adrian it was great for just two hours just two things enjoying the countryside,a brilliant day.

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  3. Really smart set Doug.......as always!

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    1. Cheers mate. I was seriously thinking how handy a Landie would've been, it got me thinking about chucking in my Golf for one.

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  4. Wow Doug! That was a real session to treasure, and a fabulous set of images to act as reminders! These lucky breaks don't come that often. I just missed mine yesterday evening when I was parked up waiting for a possible Barnie to show. A male Sprawk flew past my open window at less than 2ft distance. It then landed on a stump 2ft off the ground and less than 6ft from me on the other side of the car. I just had to sit and watch as it's impossible to shoot through the glass on this car, it was nearly fully dark, and it was too close to achieve focus anyway! At least the Barnie showed after it had gone.

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    1. Great comment Richard, I have it happen to me a few times when the bird perches up to close to the car and the lens can't focus properly, though it's great fun to watch them so close, I even try filming it on the mobile phone sometimes.

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  5. nice shots...
    http://www.serkanmutan.com/

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  6. amazing shots.fantastic clarity what kit do you use??

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  7. Thanks Glyn, a Canon 1D mark 3 and 500m f4 prime lens with a 1.4 teleconverter

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