Saturday, 14 September 2013

URBAN KESTREL? OR SEMI-URBAN?

Took the Australian Shepherds for a yomp, they needed it and can for walk miles and still not be tired. My route was from the front door (no car all on foot) out of the estate (Eastfield) over the road to the entrance of Bradlaugh Fields at Morrisons supermarket/Kettering Road and go explore, to see what was still about etc.
There was a few Common Whitethroats around which was a bit of surprise, still some swallows (all seemed to be passing through) but apart from common stuff like various finches, House Sparrows not much else bird wise, there were 30-40 Starlings around the ponds near the "barns". Given the light I wasn't going to take the 500mm out of the bag for these, not today. So I headed along the footpath that runs behind Parklands housing estate, the original plan was to go for some Mistle Thrushes and Woodpeckers in the tree lined verges near the football pitches, but I forgot it was Saturday (idiot) and that meant football so cut along the field towards Moulton Park Industrial Estate to walk along the footpath that runs behind the Nationwide and Robert Horne buildings, good in theory and during the summer very nice but the long grass that was such a pleasure to walk through in the summer was now very tall wet grass...nice, the dogs enjoyed it though!
But I was glad I did apart from a few crows and jackdaws I was initially gutted until I saw this Kestrel on the warehouse using the outflow pipe as a perch...
 It's not actually an uncommon bird around this site, I blogged about a male Kestrel that was too far away and I've often seen one on these warehouses before and catching prey, I'm dying for a bit of luck and catching it on one of the lamp posts along the footpath, I've seen it on them a couple of times when I haven't had my camera with me, fingers crossed one day.
I've also in the past have seen a Little Owl on the Robert Horne building though not this year, this Kestrel is perched on the warehouse next to it, can't remember it's name but was once owned by company that made denim trousers, it's exchanged hands so many times since I've lost track, the below image is it leaping after something, I actually think it might have been a small bird, couldn't see due to the trees (the unsightly blob in the bottom left of the frame being the trees).
So is it urban or semi-rural? The industrial estate sits right on the verge of what some call countryside, I call it "waiting to be developed" at our current rate of urbanisation, but this bird seems to do okay...perhaps it commutes from the countryside for work like so much of the human population!!! It came back and sat on the perch, with nothing so I left it there in peace.
The rest of the walk back home was uneventful and dull, so I'll leave it there....

12 comments:

  1. I think I must wander around with my eyes shut. This is a wonderful find and better for it being on an industrial estate.

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    1. Industrial estates (good designed ones) can be great and often hold great wildlife, I spend so much of my working life on industrial estates my eyes and ears get sort of tuned in for wildlife, to be honest I keep a list of wildlife from estates which has some impressive species on it, the roof spaces are great for breeding gulls and winter roosts, peregrines (I know of one breeding pair) and this site has "rural" one side and urban parkland on the other so has some interesting green'ish areas there is also another key factor, not many people go birding on sites like this, so the birds go "under-watched/less disturbed" etc...if you unfortunate to find yourself stuck on one have a look around you might find something or nothing :o)

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  2. Nice shot of the 'dive' Doug.

    I think it's great how a lot of wildlife manage to adapt to the eyesores we leave when we take over the countryside. Used to get Kestrels nest every year under the canopy of a loading bay, when I worked at Tesco.

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    1. The kestrel is a popular bird on industrial estates, I've seen a few in your area in MK, perfect place as long as they dodge the traffic, also spookily this warehouse was once belonged to the comapny you used to work for before it changed hands, I just hope with the ever expanding Northants urban sprawl wildlife can adapt, it's alright giving "nature a home" but when one organisation doen't like to get involved at local level to stop the sprawl or at least get involved to make sure green areas are included in the planning application then nature will keep loosing it's home...it can't all squeeze onto their nature reserve....I feel a blog post/rant coming.

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    2. When I saw that first picture, it looked so much like one that I took a couple of years ago, I did wonder if it was a Tesco warehouse.

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    3. Sadly the supermarket has a certain look, glad they built all them ugly warehouses and now closing them, "every little helps to turn green to grey" should be their corporate slogan :o(

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  3. Two great shots Douglas...that's it!...watching touring cars etc. on tv!!...[;o)

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    1. Ditto mate, Rockingham is an odd track, good for Kites and a Barn Owl not far away either....

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  4. Well done catching the dive, Doug - a most enjoyable post!

    Strangest place I've seen Common Kestrels is a pair hunting beside the main railway station in Belgrade, Serbia (right in the city centre!). It seems that they were living in a disused warehouse next to the station!

    Hope this weather bucks up again soon!

    All the best - Richard

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    1. Defiantely a clever bird. Clever place a train station, plenty of mammals I bet.
      I hope this weather bucks up soon, very grim and windy.

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  5. Great images Doug, I really do have a soft spot for our kezes!

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    1. The kes is definately one bird many enjoy, it has to be a contender for my top ten list of birds

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