Wednesday, 30 October 2013

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY-KESTREL, AGAIN

Well when I first started blogging I thought I would show warts and all, the good,the bad and the outright ugly or abbreviated "bugger it" shots. Well Summer Leys provided me with another Kestrel encounter. I was actually going for Golden Plover shots when I saw this bird swoop in, it was a nice level, being in a two tier hide helped, it wasn't quite parallel, slightly "back-shot'ish" but workable, I was in the process of adjusting the exposure, but didn't get much chance, no sooner had the Kestrel started to hover it swooped down on a prey.

 The start of the dive and as evidence of how quick this all happened I got three frame after the one frame above, one use able shot (just) and two frames of a Kestrel tail disappearing out of frame.
 Look at them talons, ready to "slice n dice" the angle of the birds body was unreal and it soon vanished into the teasels at the side of the hide, it soon popped out, but walking with the it's kill in it's talons rather then flying out. It had caught a small mammal, if you look closely at the Kestrels nearest talon in the image below you can see the mammals own feet gripping onto the talons of the Kestrel
 A bit far away and harsh light didn't help but it was fascinating to watch, all very quick. But sadly not as good, image wise, as my last effort.

13 comments:

  1. Douglas, your reactions are nearly as fast as the Kestrel's!!
    This is a cracking set of 'action' shots...great captures....[;o)

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    1. Cheers Trevor, just wish I had a little more time to set up the exposure correctly, it was "blink" and miss it moment

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  2. These may not be perfect but I find them much better and more interesting than the previous shots.

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    1. I'm glad you said that, I don't enjoy taking portraits that much and much prefer flight or action shots but will take portraits if that's all is on offer, it's given me something to think about.

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    2. I look forward to seeing many more posts with a similar theme. The exposure looks pretty good. Can you burst shoot RAW files. I can only do six at a time then have to wait for the camera buffer to unload them. Not that I'd have the bird in frame anyway. I would with a bit of luck get a bit of wing. Blurry wing at that.

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    3. Sorry I meant "continous" shooting, on the 1d mark3 depending on ISO settings etc I can get anywhere between 9-14 frames before buffering starts but rarely do I get to that stage, three things normally happen 1)the birds long gone (the most common) 2) I get a lot of disapproving looks from others in the hide so back off the shutter button 3) I miss the bird :o)

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  3. An amazing sequence, Doug!! Although they are all superb, that last 'dive' shot is my favourite. I now realise that I don't think I've ever seen a Kestrel with prey!

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    1. Thanks Richard, the last one is one of my favourites too, it has the feet to satisfy my foot fetish and the body angle is just weird. I've been after either a Kestrel on a post with prey or one in flight for ages, they just always seem to be a bit shy when they have food, can't blame them.

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    2. Just remembered that I managed a shot of a Kestrel eating a lizard in Northumberland

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  4. Superb sequence!! Absolutely great images!

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    1. I do like sequence shots and with a camera which allows for rapid frames it's something I shall be looking at doing more of...along with flock shots

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  5. An excellent series Doug.
    Who needs perfection anyway, it's the captured moment that counts. Far more interesting than a bird on a stick.

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    1. Thanks Keith, I think you're right along with what Adrian has said too, but I also think it's the memories such an encounter can create too which is important

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