A Kestrel at Breakfast

This is a bit of an unscheduled break in the relentless fox cub posts (I have so many photos that I’m not even trying to keep up). I got these shots on my way to work this morning, at around 8.00am. I drive past Sheepcote Valley by Brighton racecourse every morning. It’s a good spot for kestrels and this morning one was hovering right over the entrance to the car park. Too good an opportunity not to stop. By the time I had parked and got the camera ready the kestrel had moved about 20 yards… The light wasn’t great and I thought shots like this were all I was going to get.


Kestrel (female) hovering at Sheepcote Valley, near Brighton, East Sussex

But then the kestrel dropped into the grass… and I go this short sequence.

kestrel and prey

Kestrel pinning down its prey (a vole)

kestrel and prey

A quick nibble…

kestrel and prey

And up and away…

kestrel and prey

A good start to my day, and the kestrel’s. Less good for the vole, but this is the harsher side of wildlife watching.

It’s too wet tonight to watch out for the fox cubs, but they’ve been on great form over the weekend. This was last night’s Fox of the Day… worth a reprise over here as well.

fox cubs fighting

Fox cubs fighting at night

Camera note: all kestrel photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. Fox cubs photographed with the EF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens.


  1. derwandersmann June 6, 2017 at 4:49 am #

    Very nice kestrel shots, Paul, and the cubs fighting is spectacular.

  2. Darko Gedelovski June 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Yes that was the opportunity that was not supposed to be missed. Only once I’ve seen a bald eagle eating a salmon but too far away for my camera for a decent shot.
    And of course, cubs are just too precious not to be mentioned 😀

  3. Words June 6, 2017 at 11:42 pm #

    Thanks Charles! the kestrel was a bit of a treat, though I do keep my eye open when I go past just in case. Getting the ‘fight’ shots is a bit random as it’s so dark out there I can’t really see where I’m aiming the camera and I rely on the infra-red to handle the focusing. Works well when they keep still.

  4. Words June 6, 2017 at 11:43 pm #

    Darko, I’ve yet to see a bald eagle or a salmon, let alone in the same shot. Must be wonderful to see.