Tag Archives: kestrel

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

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.

A little kestrel sequence

This is really the second part (or prequel) to yesterday’s post. Before heading to Rottingdean I’d been over at Sheepcote Valley in search of owls. No luck with them (though they are about). Instead I came across a kestrel who provided a brief but active sequence.

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

Kestrel at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

I’m sort of running a day behind myself, but I will add this one from today. It’s a ‘Bravias arc’ or ‘upsidedown rainbow’ or ‘Smiley in the Sky’. It’s caused by light refracting on ice particles. They are related to ‘sundogs’ which tend to be vertical patches, but this was the first time I’ve seen an extended arc. The shot is taken with the camera pointing straight up to the sky.

Bavias arc or circumzenithal arc (also known as the Smiley in the Sky or Upsidedown Rainbow) seen over Woodingdean, East Sussex. The phenomenon is caused by a rare alignment of the angle of the sun with ice crystals in the atmosphere.

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. The sky-smiley was taken with the EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens.

Kestrel on the Watts Building

A very brief blog tonight (just keeping my hand in). It’s a male kestrel that frequents the Watts Building at the University of Brighton, so something of an urban dweller.

Kestrel on Watts Building, University of Brighton

Kestrel taking off from the Watts Building, University of Brighton

Kestrel ontaking off from the Watts Building, University of Brighton

Kestrel not on the Watts Building, University of Brighton

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