Friday, 19 September 2008

Kestrel attacking and being attacked!

(This post has been submitted as a post)

Today was another sunny day here, but the birds were scarce. With none venturing close, I had to focus on the far away birds in flight. The light was mixed and I struggled to get good pictures at the long end of my zoom. The auto focus struggled  and many a time, I preferred to focus manually. Sharpness was poor at best but I did record some interesting Kestrel attacks – on and by it.

Kestrel Attack

I’m guessing there is a nest somewhere in the vicinity of the area where I always spot these Kestrels. However, its not just the Kestrels that seem to own the area. I must have counted at least 8-10 magpies in the area, and I’m guessing they too nest around the area. It is well known that magpies drive away birds of prey and that’s what was on display early on today.

Kestrel Attack

However, with the constant dodging and swaying mid air tactics, I soon began to wonder who was chasing whom?

Kestrel Attack

however, the issue was sorted when reinforcements arrived from the magpie clan! Another magpie joined the fight in mid air.

Kestrel Attack

The kestrel had enough and flew away.

Kestrel Attack

However, that wasn’t a permanent retreat. The kestrel was soon back and looking  to retrieve pride, was actively looking for a fight! It sat for a while on a tree top before launching into the woods around 200m away where a crow sat. The startled crow took off, with the kestrel giving hot pursuit.

Kestrel Attack

however, the laboured flight of the crow seemed no match for the smooth speed of the kestrel.

Kestrel Attack

..but just when it seemed that the crow was in for a hiding, the crow did a most amazing thing.

Kestrel Attack

..it did a mid-air somersault !

Kestrel Attack

and with the smooth speed of the kestrels flight, it overshot the crow, which meant the crow was now behind the Kestrel! No wonder they say crows are intelligent!

Kestrel Attack

Outwitted, the kestrel soon gave up the chase and the crow got away.

Another chase I couldn’t quite capture was this one between the kestrel and what appears to be a buzzard or sparrowhawk. This time again, the kestrel was the one being chased!

Kestrel Attack

Looks like it was a tough day in office for the kestrel! I`ll leave you with this picture of a hovering kestrel.

Kestrel Attack


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