Kestrel Chicks 2017

Some of you may have seen some of the Kestrel photos I have been taking over the last few years. This year I was not expecting to see any at Salts Mill because the roofing work that has been going on was too close to the nesting site that I have seen them using. However I had heard Kestrels when out and about at Salts Mill, and over the last week had been hearing them while at my desk. So I went to investigate.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

The first sight I had of them left me wondering how many were around.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

I had to wait a few minutes before they separated into the 3 of them. Here they are looking skyward, perhaps they have heard one of their parents fly past.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

One of them looked a bit more adventurous than the other two and hopped off the window ledge and scrabbled up the roof to the top of one of the sky lights.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

After a while it started ducking its head down and I wondered if it was pulling at any sealant that might be around the window. I was hoping not otherwise I might have started to get a wet desk during rain. But then it lifted up what looks to me like a rat. Perhaps it was a larder that one of the parents was using, or perhaps they had dropped it there while being watched, as if to say “If you want food, hop off there and come get it.”

If you are a bit squeamish then don’t go any further, but you might be missing out.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

The young Kestrel then spent a few minutes pulling bits of meat off the rat.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

Most of the time the carcass was below the edge of the frame but I have several photos where it lifted it up for me to get a good look at it. But not here.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

Once it looked as though it had had enough to eat one of the other Kestrels came round looking for it.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

There seemed to be plenty for it to eat.

Salt's Mill Kestrels

After having had enough the second Kestrel started exercising its wings a bit.

A mouse

While this had been going on I had kept looking back at the third Kestrel and it was only later, when viewing these at home, that I noticed the rodent in front of it; I don’t know where it had come from.

It's mine

It then hooded over it to protect it from being stolen. It was only after looking at these at home that I saw the rodent and realised that it was doing that to hide it.

See you

The Kestrels had been looking around while all this had been going on and had not really paid any attention to me until I had decided it was time to call it a day.

As usual you can click on any of the images and view larger copies on Flickr. There are also a few more on Flickr. You can look at my Kestrel album on Flickr by following this link.

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