Monday, 14 April 2014

A Kestrel in the Bottom Pocket

I have been down at my Grandmas all last week as it's our school holidays. It was a good week - but that's for another blog.  Dad picked me up on Friday night and it was early to bed, as on Saturday I was able to go ringing again.

It was a calm, cloudy morning, so good conditions for ringing; however the session started off quite slow with us not catching many birds apart from a few tit mice, a few Redpoll and a Chiffchaff. A buzzard and a Kestrel were seen overhead on a number of occasions and watched them swoop and hover.

After a couple of net rounds the bird numbers started to pick up a bit, catching two rather nice re-trap male and female Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and a re-trap Nuthatch. 

Birds such as woodpeckers eyes change colour generally to a more red colour as they get older - I wonder why that happens ? This picture doesn't show it that well but the iris was becoming a bit more reddish.

We were also delighted to catch this stunning male Yellow Hammer, this was the first one of the year, so it was quite exciting to catch. They are from the bunting family and I think they used to be called Yellow Buntings ?

Towards the end of the session, we all saw a rather large bird in the bottom pocket of one of our single nets. Peter went down to have a look and found it was a stunning Kestrel, perhaps this was the one we saw earlier in the morning 

No words needed here as I think the pictures say it all.

This particular bird was an adult  male, we could tell this because of its size and the grey colour of it's head. It weighed 196 grams.

As you can see in this picture, I was pretty nervous (but confident) handling this stunning bird of prey. It was really amazing to have the privilege of holding it, but remember the joy of holding it comes only after respecting the bird.

I certainly didn't expect to end the day with a Kestrel.

It's another busy week coming up and I am hoping to meet some of my younger blogging friends at a birding conference this week.


  1. What a way to end the day. A magnificent bird.

  2. Very interesting blog. That kestrel is stunning.

  3. The Kes' was an added bonus to the day Findlay, it looks a stunning bird indeed.

  4. Hi Finlay Good to know what you have been up to and you managed to see while ringing but the Kestrel is certainly a BIG bonus.

  5. Hi Findlay! We are pleased that this young man is interesting of birds and nature. When we have been in your age also interested in birds. Certainly in the future you will be a good ornithologist and ringers.
    Have a nice day!
    Greetings from Poland
    Michał and Piotr

  6. I think in German ammer means bunting and yellow in English means yellow (obviously) the h was added over time and this suggests the birds were brought over by the Germans, maybe :) from Edward

  7. Wonderful birds just to see Findlay... never mind have in your hands.
    Lovely images.

  8. Hi Findlay, the Pied Flycatcher has been seen investigating the nest and the Red Starts are around. lots of activity around the woodland edge.


  9. What conference are you attending?

  10. What an experience, Findlay! Those photos are stunning, and you taught me something about old bird eyes.