12
Jan
14

We had history me and her

There I was staring wistfully from the cliff top out across the sea to the north. I was scanning through binoculars dreaming of seeing a large cetacean surface amid a crash of white surf.

My vision was fully obscured for a second. I dropped the bins expecting to see one of the Herring Gulls that had been floating around. Instead I was being buzzed by a female Kestrel. We stared discerningly at one another for an instant and she carried on quartering the cliff face and I relaxed comfortably back into my daydream of finding a Fin Whale.

On my way back to the Landrover I came across her again. She was perched on a branch over the footpath. The light behind her was blinding. She could easily see me but I couldn’t see her clearly at all. If I was to get a photograph I would need to walk underneath her, turn and raise the camera. She would surely fly off as I did this.

I walked slowly and kept my hands in my coat pockets. Birds don’t like hands. Raise your hands in the air 200m from a roosting flock of gulls and every one will take to the air. I held my breath and as I passed underneath reached for my camera and turned slowly. She was still there. We obviously had history me and her; she knew I meant no harm. The spell was only broken as she glided down to the ploughed field to land on a morsel her keen eyes had picked out among the furrows.

Kestrel

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4 Responses to “We had history me and her”


  1. 1 Ross Haddow
    January 12, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Beautiful, so how did you identify the sex?

    Ross Haddow Estate & Farm Manager Stody Estate Ltd Stody Estate Office Melton Constable Norfolk NR24 2 ER T: 01263 860572 F: 01263 861179 M: 07850 554833 ross.haddow@stodyestate.co.uk http://www.stodyestate.co.uk http://www.stodyholidaycottages.co.uk/ skype rossw.haddow

    • January 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      The tail is full of bars on a brown base as opposed to the grey tail of a male with a black terminal bar. The head and nape are brown whereas on a male it would be grey. Then there’s the clincher Ross … she had lovely long eyelashes ;0)

  2. 3 Malcolm
    January 13, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Lovely post and a fine picture. I was interested in your sentence: “Birds don’t like hands”. Does it really make a difference if you put your hands in your pockets when trying to approach a bird? I’ve never come across that piece of fieldcraft before. Very interesting. I’ll have to give it a try.

    • January 13, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Stand at the edge of a field where gulls are roosting Malcolm and raise your hands in the air and lower them; as if you are flapping wings. All the gulls will take off. Keep your hands in your pockets or wear dark gloves and you can get closer to many birds. I guess arms and hands are one thing that distinguish us from other moving objects!


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