Hawk-eyed

Kestrel hovering in the Malverns

Kestrel hovering in the Malverns

Until yesterday, I had had little success photographing kestrels – and certainly not when they were on the wing. But there is a family of five in the Malverns which are very active and readily visible, either darting around or hanging, hovering, in the air.

I first saw them last weekend, but conspicuously failed with the camera. They were there again yesterday, and last week’s failures provided good experience of what not to do.

I was there for over an hour and could have stayed longer, marvelling at their mastery of the air, and enjoying an extraordinary photographic opportunity.

Hanging in the air: kestrel in the Malverns

Hanging in the air: kestrel in the Malverns

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Surveying the scene

The kestrels almost appeared to be hunting together: though probably more in the way of parent teaching its kid

The kestrels almost appeared to be hunting together: though probably more in the way of a parent teaching its kid

As well as hovering, the kestrels frequently dashed from one hovering point to another

The kestrels frequently dashed from one hovering point to another

Eventually I decided to move on as I was keen for a walk as well.

Later, seeing a buzzard, I thought it would be a much more difficult challenge, as they are constantly in motion as they soar and thus beyond the capabilities of my slow-focussing camera.

Almost at that moment, it moved towards me, and then stopped and rested on the thermals. Perhaps being used to the presence of humans in the Malverns, it was unperturbed by my pointing a camera at it – and secured my best-ever buzzard shots (even exceeding Monday’s efforts!)

This buzzard hung in the air long enough for me secure some good photos.

This buzzard hung in the air long enough for me secure some good photos.

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